Winner of the 2011 Strega Prize, this blend of essay, social criticism, and memoir is a striking portrait of the effects of globalization on Italy’s declining economy.
Starting from his family’s textile factory in Prato, Tuscany, Edoardo Nesi examines the recent shifts in Italy’s manufacturing industry. Only one generation ago, Prato was a thriving industrial center that prided itself on craftsmanship and quality. But during the last decade, cheaply made goods—produced overseas or in Italy by poorly paid immigrants—saturated the market, making it impossible for Italian companies to keep up. In 2004 his family was forced to sell the textile factory. How this could have happened? Nesi asks, and what are the wider repercussions of losing businesses like his family’s, especially for Italian culture?
Story of My People is a denouncement of big business, corrupt politicians, the arrogance of economists, and cheap manufacturing. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking insight into the financial crisis that’s striking Europe today.