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Jonathan YardleyKertzer, a respected anthropologist and scholar of Italian history who is provost of Brown University, practices in Amalia's Tale what he calls "serious history for a general audience," and he places narrative ahead of footnote-by-footnote documentation. As he admits, this may well disturb some in academia who are chained to apparatus, but it will please the general reader who seeks a glimpse into a part of the past about which we know virtually nothing. Kertzer is correct to say that now, with "HIV-positive mothers" passing AIDS to infants, Amalia's story has continuing pertinence. He has told that story well.
—The Washington Post