The Gypsies portrayed in this book are the Vlax-speaking Rom, the largest group of Gypsies in the United States, numbering 500,000. Not officially recognized as a minority in the U.S. until 1972, Gypsies have led an almost entirely invisible existence here. Now in this fascinating work--the first complete account of American Gypsies--Sutherland has produced an in-depth look at the full range of everyday social life among the Rom. Separate, elusive, complex, and unique among the people of the world, Gypsies have preserved their traditional way of life. How have they avoided assimilation? What keeps them apart? How are they organized, and what do they believe? These and other important questions about these hidden Americans are addressed in Sutherland's contemporary study.