Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Unraveled: A Weaver's Tale of Life Gone Modern Hardcover – September 17, 2009

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$47.95 $34.89

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of January
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (September 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520258487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520258488
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,382,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Has the power and persuasiveness of a beautifully narrated story, one that can make you laugh and cry like life itself.”
(European History Qtly 2011-11-04)

“A thought-provoking and magnificently crafted piece of work. . . . [Krause’s] narrative is both descriptive and hauntingly alive.”
(Lauren E. Forcucci H-Net Reviews 2011-05-01)

From the Inside Flap

"In this innovative and groundbreaking work, Betsy Krause artfully and seamlessly combines fiction, memoir, and ethnography into a compelling historical account of social life in rural Tuscany. Through her luminous prose and multiple narrative voices, Krause brings to life not only the political and economic trials and tribulations of social life in the Italian countryside, but also the ethical and representational burdens of transforming these often turbulent tales into evocative stories. Through her compelling and exceedingly well-written narratives, un-dramatic family episodes become dramatic, ordinary social lives become extraordinary, and the reader, swept into the unraveled universe of Unraveled, is wondrously transported across a portal into brave new world of ethnographic representation."—Paul Stoller, author of The Power of the Between: An Anthropological Odyssey

"In this brilliantly conceived and deeply humane book, Elizabeth Krause delves into a transformation that has changed the lives of ordinary Italian women and men in the twentieth century: the onset of the 'quiet revolution,' the transition from large- to small-size families. She approaches this change at the micro-historical level with grace and sophistication, but also tells us eloquently and honestly about her own encounter with the people whose life stories she has woven into her narrative. This book is a must-read not only for whoever is looking for the actual experiences behind what gets usually labeled—in alarmist terms—as the 'problem of low birth rates,' but also for whoever is in search of new ways of communicating the ethnographic experience."—Silvana Patriarca, author of Numbers and Nationhood: Writing Statistics in Nineteenth-Century Italy

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mr scott on July 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
E.L. Krause has crafted a beautiful book that sheds light on the question why populations wax and wane. With a focus on pre- and post-WWII Italy and its remarkable drop in birthrates, Krause brings the imagination of a paleontologist to the field of cultural anthropology. Through careful primary research with Italians of many generations, Krause has unearthed enough "bones" to piece together a model of 20th century Italian culture. Instead of delivering her insights in standard academic drivel, Krause's stroke of /brilliance/ is to provide her cultural lens as novella first, narrative second. This approach uses the power of fiction to breath life into A Weaver's Tale of Life Gone Modern. In so doing, Krause taught me about the fascinating interdependence of women weavers and wet-nurses in post-WWII Italy. Without giving away Krause's punchline, I can say that this is a touching story of women working together to try to empower themselves in an increasingly industrialized world, where having large families was considered antiquated. I reckon the impact of Krause's work will be far reaching, not only in terms of her novel methodology, but also viz. her insights regarding coupled populations. For example, while the American immigration discussion dwells on national security, the economic interdependence of immigrants and the American economy echoes Krause's conclusions about weavers and wet-nurses. I encourage you to read this book if you have any interest in cultural transformations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read...assigned as a textbook.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.