George De Stefano

My Works

Rabih Alameddine ("An Unnecessary Woman," "The Hakawati") talks about his sixth novel, "The Angel of History," and about the German-Jewish Marxist literary critic Walter Benjamin, the “othering” of Arabs in Western societies, and contemporary gay life, among other matters.
Commentary on the life and political career of Frank Barbaro, the former Brooklyn dockworker and labor organizer who became a New York State representative and Supreme Court justice.
Interview with Booker Prize winner Marlon James, author of "A Brief History of 7 Killings"
Veteran advocate Robert Gangi says that policing in New York City is "institutional bullying."
New York's queen of performance art creates a new show from some shocking family discoveries
Op-ed from I-Italy: Real estate values over human values, as an Italian American museum evicts an elderly Italian woman
Remembrance of the late Cosimo Matassa, who recorded many of the great R&B and rock 'n roll hits that defined the New Orleans Sound.
Noted author Richard Campanella recounts the turbulent and colorful history of New Orleans' most famous entertainment and tourism district
Veteran New York left-wing politico Frank Barbaro recalls his radical life, from the Brooklyn waterfront to the New York State Supreme Court
Music Reviews
Review of "Blue and Lonesome" by the Rolling Stones
The older she gets, the better she gets. Review of Lucinda Williams' 2016 double album, "The Ghosts of Highway 20"
A Carolina Chocolate Drop takes center stage
Review essay from Rootsworld (the magazine of the music of the world) about two African music compilations from the Hugh Tracey archives and Tracey's ethnomusicology
Cultural Criticism and Reporting
Italy's biggest folk/world music festival changes direction by returning to its roots for its 19th edition.
The US publisher and translator, and two critics discuss the pseudonymous Italian author "Elena Ferrante" and her gripping Neapolitan novels.
"A Finook in the Crew: Vito Spatafore, The Sopranos, and the Queering of the Mafia Genre" (from The Essential Sopranos Reader
Book Reviews
What was unique and liberating about the gay influence on Western culture? Gregory Woods tells only part of the story.
Review essay of historian Enzo Traverso's "Fire and Blood"
Review essay about The WikiLeaks Files (PopMatters)
Music Features
Sicilian jazz saxophonist Francesco Cafiso thrills the audience-- and this critiic -- in a 2016 concert at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York
Profile of New Orleans producer, songwriter and performer Carlo Ditta (PopMatters)
A roundup of great New Orleans pianists, from Jelly Roll Morton to Davell Crawford
Howlin' Wolf's "Rocking Chair" album -- a track-by-track appraisal of a blues classic (PopMatters)
An Interview with jazz master Joe Lovano
Film Criticism
Essay from "Mafia Movies" (University of Toronto)
A personal essay about my first trip to Sicily (from VIA, Voices in Italian Americana)
"Finally, a book that helps to explain America’s enduring fascination with the mythology of the Mafia."

Welcome to My Website

Author, Journalist, Critic

I am an author, journalist, and critic living in New York City. I have contributed features, reviews, essays, and opinion pieces to a wide range of print and digital publications. My ruling passions are culture and the arts (especially music, movies, and theater), politics, social science, social and political theory. I have written about all these topics, for such publications as The Nation, Film Comment, Newsday, Gay City News, The Advocate, Cineaste, In These Times, The Italian American Review and Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. I also am a contributor to the online publications PopMatters, The New York Journal of Books, Rootsworld, La Voce di New York and I-Italy.

My well-reviewed non-fiction book , "An Offer We Can’t Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America," explores some of my longstanding preoccupations as a writer: cultural mythologies and their social impact; ethnic identity and stereotypes; popular culture, especially film, and how such social categories as race, class, sexuality and gender interact in American society. I am a contributing author to many other books, including The Essential Sopranos Reader (University of Kentucky Presses), Mafia Movies (University of Toronto), Our Naked Lives (Bordighera Press) and the forthcoming Routledge History of the Italian Americans (2017).

I am a public speaker/​conference presenter as well as a media consultant. I have spoken at conferences in the US and abroad, on ethnicity and immigration, film, music, and literature. I have been a consultant to, and onscreen presence in, several documentaries, including "The Italian Americans " (PBS, 2015); The Godfather Legacy (History Channel, 2013), and "Beyond Wiseguys" (PBS, 2008).

As an Italian translator, I contributed to Italoamericana (Fordham University Press), a major volume of historical scholarship.

I currently am developing several projects, including a new nonfiction book.

Agents and publishers -- if my work and areas of expertise interest you, please get in touch via this website.

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