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INDUSTRIOUS | Contributing to American Industriousness: A New Book Compiled by Andrew Tisch & Mary Skafidas

INDUSTRIOUS | Contributing to American Industriousness: A New Book Compiled by Andrew Tisch & Mary Skafidas

In Andrew Tisch and Mary Skafidas’ recently published Journeys: An American Story, one powerful theme that unites this collection of immigrant experiences told firsthand is the industriousness with which each person and her or his family faced the challenge of succeeding in their new world.

Whether their journey was voluntarily made in hope of finding opportunity or freedom from oppression, or was involuntarily forced or coerced, each storyteller conveys a common grit, determination, and hard work that allowed them or their ancestors to establish roots and send out shoots that have made, and continue to make, our country stronger and richer.

Over 70 people who are not distant names from the past, but rather ones among us today -- including celebrities, as well as lesser-known, inspirational individuals you will be grateful to discover -- share their very personal stories:

Iconic songmaster Tony Bennett’s Grandpa Suraci, who immigrated from the Calabria region of Italy, sold wholesale fruits and vegetables to pushcart vendors in Lower Manhattan while his Grandma Suraci kept the earnings in a trunk under the bed.

Journalist and author A’Lelia Bundles’ relatives included free people of color who served in George Washington’s Continental Army and a girl born on a Louisiana plantation who became a millionaire.

Ahmed Ahmed was born in a Somali refugee camp in Kenya and become a Rhodes Scholar.

 Photo and quote from "Journeys: An American Story"

Gabrielle Giffords, former US Congresswoman from Arizona and leading gun violence prevention advocate, had family who came from Scotland, Germany, and other European roots, including a hard-working harmonica salesman grandad.

Elaine Chao, currently US Secretary of Transportation and first Asian Pacific American woman appointed to the President’s Cabinet in American history, recalls her father, a doctor from China working three jobs to support his family of five, as well as her and her family giving their precious bread to children dressed in costumes who knocked on their door with bags outstretched -- their first exposure to Halloween.

Photo and quote from "Journeys: An American Story"

As for the book’s compilers themselves, Andrew Tisch’s family came from Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Germany. His great-grandfather, a tailor, ran his business out of his Bronx home. The next generation moved from making corduroy knickers in the garment business to building a real estate empire out of buying and operating a pair of summer camps in New Jersey. Mr. Tisch now serves as Board Co-chair of of the Loews Corporation, a public corporation which includes much more than real estate. Mary Skafidas, who was born in the United States to Greek immigrant parents and did not speak English until she was six, now works with Loews as Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications where English is her stock in trade.

Co-authors Mary Skafidas (left) and Andrew Tisch (right). Photo: Mamnur Rahman

Michael Bloomberg, Angela Warnick Buchdahl, Wes Moore, Jon and Mary Kaye Huntsman, Cory Booker, and many more...It quickly hits home that “the story of immigration and the role it has played in creating American greatness” touches all of us in this country and that each of us has a tale we can tell. And you are invited and encouraged to do so.

Go to JourneysAnAmericanStory.com, and add your and your family’s journey to our American story.

Click image to purchase "Journeys: An American Story"

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