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Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del ...

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Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del ...

Post Number:#1 by kislany
» 16 Oct 2017, 03:55

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story"" by Lou Del Bianco.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by kislany
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What do you do when you know a loved one played an important role in a project that is now part of national heritage, but no history book or trade journal acknowledges his contribution anywhere? You research, find proof of his accomplishments and embark on a journey to set the records straight.

This is exactly what Lou Del Bianco did in his book Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story. As a child, he had heard many tales about his grandfather, Luigi, an Italian immigrant who lived the American dream. Luigi was an artist with the stone; a master craftsman who got to work on one of the most incredible projects in the United States: the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. He was part of the team that carved in stone the heads of four famous United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

The only problem: nobody ever recognized his amazing work on the granite sculpture. If at all, he was carelessly lumped in with 400 untrained miners who worked on and off on that project. However, Luigi Del Bianco was not a common worker. Even the project designer, Gutzon Borglum, who hired Luigi to work on the piece, called him Chief Carver, mentioning more than once that without Luigi there wouldn’t be a finished sculpture at all.

The book is split into three main parts. The first section describes Lou growing up with stories about his grandfather’s extraordinary talent and the author’s initial search for proof that takes him to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Here, he discovers several original documents that prove without a shadow of a doubt: Luigi was, indeed, Chief Carver of the project. The second part chronicles Luigi Del Bianco’s life. I found the carver’s life to be incredible, full of hardship and wonder. The book goes into detail about Luigi’s time in South Dakota while working on the carving and his life with his family back in Port Chester, New York. And the third part recounts Lou Del Bianco’s enormous efforts to have his grandfather take his rightful place as one of the most important people to have ever worked on Mount Rushmore.

I was shocked reading how much adversity Lou had to overcome to get anywhere with the massive red tape of bureaucracy that surrounded his every step. It is a major feat, considering it took the author a quarter of a century to have his grandfather’s work finally “credited with doing the most important carving on America’s most iconic sculpture.”

The many photographs and scanned documents the author included in his memoir managed to deeply impress me. There are photos of Luigi taken over a lifetime with his family and during his work at Mount Rushmore, and even a colorful picture featuring the huge cake presented as part of the Cake Boss episode done in the carver’s honor. The book also includes many letters between Luigi and his family, as well as Luigi and Gutzon Borglum. In the memoir, you can feel Lou’s love and admiration for his grandfather and his need for the National Park Service to acknowledge Luigi’s rightful place in the history of Mount Rushmore. And when he gets his wish, you can also feel his elation, gratitude, and tears of joy.

In his writing, the author uses simple, everyday language that is accessible to everyone. There are no difficult or sophisticated words found within these pages. I only came across two or three punctuation mistakes, which means the book was professionally edited. I give Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story 4 out of 4 stars and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who loves learning about the hidden history of America and to readers who enjoy sampling intriguing biographies and memoirs.

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Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story"
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#2 by Olamisoji
» 16 Oct 2017, 14:46

It so intresting luigi likes his grandfather very much
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#3 by MaryBurris
» 16 Oct 2017, 15:18

Great review! This sounds like an interesting story. I wonder how they got away with not giving Luigi the credit for the work. I may have to read this one.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 16 Oct 2017, 17:58

Wow. It's really sad that someone can contribute to such a momentous project and not be acknowledged. I'm glad he was able to use this book and set the record straight.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#5 by Sarah Immanuel
» 17 Oct 2017, 02:26

I honestly loved this story. And it is so true. Excellent review. Thanks.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#6 by juliusotinyo
» 17 Oct 2017, 09:36

A noble cause this. I appreciate the author's efforts. Great review.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#7 by bookowlie
» 17 Oct 2017, 09:56

Great review! I like books that are a labor of love - in this case, a grandson setting the record straight about his grandfather's accomplishments. Your thorough review made the book sound so interesting.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#8 by kislany
» 18 Oct 2017, 03:41

@ Olamisoji yes he, indeed, does.

@MaryBurris it is a book worth checking out. I quite liked it as well.

@kandscreeley I was on the edge of my seat the whole time waiting for the moment he would be acknowledged. Sadly giving credit to an immigrant is, even today, very hard.

@Sarah Immanuel thank you for coming by

@juliusotinyo thank you. Yes, it is really a noble cause.

@bookowlie this book is definitely a labor of love. You can feel the grandson's anguish all the time when he would hit a roadblock. It's quite gut-wrenching a story. But so well-worth reading.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#9 by Job Njoroge
» 20 Oct 2017, 14:21

That is a great book showing what happens in the current world. Many people who do great things are sometimes not acknowledged
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#10 by Gingerbo0ks
» 21 Oct 2017, 10:22

This was an interesting review to read.I'm glad the author managed to to get his grandfather's story out there in such a good piece of work.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#11 by kislany
» 21 Oct 2017, 10:59

@Job Njoroge, unfortunately, it is true.

@Gingerbo0ks indeed, it was great to read that the author managed to bring his grandfather's story in front of the people from all around the world.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#12 by The Researcher
» 23 Oct 2017, 01:56

Nice review Kislany! The story looks to be borne out of love towards family.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#13 by Khusy
» 24 Oct 2017, 06:06

It was wonderful to read the book. The writer described everyting in detail
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#14 by meteku4
» 24 Oct 2017, 06:18

Many of such great people whose contributions to society went unnoticed continue to exist in our communities. I am particularly concerned about the obstacles one faces to rediscover these people as we have read from the story. Thanks for the great review.
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Re: Official Review: Out of Rushmore's Shadow: The Luigi Del

Post Number:#15 by Kelebogile Mbangi
» 24 Oct 2017, 12:06

I am inspired by the author's perseverance in getting Luigi the rightful acknowledgement that he deserves. I think I would enjoy this book, especially as it includes challenges that Luigi had to overcome. Thank you for the book review.
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