A Talent For Healing
Carlo Levi completed his training to become a doctor in Italy, but his politics got in the way of his practice. Levi, who was born on Nov. 29, 1902, received his medical degree from the University of Turin in 1924, but soon turned to painting. After being jailed for anti-Fascist activities, he was exiled to Lucania, a poor region in southern Italy, from 1935 to 1936. As a political prisoner who often was physician to the locals, Levi described the hard life of Lucanians in his autobiographical book "Christ Stopped at Eboli." In one observation about medicine, he writes: "The custom of prescribing some medicine for every illness, even when it is not necessary, is equivalent to magic ..." The book became an international bestseller and launched his career as a social reformist writer. Later in his life, Levi served on the Italian Senate from 1963 to 1972. He died in Rome in 1975.
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