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The unification of Italy in 1861 launched a new European nation promising to fulfill the dreams of Italians, yet millions of poor peasants still found themselves in economic desperation. By 1872, an army of speculators had invaded the countryside, hawking steamship tickets and promising fabulous riches in America. Thousands of immigrants fled to the New World, only to be abandoned upon arrival and forced to find work in hard labor. New York placed victims of deception at the State Emigrant Refuge on Ward's Island as the secretary of state and the Italian prime minister sought to intervene. Through steel-eyed determination, many surmounted their status and became leaders in business and culture. Authors Joe Tucciarone and Ben Lariccia follow the early stages of mass Italian immigration and the fraudulent circumstances that brought them to New York Harbor.