Carlo Levi was born to a prosperous Italian-Jewish family in Turin. Although he earned a medical degree from the University of Turin, he never practiced medicine. He served as an assistant to a professor at Turin University's clinic while painting and writing. He went to live and study in Paris, where he mingled with many notable artists, including Igor Stravinsky, Alberto Moravia, Giorgio de Chirico. Back in Italy, he helped found the anti-fascist Giustizia e Libertà movement and directed the underground publication Lotta politica. In 1935-1936, Levi was forced by Mussolini's government into internal exile under police surveillance in the remote southern province of Lucania. His life in surroundings barely touched by modern civilization created a deep impression on him, and out of this experience he wrote his first and still most-famous book, Christ Stopped at Eboli, published in 1945. It was a combination of reportage, diary, and journalist chronicle that was translated into many languages and became a worldwide hit. Levi's 1950 book, L'orologio, showed his disillusion with Italian life after World War II. He was elected to the Italian Senate in 1963 and served on the Communist ticket for two terms.