What's Worth Watching: Italian Americans Making It Big

Aubry D'Arminio
Courtesy of PBS

The Italian Americas

The Italian Americans, "Loyal Americans (1930-1945)" and "The American Dream (1945-present)" (Tuesday, Feb. 24, 9/8c, PBS)

Last week, The Italian Americans revealed why so many men and women left Italy for the United States in the early 20th century and how they assimilated (for better or worse) into a new culture. Tonight's final two installments show how the kids of those brave travelers made good on their parents' sacrifice, using a few famous examples. In "Loyal Americans (1930-1945)," Joe DiMaggio grows up to be baseball's biggest star. And scores of young Italian American men fight in World War II, despite their parents (including the DiMaggios) being labeled "Enemy Aliens" back home. In "The American Dream (1945-present)," Frank Sinatra wins an Oscar, Dean Martin croons his way to stardom, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House. Yet some feel mafia stereotypes still linger. As soon as you think they're out…