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1 Caso, Adolph America's Italian Founding Fathers
Boston Branden Press (c.1975) 0-8283-1610-4 / 9780828316101 First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[a trace of wear to bottom edge, minor soiling to top edge, in all other respects a nice clean book; jacket a little edgeworn, red lettering on spine faded to pink but still readable, one tiny closed tear near top front hinge, minor scrape mark at top of spine]. This "Special Bicentennial Publication" highlights "the direct and indirect role the Italians played during America's formative years when the Declaration of Causes, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were published to the world. William Paca, Charles Bellini, Philip Mazzei, and Joseph F. Vigo were but few Italians physically present during those years. John Fabbroni, and John and Cesare Beccaria, on the other hand, did more to inspire men such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams than is generally known." The book seems to have basically one thing on its mind, namely demonstrating that Beccaria's 1764 work "Dei delitti e delle pene" ("An Essay on Crimes and Punishments") "may have been the single most influential book of the second half of the eighteenth century, having influenced both Europeans and Americans of the Revolutionary period." The bulk of the present volume, in fact, is devoted to a facsimile reproduction of a copy of the English-language edition -- not just any copy, mind you, but the copy that had belonged to John Adams himself. The author's comments and notes are appended thereto, and also published in this volume (purportedly for the first time) is an Italian translation of the Declaration of Independence -- which includes "six entries which give additional information not found in the final edition adopted by Congress." (Say what? There was *more* stuff that the Blues and the Reds could still be fighting over today?) All in all, an interesting alternate take on the birth of the nation, although I'm not enough of an historian to say whether the author's quasi-conspiracy theory (which claims that "our American scholars have disregarded this part of Americana even though there are abundant documents to attest to a most fertile activity and interaction") really holds water. (And maybe it's just me, but when I see John Adams and Thomas Jefferson so prominently featured on the dust jacket, it raises the question: "Wait, Adams and Jefferson were two of our Italian Founding Fathers?" Who knew?! Next thing you know, somebody'll be claiming that Barack Obama is half a white guy!) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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