Antonio’s Story

Coming of Age on the Battlefields of WW II

by Linda Buzzeo Best


Book Details

His landing craft in position, he moved forward, his heart pulsating. This is not how I envisioned my return to Italy, he thought… He waded toward his beloved country, which he had not seen in over six years, and stepped on to it, tears in his eyes…, the duality of his identity sundered by violent invasion. Duty and country. But which country, his heart cried!

In 1938 amid the buildup to world war, seventeen-year-old Antonio leaves Mussolini’s Italy for the U.S. at his parents’ urging, traveling alone. Antonio immediately and irrevocably finds affinity for his new world and American values. He seizes opportunities newly available to him and radically redirects the trajectory of his life. A testament to human resilience, Antonio’s Story, Coming of Age on the Battlefields of WW II, offers a compelling account of Antonio’s transformation from teenager to Italian American war hero through gripping scenes revealing his nature and character. The book is not a war narrative. Rather it’s the author’s sensitive re-creation of her father’s story as he and family members told it. Her treatment of the wartime and post-war Italian American immigrant experience will pull readers into the fears, joys, and challenges that shaped Antonio’s life and the lives of the more than one million non-citizen Italian immigrants who fought against their homeland as U.S. soldiers. Antonio’s Story will stand out in literature as one of few books that celebrate a population of immigrants who served in the war and then returned to become an integral part of American Society.


About the Author

Linda Buzzeo Best

Dr. Linda Best, Professor Emerita of English/Writing at Kean Univ, NJ, has written and published in many genres, from Academic Writing to Non-Fiction and Fiction, and continues her work in the field as a writing coach, editor, and instructor of Writing Memoir. Linda enjoys international travel, gardening, exercise, and time with her family. She currently resides in the American South with her husband of fifty years.