Date Published: 2021
Book ID: 91
2021 / hardcover / 536 pp. / index / 9 ½ x 12 inches / profusely illustrated with b/w & color images / $50.00
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This book is long overdue. In 2001, the descendant of a hero of national independence and a leading Dominican intellectual, Marcio Veloz Maggiolo published an article entitled “Italians in Dominican life,” in which he reviewed the most illustrious Italians in the Dominican Republic. He pointed out that his discussion served primarily to “focus attention on a community that has been fundamental in Dominican life, in its history and in the formation of its national identity.” The Italian community has been instrumental in forming a number of the identifying characteristics of the country by helping to build the political, social, economic, and cultural structures that have played a part in moulding the current Dominican Republic: from the establishment of the Navy and active involvement in the all-important quest for national independence to strengthening the Catholic Church, the educational system, and the economy; participating in the first free elections; creating the first newspaper; defining architecture, and sketching the borders of culture through art, cinema, music, and literature. It was, therefore, important to produce a book that seriously studies the various expressions of Italian influence in the Dominican Republic.
The combination of contributions, images and texts, from a variety of voices present in the book allow us to understand the essence of the Italian cultural heritage in the Dominican Republic. A picture emerges of the Dominican Republic as a country with structures forged by centuries of communication with Italian immigrants and as a country capable of creating opportunities at an international level, owing to its engagement in international dialogue since its foundation.
“Many stories of the richness and depth of the history of friendship and ties between Italy and the Dominican Republic have come to light, thanks in no small part to the work of this book’s forty-five authors. I felt like an archaeologist faced with wonderful and fully intact testimonies, though hidden by the passage of time, which had to be rediscovered and brought to light like an ancient temple hidden in the forest. But unlike an archaeological discovery, what is found here is not a dead ruin but a living résumé of the cultural, political, religious, educational, economic, technological, and social histories of real individuals that even today constitute one of the cornerstones of the Dominican Republic’s cultural identity with which Italians so strongly identify.”
Ambassador of Italy to the Dominican Republic
The Italian Legacy in the Dominican Republic presents 47 original essays, which are richly illustrated with black-and-white and color images and photographs. These essays are organized into five thematic sections—two of which are further subdivided into six topics:
a. General Subjects
b. Columbus and the Sixteenth Century
c. Ecclesiastical History
d. Political History
a. Colonial Architecture
b. Modern Architecture
3. Literature and the Arts
4. Economics and Science
5. Journalism, Law and Society
ABOUT THE EDITOR:
Andrea Canepari has served as Ambassador of Italy to the Dominican Republic since 2017. In 2018, he promoted a cultural year program with more than 120 events, which were held in conjunction with institutions, companies, universities, and local cultural centers, to celebrate 120 years of diplomatic relations between Italy and the Dominican Republic. In 2019, he spearheaded another cultural year program to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the first resident bishop in Santo Domingo, the Italian Alessandro Geraldini. The celebrations of these two cultural years highlighted the significant common history that Italy and the Dominican Republic share, while creating new opportunities for future collaboration.
Ambassador Canepari previously served as the First Secretary of Political Affairs and Relations with the United States Congress at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C. (2006-2010), as Deputy for the North American Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2013), and as Consul General of Italy in Philadelphia (2013-2017). In 2016, he was the recipient of the 2016 “Global Philadelphia Award” from Temple University, which recognizes outstanding enhancement of international relations for the city of Philadelphia.
His publications include (with Luca Molinari) The Italian Legacy in Washington, D.C.: Architecture, Design, Art and Culture (Milan: Skira, 2007) and (with Judith Goode) The Italian Legacy in Philadelphia: History, Culture, People and Ideas (Temple University Press, 2021).