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Book details
  • Genre:BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781667801018
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667801001

When Gertrude Came, I Wasn't Home

Musings on My Early Life

by Vincent L. Marando

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Overview
"When Gertrude Came, I Wasn't Home" is the story of the child of immigrants living in Buffalo, NY. Sickened by a pandemic, he labored in the fields, picking berries and beans. Despite the adversity, he found his way to the American dream, eventually earning his Ph.D. and going on to become a full professor at one of the nation's top public universities. This is the story of Vincent L. Marando – the son of Sicilian immigrants, a polio victim, a competitive swimmer, and – eventually – a successful professor of political science. This is a story that takes place from 1938 to 1952. This is a story of the ways America has dramatically changed, and not changed at all.
Description
"When Gertrude Came, I Wasn't Home" is the story of the child of immigrants living in Buffalo, NY. Sickened by a pandemic, he labored in the fields, picking berries and beans. Despite the adversity, he found his way to the American dream, eventually earning his Ph.D. and going on to become a full professor at one of the nation's top public universities. This is the story of Vincent L. Marando – the son of Sicilian immigrants, a polio victim, a competitive swimmer, and – eventually – a successful professor of political science. This is a story that takes place from 1938 to 1952. This is a story of the ways America has dramatically changed, and not changed at all. At its most basic level, this compelling story introduces us to Vince's colorful immediate and extended family and explores the events of his childhood that had a profound impact on his adult life. We meet toddler Vince (and his family) coping with polio and its after-effects. We meet a young child exploring his world with his friends – including going to a wake or two. And we meet the 'tween Vince, finding out that his work ethic could take him to new heights in athletics and in scholarship. But this story is about so much more than one man's coming-of-age: it is the story of how America has dealt with pandemics, immigration, the census, and the challenges of fulfilling "the American dream" as we have moved from the 20th century into the new millennium. This is a story for anyone who is interested in understanding the ways that we have changed, and the ways we haven't really changed at all – even though things look very different than they did 80 years ago. This is a quick, compelling read that transports the reader into the charm and challenges of a world that is now gone, but that still offers us much to think about today.
About the author
Vincent L. Marando, Ph.D., was born in Buffalo, NY in 1938. "When Gertrude Came, I Wasn't Home" is the story of the first part of his life, from birth to age 14. There is no one else who could tell the story of this time and this place in quite this way. After growing up in Buffalo's public schools and completing his undergraduate studies at what was then Buffalo State College (now SUNY – Buffalo State), Vince went on to pursue the Ph.D. in Political Science at Michigan State University. From there, he secured faculty positions at the University of Arizona, the University of Georgia, and he completed his professional career as a Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. His professional focus was on American politics generally and the study of state and local governments in particular – these interests having emerged through his experiences as a young person in Buffalo in a time when the city was able to offer so much to its residents. Vince's lifetime of scholarship has given him a unique perspective from which to reflect on his own life. Vince understands and communicates that his story is a particular version of the American story, while connecting his personal experience with the broader experiences of Americans generally over the course of the last 80 years. In addition, a life of scholarly writing also prepared him to explore his life in a systemic way – but without losing the emotional content that has allowed him to create a compelling story that illuminates the beauty and the challenges of life in post-war Buffalo.
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