A Passion for Sicilians: The World Around Danilo Dolci

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Transaction Publishers, Jan 1, 1985 - Social Science - 384 pages
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Danilo Dolci is the renowned "Gandhi of Sicily." Since 1952 he has conducted a nonviolent crusade against the misery and violence of Western Sicily. A Passion for Sicilians portrays his struggles against official apathy and Mafia pressure, his long series of hunger strikes to arouse the public conscience, and his calls for measures to eradicate poverty. The book also brings to life the people of Partinico, the fascinating neighbors Mangione knew on Via Emma. We meet a Mafia killer, the Cardinal of Sicily, a Sicilian princess who defies the law as she spreads the gospel of family planning, and the denizens of Palermo's infamous slums. Written in a highly engrossing style, this book is an exciting rendition of an old world groping toward new values.

Jerre Mangione is professor emeritus of American literature at the University of Pennsylvania. During his sojurn in Italy in 1965, he was a member of Dolci's staff and one of his closest confidants. Mangione is the author of nine other books.

 

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Contents

A Proem to Danilo Dolci
1
Who Would Fast For the Romans?
23
Danilo Among Disciples
41
Partinico Scene
64
The Occupation of the Piazza
77
March for a Dying Valley
97
Days in Western Sicily
118
Artichokes Hope and Violence
153
Crisis at the Dam
247
For or Against the Mafia?
266
The Killers of Carnevale
274
Edoardo the Peacemaker
284
Journey Around Sicily
296
Encounters in Palermo
321
The Passion of Danilo Dolci
345
Afterword
367

Uneasy Spring
173
Easter in Agrigento
220
A Visiting Madonna
238
Twenty Years Later
371
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Page xiv - There are difficult moments and one feels overwhelmed. But it's senseless to speak of optimism or pessimism. The only important thing is to know that if one works well in a potato field, the potatoes will grow. If one works well among men, they will grow. That's reality. The rest is smoke. It's important to know that words don't move mountains. Work, exacting work, moves mountains.
Page xvi - Somehow, in Sicily, in South America, in much of Asia, individual initiative must be reclaimed, a refusal to bow to that which has been inevitable for centuries must be developed in the minds of the people. Whether or not Dolci is more St. Francis of Assisi or PT Barnum, he has undeniably done much to bring forth this spirit of rebirth in the land and people he loves.

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