Italy is a proverbial emigration country. During last century, 27 million Italian citizens have had at least a migratory spell abroad. Consequently, emigration has deeply shaped Italian social structures. Since the end of mass emigration in the mid-Seventies, however, Italian public discourse has failed to develop an adequate framework for understanding and making sense of such processes. The results have been both the failure in developing an adequate account of contemporary Italy and the survival or the emergence of a variety of conceptual ghosts and received views. The books here reviewed provide quite an impressive array of empirical evidence and interpretative work concerning Italian emigration. Although not always quite up to the task, they show that it is possible to develop an adequate historical understanding of the emigration process as well as the relevance of such endeavours for the more general field of migration studies.