The American Inspiration author series by American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical presents the celebrated author with his latest work, “Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob.” Guest moderator: author Alexander Stille of Columbia Journalism School.
Praised for his incisive works of narrative history, Russell Shorto (“The Island at the Center of the World,” “Revolution Song”) never thought to write about his own past. He grew up “knowing” about his grandfather and namesake, but he maintained an unspoken family vow of silence. Then an elderly relative prodded: “You’re a writer—what are you gonna do about ‘the story’”? Enlisting the help of his ailing father, Shorto traces his family’s history from a brawny postwar factory town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, back to an ancient, dusty, hill-town in Risorgimento Sicily; and documents three generations of the American immigrant experience. Don’t miss hearing about his family, the mob, and “Smalltime” – a moving, wryly funny, and irresistible memoir by a masterful writer of historical narrative.