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Series: Vernon Series in World History Series covering all aspects of World History.

Lionello Perera: An Italian Banker and Patron in New York

Diego Mantoan, University of Palermo, Italy

June 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-442-8
Availability: In stock
227pp. [Color] ¦ $99 £73 €82

The book presents the long-lost biography of Lionello Perera, principal banker, patron, and philanthropist of the Italian American community in New York at the inception of the twentieth century. Born and raised in Venice, Lionello Perera took over his uncle’s financial activity in Wall Street and developed the family business into a stronghold of the Italian American community. His remarkable career led him to become the Vice President of Bank of America in 1928 as an associate of California born Amadeo P. Giannini, while he also was instrumental to the political success of New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Recognised as a true founding father of the Italian American community of the East Coast, he supported welfare societies and public hospitals to foster the integration of Italian immigrants. A close friend of star conductor Arturo Toscanini, Lionello Perera and his wife Carolyn Allen Perera turned into influential music patrons for Italian and Jewish musicians. Their unique Art Deco house in the Upper East Side became an epicentre of the New York music world, showcasing the banker’s refined art collection that matched the taste of J. Pierpont Morgan and Samuel H. Kress. The book relies on unprecedented archival material rendering justice to the relevance Lionello Perera holds as a contributor to the political, social, and cultural integration of Italians in the USA. It offers an innovative perspective that considers the tight interrelation of Italian Americans of the East Coast with ongoing events in their country of origin. Lionello Perera’s life highlights the silent contribution of Italian Americans to change the US banking system and help the integration of Italian immigrants in their new country. Hence, the main audience are students and scholars interested in the history of immigration, banking history, Italian American culture as well as music studies and art history.

Lionello Perera: An Italian Banker and Patron in New York

Diego Mantoan, University of Palermo, Italy

June 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-441-1
Availability: In stock
227pp. ¦ $66 £48 €55

The book presents the long-lost biography of Lionello Perera, principal banker, patron, and philanthropist of the Italian American community in New York at the inception of the twentieth century. Born and raised in Venice, Lionello Perera took over his uncle’s financial activity in Wall Street and developed the family business into a stronghold of the Italian American community. His remarkable career led him to become the Vice President of Bank of America in 1928 as an associate of California born Amadeo P. Giannini, while he also was instrumental to the political success of New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Recognised as a true founding father of the Italian American community of the East Coast, he supported welfare societies and public hospitals to foster the integration of Italian immigrants. A close friend of star conductor Arturo Toscanini, Lionello Perera and his wife Carolyn Allen Perera turned into influential music patrons for Italian and Jewish musicians. Their unique Art Deco house in the Upper East Side became an epicentre of the New York music world, showcasing the banker’s refined art collection that matched the taste of J. Pierpont Morgan and Samuel H. Kress. The book relies on unprecedented archival material rendering justice to the relevance Lionello Perera holds as a contributor to the political, social, and cultural integration of Italians in the USA. It offers an innovative perspective that considers the tight interrelation of Italian Americans of the East Coast with ongoing events in their country of origin. Lionello Perera’s life highlights the silent contribution of Italian Americans to change the US banking system and help the integration of Italian immigrants in their new country. Hence, the main audience are students and scholars interested in the history of immigration, banking history, Italian American culture as well as music studies and art history.

Legacies of Ancient Greece in Contemporary Perspectives

Edited by Thomas M. F. Gerry, Laurentian University

April 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-111-3
Availability: In stock
314pp. ¦ $83 £65 €72

'Legacies of Ancient Greece in Contemporary Perspectives' provides readers with opportunities to reconnect with the origins of thought in an astonishingly wide variety of areas: politics, economics, art, spirituality, gender relations, medicine, literature, philosophy, music, and so on. As the chapters in the book show, Classical Greek thought still informs much of contemporary culture. There are countless books and articles that deal with ancient Greece historically, and a similar number that focus on Greece as a contemporary travel destination. There is both a lot of interest in Greece as a place now, and in Greece’s history and culture, which formed the early origins of much of Western civilisation. The distinctive attraction of 'Legacies of Ancient Greece in Contemporary Perspectives' is that it brings together, by means of fascinating examples, the two areas of interest: Greece’s past in relation to its, and our, present. In addition to the general interest factor, the book suggests questions for re-examination: the individual chapters provide abundant original research on their subjects, and in most cases offer critiques on the assumptions about, and the interpretations of, Greece’s ancient and contemporary cultural practices. These challenges themselves stimulate far-reaching thought and discussion, a feature highly attractive to readers (and students) wishing to develop a more in-depth understanding of the legacies of ancient Greece.

The Holy Warrior: Osama Bin Laden and his Jihadi Journey in the Soviet-Afghan War

Reagan Fancher, University of North Texas

January 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-397-1
Availability: In stock
206pp. ¦ $59 £43 €49

Fought between 1979 and 1989, the Soviet-Afghan War provided vital combat experience for Osama bin Laden and his senior lieutenants in al-Qaeda, allowing them to hone their newly acquired skills in guerrilla warfare to later support Islamist insurgencies worldwide. Yet the ruthless al-Qaeda chief’s success depended on the Soviet leadership’s reluctant prolonging of its military occupation out of fear of leaving Afghanistan in hostile hands. As relative latecomers to the ferocious Afghan frontlines, the inexperienced Arab fighters benefitted militarily from the combat training unwittingly provided by their Soviet foes. After skillfully obtaining this command and battle experience by working within the wartime atmosphere, bin Laden channeled al-Qaeda’s efforts in a global jihadi campaign targeting a second superpower and its allies. While allegations of U.S. support for the Arab jihadis have contributed to a popular image of bin Laden and al-Qaeda as C.I.A. creations, the historical facts appear to demonstrate that the combat opportunities provided by the Soviet occupation forces played a far larger role in transforming them into seasoned guerrilla fighters. In contrast to the dozens of previous works on bin Laden and al-Qaeda, this book is the first to focus primarily on the Soviet-Afghan War’s impact on training the Arab fighters from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere, in battle, and preparing them to export their guerrilla war to assist their comrades in their native countries. As a teaching tool that re-examines and clarifies the impact of bin Laden’s wartime actions, this book will be particularly useful to scholars of history and international relations seeking to acquire and spread new knowledge in the classroom and to better understand the origins of al-Qaeda’s deadly skills and martial resilience. It offers an opportunity for today’s decision-makers to learn from history and avoid creating new generations of bin Ladens.

As political soldiers we face Moscow’s hordes: Dutch volunteers in the Waffen-SS

Evertjan van Roekel

September 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-133-5
Availability: In stock
396pp. ¦ $74 £54 €61

During the Second World War, approximately 25,000 Dutchmen served within the ranks of the military branch of the German SS: the Waffen-SS. They volunteered to fight to secure the victory of Nazi Germany. These Dutch volunteers fought mainly on the Eastern Front, and to a lesser extent, within their own national borders. After the war, the Allied victors regarded them as part of a criminal organization and jointly responsible for the atrocious transgressions of the Nazi regime. In the Netherlands, these men were reviled, branded as traitors and became pariahs in their own country. Those who had devoted themselves to the Nazi regime caused so much grief to the Netherlands that they had to be held accountable. Despite their military achievements, their reputation was damaged forever. The Netherlands supplied the largest contingent of SS soldiers from the occupied North-western European territories. Who were these people? What led them to enlist, and what were the consequences of their choice? An important part of this study involves the autobiographical texts of nineteen Dutch volunteers in the Waffen-SS. These ego-documents recount their own immediate experiences and are mainly fragments from diaries, but there are also letters, individual notes, and memoirs. The ego-documents are placed within the larger historical context to provide an answer to the question of whether these men were only ideologically motivated and unconditional Nazi sympathizers, and for this, their criminal records are also researched. Among other topics, the book discusses their choice to enlist, their experiences at the front, and their involvement in genocide, providing a new perspective on the Eastern Front.

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