The House That Giacomo Built
History of An Italian Family, 1898-1978Book - 1985
The House that Giacomo Built is the engaging story of the struggle, perseverance and success of an Italian working-class family to achieve its goal of stability and family unity. It begins with the unremittingly impoverished lives of Giulia and Giovanni Tassoni. We later follow the fortunes of Maria, their daughter and her husband Giacomo. They continue the struggle for a life of greater ease, which is eventually achieved when Giacomo builds the family a new house on a plot of seven acres won in a lottery, thereby transporting them into modern times. Industrialism in the area brings further prosperity to the family. In addition to being a compelling family story, the book also vividly shows how extended families, like the one established by Giacomo and Maria, seem to defy the widely held beliefs concerning the alleged disintegrative effects of industrialism and consequent prosperity on family organisation. Although they have achieved a relative affluence, members of Italian families like theirs do not seek independence from the family group but choose to remain together, without feeling that they are forfeiting their right to be individuals in their own way.
Publisher: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1985.
Characteristics: xii, 243 p.,  p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.