Tim Devin
Mutuo Soccorso!: Boston's Italian Mutual Aid Societies in the Early 1900s
$ 11.00

Tim Devin is arguably the most dedicated researcher working in zines right now, and his series of radical history zines are testaments to what's possible in the zine form. Mutuo Soccorso! is a highly accessible tome that—like all of his work—looks at the Boston area as both a place with its own complex history, and as a microcosm of the country as a whole.

"In the early 1900s, there were over 150 Italian mutual aid societies in the Boston area. They provided Italian immigrants with much-needed social and material support, and quickly expanded to become visible forces in the local Italian community—hosting parades and public celebrations, and raising money for causes. A hundred years later, these Italian mutual aid societies are all but forgotten—and were nothing more than vague family stories for author Tim Devin, whose ancestors were members of some of these societies. As mutual aid groups sprouted up again during the pandemic, Tim remembered his family's stories, and started doing some digging. Drawing on material from archival records, books, local Italian-language newspapers, and good old-fashioned microfilm, Tim takes us on a trip through this almost-lost history. Along the way, we learn how these societies operated, where they came from, where they went—and where they went wrong.

92 pages, half-letter size. Illustrations by Pat Falco, a Boston artist who is also descended from members of Boston's Italian mutual aid societies.

categories: tags: