This is the International Mystery Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | April 6, 2015

    Mary Norris: IMG Voracious

    In the summer of 2012, I got a contract for a book about language, based on my experiences of more than 30 years as a copy editor at The New Yorker.... Continue »
    1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list


Primo Levi: The Matter of a Life (Jewish Lives)


Primo Levi: The Matter of a Life (Jewish Lives) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1943, twenty-four-year-old Primo Levi had just begun a career in chemistry when, after joining a partisan group, he was captured by the Italian Fascist Militia and deported to Auschwitz. Of the 650 Italian Jews in his transport, he was one ofand#160;fewer than 25and#160;who survived the eleven months before the campand#8217;s liberation. Upon returning to his native Turin, Levi resumed work as a chemist and was employed for thirty years by a company specializing in paints and other chemical coatings.and#160;Yet soon after his return to Turin, he also began writingand#151;memoirs, essays, novels, short stories, poetryand#151;and it is for this work that he has won international recognition. His first book, If This Is a Man, issued in 1947 after great difficulty in finding a publisher, remains a landmark document of the twentieth century.
Berel Lang's groundbreaking biography shines new light on Leviand#8217;s role as a major intellectual and literary figureand#151;an important Holocaust writer and witness but also an innovative moral thinker in whom his two roles as chemist and writer converged, providing the and#147;matterand#8221; of his life. Leviand#8217;s writing combined a scientistand#8217;s attentiveness to structure and detail, an ironic imagination that found in all nature an ingenuity at once inviting and evasive, and a powerful and passionate moral imagination. Langand#8217;s approach provides a philosophically acute and nuanced analysis of Levi as thinker, witness, writer, and scientific detective.


The first intellectual biography of Primo Levi to describe the intersection of his roles as both chemist and writer

About the Author

Berel Lang is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, State University of New York, Albany. He is the author or editor of twenty-one books, including Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide, The Concept of Style, and, most recently, Philosophical Witnessing: The Holocaust as Presence. He lives in Riverdale, NY.

Product Details

Lang, Berel
Yale University Press
Lang, Ariella
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Jewish Lives
Publication Date:
7 b/w illus.
8.25 x 5.75 in

Other books you might like

  1. Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of... New Hardcover $24.75
  2. The Infernal New Trade Paper $18.00
  3. Franz Kafka: The Poet of Shame and... Used Hardcover $17.50
  4. Hank Greenberg: The Hero Who Didn't... Used Hardcover $13.00
  5. Captives Used Trade Paper $12.50

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Biography » Literary
Biography » Religious
Biography » Science and Technology
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Primo Levi: The Matter of a Life (Jewish Lives) New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$25.00 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300137231 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The first intellectual biography of Primo Levi to describe the intersection of his roles as both chemist and writer
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at