The books that give us insight into human motives and experience often are based on fieldwork: people spending time with others where those others live and work. In the World Observed sixteen researchers tell how their fieldwork experiences have been transmuted into understanding. The settings range from a women's prison in Indiana to a village in Egypt, from a streetcorner in Palermo to a gypsy funeral in New York. The authors - anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists, historians - relate their struggles to find meaning in the chaos of data and the ethical problems they had to confront and resolve. Their fascinating stories offer fresh insight into how we know what we know.