New York: Farrar, Straus, and Young, 1951. Item #1115
8vo. [xvi], 442 pp. Publisher's black cloth boards, green cloth spine, label in black and gold on spine. Dust jacket fragile, chips to head and tail of spine, some tears; secured by mylar wrapper.
Second America printing. Levi's novel, set in Rome and Naples, is based on his own experience after the War trying to reestablish himself as a writer and artist. Recovering from the disaster that was the fascist government of Mussolini and his black shirts, Levi recounts the attempts to form a society that abandoned the past and rid the country of government of the rich, for the rich, and by the rich. His story, set in 1946, "when the last Cabinet of 'Men of the Resistence' gave way to the first De Gaspari Government, and the hopes of a radical reform of political life were shelved. . ." His story resonates with the impact that fascism, the war, and recovery had on the everyday person in Italian society.
Carlo Levi (1902-1975), the award winning author of Christ Stopped in Eboli (which recounted his time as a prisoner of government) was a editor, newspaper man, journalists and artist whose career was dedicated to the eradication of fascism in Italy and the establishment of a balanced, reform minded government. In 1963 he became a member of the Italian Senate, a post he filled until 1972.