George de Stefano

Copy Editor, Developmental Editor, Editor, Writer

Writer and editor specializing in nonfiction (books, feature articles, reviews, essays) for print and online publications.

I am a writer and editor living in Long Island City, NY. My 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 Routledge History of the Italian Americans , The Essential Sopranos Reader (University of Kentucky Presses), Mafia Movies (University of Toronto), and Our Naked Lives (Bordighera Press).

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).

I currently am developing several projects, including a new nonfiction book.
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Article, Interview, Website Copy, Press Release
More Information
Hunter College School of Social Work, MSW
King's College, BA
Long Island City|English, Italian
Publications

Published Content

14
A Brief History of 7 Killings: Interview with Man Booker prize winner Marlon James
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A Brief History of 7 Killings: Interview with Man Booker prize winner Marlon James

When Marlon James won Britain’s prestigious Man Booker Prize for fiction in October, it came as a surprise to many — including the 44-year-old, out gay Jamaican author. James won for “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” a long, violent, sexually explicit, and altogether brilliant novel that takes off from the 1976 attempted assassination of reggae icon Bob Marley to encompass the CIA-backed destabilization of Jamaica during the latter years of the Cold War; political warfare in the ghettos of Kingston, the island’s capital; the crack cocaine scourge of the ‘80s and early ‘90s; and sexuality — and particularly homosexuality.

The Routledge History of Italian Americans
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The Routledge History of Italian Americans

I contributed the essay, "Fuori per sempre: Italian American Gays and Lesbians Come Out," to this landmark volume of historical scholarship. In 2019, it will be published in Italy, in an Italian-language version.

October, 5 2017
An Offer We Can't Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America
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An Offer We Can't Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America

My nonfiction book, An Offer We Can't Refuse: The Mafia in the Mind of America, examines the "Mafia myth" in popular culture and explains the dangerous allure of organized crime stories.

August, 18 2014
Rosanne Cash and Her Peculiar South
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Rosanne Cash and Her Peculiar South

At the start of her Carnegie Hall show, Rosanne Cash happily announced, "This is a hometown gig, the best kind there is, in the best city in the world." New York might not exactly be her hometown — she was born in Memphis — but Cash has lived in the Big Apple for nearly 25 years since leaving Nashville, so she's earned the bragging rights. What seemed a bit ironic about her remark was that her concert was all about the American South, where she was born and raised, and particularly the Mississippi Delta. The first half of the two-and-a-half-hour show was devoted to The River and the Thread, the album that won Cash the Best Americana Grammy in 2015. Cash performed the album in sequence, from "A Feather is Not a Bird" to "Money Road", something she said she'd wanted to do with her work for 35 years but had never done before.

12 Piano Professors of New Orleans
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12 Piano Professors of New Orleans

New Orleans is famous for its great piano players, from Jelly Roll Morton to Professor Longhair to James Booker to Dr. John. This article focuses on 12 New Orleans piano masters and their great performances.

Face Forward and Forgetting
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Face Forward and Forgetting

The correspondences between Lebanese-American author Rabih Alameddine's fiction and his life notwithstanding, his books are not merely autobiographical. They instead are richly imagined and superbly written works that dive headlong into our chaotic contemporary world and, through the enchantment of storytelling, give form and meaning to lives fragmented by violence, displacement, and disease.

Nativity Scene
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Nativity Scene

"Throughout my life, I have been searching for a way to connect with other human beings," writes Tobias Schneebaum. That search for human connection has led him--a New Yorker born on the Lower East Side to Orthodox Jews from Poland; a painter and a gay man--to live among people who couldn't have been more different from himself: cannibal and headhunting tribes in the jungles of South America and New Guinea. Schneebaum is best known for his first book, Keep the River on Your Right (1969), an engrossing, often astonishing account of his experiences among a tribe living a Stone Age existence deep in the Madre de Dios rainforest of eastern Peru. In 1956, Schneebaum, a successful painter, was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study art in Peru. But once he arrived there, he abandoned his studies to venture, alone and unarmed, into the jungle. A knapsack on his back, sneakers on his feet and the admonition to "keep the river on your right" to guide him as he walked, he was unprepared for what he might encounter yet open to whatever might come his way.

hetrick-martin launches comprehensive youth services initiative for LGBT youth
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hetrick-martin launches comprehensive youth services initiative for LGBT youth

The Hetrick-Martin Institute, the premier NYC agency serving gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, launched an innovative city-wide initiative

Serpico Part II A Documentary about an Icon.pdf
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Serpico Part II A Documentary about an Icon.pdf

"People have been trying to make this movie for more than 40 years," says filmmaker Antonino D'Ambrosio. The movie in question, and the one D'Ambrosio has made, is Frank Serpico, a new documentary about the maverick police officer who, in the early 1970s, exposed rampant corruption in the New York City Police Department. D'Ambrosio's film not only reconstructs Serpico's efforts to uncover the malfeasance that reached from the NYPD rank and file to the department's upper echelons. Frank Serpico is an engrossing examination of courage, moral commitment, and the costs of such commitment in a society that too often marginalizes those who challenge abuses of power by institutions like the police.

Contrary to popular belief, the blues were not born on the Mississippi Delta
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Contrary to popular belief, the blues were not born on the Mississippi Delta

The blues was born in the Mississippi Delta, fathered by black men who sang and played guitars, and these men took the music to Chicago, where they and their successors turned southern folk blues into electrified urban music that black people danced to in South Side clubs and white British rock bands later built careers (and fortunes) on. For a long time, that origin story was the prevailing popular notion about the birth of the blues. But it’s all wrong, as recent scholarship has shown. In their revelatory The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville, Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff locate the music’s origins in the early 20th century, southern black vaudeville circuit.

The Poetics of Displacement – La Voce di New York.pdf
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The Poetics of Displacement – La Voce di New York.pdf

Many Italians regard the refugees and migrant workers who have been arriving in large numbers on Italian shores, mainly in Sicily, as a threat — to Italy's economy, its culture, its demographics, and even its national identity. The newcomers seen as most threatening are Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East. Politicians, right-wing anti-immigrant organizations, and ordinary Italians decry their presence, demonize them, and demand that the influx be reduced or stopped entirely. But who are the actual human beings who often are reduced to a horde of faceless invaders? Why do they keep coming, and what happens to them when they arrive? Michelle Messina Reale set out to answer those questions by documenting the lives of people in Sicilian refugee camps and "acceptance" centers.

The World of Captain Beefheart
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The World of Captain Beefheart

From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered "The World of Captain Beefheart" and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band. It's a late September night in Manhattan, and downtown venue Joe's Pub is presenting a quartet plus vocalist performing songs by Don Van Vliet, who, under the moniker Captain Beefheart, and with a shifting roster of musicians who made up his Magic Band, created perhaps the most idiosyncratic — and original — body of work in what can loosely be called rock. Van Vliet's music, from his debut album Safe as Milk (1967) to his final recording, Ice Cream for Crow (1982), was a unique mix of blues, R&B, free jazz, doowop, and surreal poetry

October: The Story of the Russian Revolution
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October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

October, by the British author China Miéville, is a gripping account of the Russian Revolution that offers the pleasures and rewards of a great novel. Miéville is, in fact, a gifted fiction writer of mainly science fiction and fantasy. His many works include the novels King Rat (1998), The City and the City (2010), Embassytown (2012), and Railsea (2013), and the novella This Census-Taker (2017). So, the literary brilliance of October doesn't come as a surprise. The book has vividly drawn characters, high drama, suspense, and an irresistible narrative momentum that sweeps the reader along from the first page to the tragic – but not inevitable – conclusion.

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