A Migrant Missionary Story: The Autobiography of Giacomo Gambera
Edited by Mary Elizabeth Brown
This English translation of the autobiography of Giacomo Gambera (1856-1934) provides insight into his life. Besides recalling his reactions to specific events, Gambera included in his memoirs the details of everyday situations. Thus, although he was a community leader, his memoirs provide a window into routine activities: what it was like to be an immigrant, to live in an urban Italian-American community, to participate in Italian Catholic religious life, and to grow old. His description of immigration preserved experiences many other Italian Catholic immigrants shared, beginning with that first glimpse of the ocean. Gambera’s memoirs have been published in the hopes that they will interest a historian of sensitivity, imagination, and creativity, who can find a meaning in his life for contemporary audiences.