Plenty of tales of heroism have been shared about the Second World War, but few illustrate the anxiety and injustices endured on U.S. soil.
Dick is a fatherless boy and the only man in a household of nine. Anthony is your average Italian kid from Boyle Heights. He’s courting Stevie’s baby sister, Lucy. Stevie’s a go-getter whose reality is carved by his father’s sink or swim devotion to LA business. Frankie’s a glamor guy attending USC and the privileged son of a notorious Sicilian gambling tzar. His kid sister Anna fears the same fate as the Japanese. War was never part of the plan. But more than simple war ties them.
Italian-Americans made up the largest ethnic group to serve, yet sadly, more than half a million of their relatives living stateside became “enemy aliens.” The Fight Abroad honors the military service of Los Angeles Italians, while The Fear Back Home centers on the hardships they faced along the California coast— property seizure, curfew and travel restrictions, forced relocation, shame, and even internment.
The quiet stigma is no longer hidden.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
J. Michael Niotta is an Iraqi Freedom veteran with over seventeen years of military service. The author of The Los Angeles Sugar Ring pens a column on early LA for the popular National Crime Syndicate website and has lectured at the Las Vegas Mob & Law Enforcement Museum. He is engaged in various projects, including a biography on his great grandfather, Jack Dragna, and a co-authored early history of organized crime in Southern California with esteemed mafia researcher, Richard N. Warner. The former touring musician is also a mixed-media artist and President of the El Rey Breweriana & Homebrewers Club.