Michael Immerso, Writer


Michael Immerso Cultural Historian


Michael Immerso, Activist


Michael Immerso

Michael is a writer, cultural historian, and activist. He is the author of Coney Island: The People’s Playground and Newark’s Little Italy: The Vanished First Ward, and the novels Stephen Magus and Worlds End. Michael has lectured and curated programs on ethnicity and popular culture at numerous cultural and educational institutions. He has contributed articles to the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post and has written and co-produced a documentary film that aired on PBS stations in New York and New Jersey.

Photo by Linda Lobdell

Michael’s projects have been the subject of feature stories in the New York Times, on ABC’s Good Morning America, on NPR, and other media outlets. A native of Newark, New Jersey, Michael graduated from Rutgers University where he was a student leader and anti-war activist. For over a decade he was active, both locally and nationally, as a leader of the nuclear freeze movement and helped direct the successful campaign to block the homeporting of nuclear-armed vessels in New York Harbor. He ceased working as a full-time disarmament activist to concentrate on writing. Michael presently resides in Massachusetts.

Michael Immerso on Huffington Post
Michael Immerso on The New York Times
Michael Immerso on The Wall Street Journal
Michael Immerso on Good Morning America
Michael Immerso on NPR
Michael Immerso on PBS
Newark's Little Italy: The Vanished First Ward


Michael’s writing includes both fiction and non-fiction. His books include Coney Island: The People’s Playground and Newark’s Little Italy: The Vanished First Ward, published by Rutgers University Press.

Cultural Historian

As a cultural historian, Michael explores themes of ethnicity, urban identity, and cultural transformation. In 1994, he established the First Ward Documentary Project creating a visual record of an ethnic enclave displaced by urban renewal.


As an undergraduate at Rutgers University (1968-1973), Michael was a student leader and activist in the anti-war movement in Newark, New Jersey. He organized demonstrations, both on and off campus, against the war in Vietnam and in support of progressive causes.

Book Review

Newark’s Little Italy: The Vanished First Ward – “It’s a story that twines the American dream of immigrants, postwar follies of urban planners, and appreciation of what was lost in the rush to the suburbs.” – Asbury Park Press

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