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A sharecropper's son recounts his youth on a Florence farm under Mussolini's regime, describing how they unceasingly worked through the Second World War, made wine and olive oil, planted and harvested wheat by hand, and made baskets and ladders with chestnut wood.
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Pietro Pinti was born in 1927 in the Arno valley, the twelfth child of a family of sharecroppers. At eleven he was taking the pigs into the woods for acorns, at fourteen he was running the farm and ploughing with oxen. When he left the land in 1969 he worked first as a builder's mate and then came to the riding centre, where at 75 he is still working as cook. Jenny Bawtree was brought up in the Oxfordshire countryside and read languages at Oxford. After teaching at Florence University, she set up the riding centre at Rendola, in the Arno valley. She is now working on a book about the Chianti region.From Publishers Weekly:
The Tuscan countryside has inspired and been celebrated by many famous writers and artists, but here it is explored "not by a foreign intellectual but by a Tuscan peasant"; as such, readers are given a real and honest view of the region and life in it. Written in refreshingly simple language (made smooth by Bawtree, a former teacher who now runs a riding academy), the volume provides a glimpse into Pinti’s life, from his birth in 1927 (he was mother’s 12th child) through his schooling during the Fascist regime and World War II. He describes his life working as a contadino (farmer of low social status)—complete with pleasing anecdotes of days of celebration and feasting; from there he explains post-war Tuscan peasant life, which he left in order to earn pay as a "builder’s mate." Black and white photos, maps and illustrations, plus a glossary of Italian terms (such as casa colonica, a sharecropper’s house) that were relevant to the life of a peasant render a more thorough understanding of a compelling life that is neither glamorous nor romanticized.
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Book Description Arcade Publishing, 2004. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1559707097
Book Description Arcade Publishing, 2004. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111559707097