Books for Italian Dummies #2

Arthur Asa Berger, Understanding American Icons: An Introduction to Semiotics, Left Coast Press, 2011.

The Italian title might be misleading: American icons. Viaggio tra i luoghi più significativi della cultura Americana (Milano, Franco Angeli, 2014): ‘Journey through  the most significant Places of American Culture’.

The word “semiotic” is not mentioned (carefully avoided?), so the curious reader looking for some pleasant book to learn more about life in the US or the traveller looking for something entertaining to read on the plane and prepare for hit visit in the Land of Freedom, might think “this is the right one”.

The table of contents will surely attract this kind of audience: Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, Alcatraz, Mount Rushmore.

But this is not a light reading. Not a tourist guide, definitely not “America for Dummies”. An good essay, of course, but an essay indeed, written by a Professor, not a dictionary or a novel.

I would say a very interesting reading for ambitious Italian, scholars, or Americans who want to learn more about their own culture.


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