My great-grandfather Louis Corsiglia emigrated to the United States as a boy from Genoa, and he was a lifelong anti-imperialist Democrat. So it followed from those two things that a dictum of his was that “A Sicilian is no more an Italian than a Filipino is an American.” In its way, it’s a phrase from a lost world. If you know that Genoa is in the far north of Italy, and Sicily the uttermost south, then you get the picture. But what’s the connection between Filipinos and Americans?
My guest Christoper Capozzola’s book Bound by War: How the United States and the Philippines Built America’s First Pacific Century is a long answer to that question about conections. In 2011, the Obama Administration announced that the United States would be making a “pivot” to the Pacific. But as Capozzzola makes clear, the United States has always always been involved in the Pacific, and the Phillippines has always been near the heart of that involvement.
Christopher Capozzola is professor of history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology He has previously authored the award-winning Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen, and is a co-curator of “The Volunteers: Americans Join World War I, 1914-1919,” a traveling exhibition that originated at The National WWI Museum and Memorial—which devoted listeners to the podcast will know I think is one of the best history museums in the country.
For Further Investigation
Bound by War: the Instagram account