A PASSION FOR SICILIANS by Jerre Mangione

A PASSION FOR SICILIANS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This investigates the life and hard tittles of Danilo Dolci, a Sicilian social revolutionary who has been labeled everything from ""a saint"" (Aldous Huxley) to ""impractical do-gooder"" to ""Communist spy."" Dolci, a practical Gandhian, has used similar tactics in his anti-poverty, shape-up Sicily campaign--fasting, demonstrations, pamphleteering. Why is he viewed with such occasional indifference, hostility and suspicion by many of his fellow countrymen? To explain, Mr. Mangione, who conducted his study on a Fulbright, presents a very personal, but compelling view of the country. Sicily is a land which dissipates its energies in misplaced pride and passion: it's a land which (in some cases justifiably) mistrusts its priests and decorates its curiously pagan principles in Catholic trappings; a land corrupt, violent, dominated by the mafioso, enthusiastic over its ""crimes of honor""; a people ""willingly entrapped by the past and its values."" They do not understand Dolci's altruism, hate the social upheaval he represents and his toppling of their stubbornly romantic pedestals. Certainly interesting. . . . Mangione's book might have had much more value were it not for James McNeish's earlier, excellent Fire Under the Ashes (1966).

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1968
Publisher: Morrow