Michael Parenti: Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life

Michael Parenti

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

with Michael Parenti
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Michael Parenti Blog
June 17, 2013

Jane Bouey
June 10, 2013

Interview with award-winning progressive political analyst and author Michael Parenti about his new memoir, “Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life.” Interviewed June 10 by Jane Bouey.

Download: coopradio.org/audio/download/27338/1370872800.mp3

(starts about 17:00 mins in)


Xena Crystal L.C. Huang Jun 19, 2013


Table of Contents of

WAITING FOR YESTERDAY: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life

by Michael Parenti

1/ Dear Reader (Yes, I’m Talking To You)

~ Part 1: The Family ~

2/ I Am Born Under Perilous Circumstances

3/ When Haarlem Became Harlem

4/ Grandma Marietta, Magic Healer

5/ Grandma Concetta, Midwife Healer

6/ Grandma Doesn’t Always Have to Be Italian

7/ The Old Men

8/ Grandfather Captivity

9/ Discovering Italy in America

10/ Why My Name is Not Joseph

11/ “La Famiglia, La Famiglia”

~ Part 2: Community and Friends ~

12/ “What’s a Slum?”

13/ “We Built This Country”

14/ The Struggle for Survival

15/ All Sorts of People

~ Part 3: The School ~

16/ “Eyes Glued to the Head in Front of You”

17/ The Teacher Creature

18/ School for Patriots

19/ Producing Proper Citizens

~ Part 4: Coming of Age Stuff ~

20/ The Natural Superiority of Girls

21/ Another Japanese War Atrocity

22/ Loving Miss Lynch

23/ The Undertaker’s Wife

~ Part 5: The Street ~

24/ Inventing Space

25/ Fighting with Friends

26/ Italian Names, American Games

27/ Bulls and Other Hustlers

28/ Casanova’s Descendants and Satchel Too

~ Part 6: Priests and Politicos ~

29/ Jesus Was a Roman Catholic

30/ Denunciation and Deliverance

31/ My First Protestant

32/ Someone Else to Remember

~ Part 7 Benito and the Old Country ~

33/ Living with Mussolini

34/ On the Trail of Benito’s “Shadow”

35/ How Italy “Won” World War I

36/ How Italy Also “Won” World War II

~ Part 8: Moving Along ~

37/ Outrunning the Dogs

38/ Bread Story

39/ Tony Faces the Irish

40/ From Tammany to Television

~ Part 9: The Media Mess ~

41/ Italian Stereotypes

42/ Gangsters and Banksters

43/ “Ah Mafioso”

~ Part 10: Goodbye Italian Harlem ~

44/ Italy Discovers Pizza

45/ “It’s in the Blood”

46/ Homage to Puglia

47/ Coming Home to Both Worlds


Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life


On these pages, fans of Michael Parenti’s insightful political and historical writings are given a revealing picture of his early years as a youth in New York’s East Harlem, along with some of the influences that helped shape his lifelong commitment to activism and social justice. Written with style and dash, Waiting for Yesterday is devilishly enjoyable and sometimes very touching. It provides delightful vignettes about growing up in a three-generation, working-class, Italian family, along with the amusing predicaments of a street kid’s life. The book offers a cast of diverse and colorful characters, brought to life on the gritty streets where Parenti played as a boy, set against a backdrop of impoverished tenements, stoops, punitive classrooms, and a neighborhood church with its ornate celestial offerings. This book is graced with both vivid imagery and sharp political observation. Parenti challenges many of the stereotypes faced by Italian Americans and other ethnic groups. Here is a story that is both personal and broad-ranging, often sweet and occasionally bitter, the human comedy at its best.

What others are saying about Waiting for Yesterday:

“Michael Parenti’s poignant and wonderfully written memoir proves that nostalgia—in the right hands such as his–can be a liberating force.”—Stanislao Pugliese, Distinguished Professor of Italian and Italian-American Studies

“I loved Parenti’s Waiting for Yesterday! It was like watching a great movie. Everyone should read this poignant and funny memoir. It’s about all of us.”—Robert Zagone, Film Maker

“Parenti masterfully tells his story of growing up in Italian Harlem with wit, rich detail, and lucid literary style.”—Jennifer Brouse, Artist and Illustrator

“This book is a remarkable combination of the personal and political, a brave, honest memoir and a provocative social analysis presented in a captivating way.”—Milina Jovanovic, Ethnic Studies Scholar


Updated: Sept. 21, 2014

KPFK – …Social and Economic Justice; Peter Mathews and Michael Parenti

Peter Mathews

E. Peter Mathews on Sep 20, 2014

KPFK – Standing Up for Social and Economic Justice, ep.2 with Peter Mathews. Segment with Michael Parenti. Captivating conversation with renowned political author and professor Michael Parenti about his new book “Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life”.

Michael Parenti’s most recent books are The Culture Struggle (2006), Contrary Notions: The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), God and His Demons (2010), Democracy for the Few (9th ed. 2011), and The Face of Imperialism (2011) and Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life (a memoir of his early life; 2013). For further information about his work, visit his website: www.michaelparenti.org.


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7 thoughts on “Michael Parenti: Waiting for Yesterday: Pages from a Street Kid’s Life

  1. Pingback: What’s a Slum? by Michael Parenti | Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Michael Parenti and Philip Giraldi on Capitalism and Empire | Dandelion Salad

    • Did you download it first?

      It begins about 17 minutes in, then runs about 40 minutes.

      I changed the link slightly. WordPress.com made the link into an audio (to listen directly from the post) but it needs to be downloaded first.

      Literally, WordPress.com changed the way MP3s are posted on our blogs just today. So, all previous posts with MP3s will now look differently (some may work; some may not work). I’m again very disappointed in the internal changes of our blog posts by WordPress.com. 😦

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