Fa10_4005In 1894 Italian realist painter Raffaello Gambogi turned his brush to a common scene in his hometown of Leghorn, Italy: men—husbands, fathers?—bidding farewell before embarking for the Americas or elsewhere to earn higher wages. Associate history professor Mark I. Choate’s new book, Emigrant Nation: The Making of Italy Abroad, features this image on the cover and tells of the 13 million Italians who, between 1880 and 1915, launched the largest migration from any country in world history. As Italy reacted to this exodus, expatriates established “Little Italys” abroad.

Published by Harvard University Press and awarded the Council for European Studies Book Award and the American Catholic History Association’s Howard R. Marraro Prize, Emigrant Nation looks at 19th- and 20th-century immigration issues that uncannily parallel today’s debates.