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The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation

by

The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author of Cod — the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people.

Straddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction — they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera — the most ancient in Europe — is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.

Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.

Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:

  • Exploration — the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America
  • Gastronomy and agriculture — they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate
  • Religion — Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order
  • Business and politics — they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe
  • Recreation — they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls

Review:

"A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation." Newsday

Review:

"Part history, part travelog, part contemporary journalism, The Basque History of the World traces the Basque story from its ancient origins to the immediate present. Enriching the text with old photographs, maps, excerpts from Basque literature, and even several recipes, Kurlansky provides rare insight into this mysterious 'nation without a country.' This fascinating and very readable book should interest scholars and informed lay readers alike." Library Journal

Review:

"As he did in Cod, Kurlansky fuses political and economic history with delightful digressions into cultural and culinary traditions (several delicious recipes are included). For all the ground it covers, this wildly informative work is a marvel of clarity, glittering with unusual facts and marked by penetrating insights into a people always 'making complex choices about the degree of independence that was needed to preserve their way of life, while looking to the rest of the world for commercial opportunities to ensure their prosperity.'" Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Review:

Entertaining and instructive, [Kurlansky's] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes. The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A lively, anecdotal, all-encompassing history of Basque ingenuity and achievement." Atlantic Monthly

Synopsis:

The Basque History of the World is the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Signs of their civilization existed well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 B.C., and though theories abound, no one has ever been able to determine their origins. Their ancient tongue, Euskera, is equally mysterious: It is the oldest living European language, and is related to no other language on Earth. Yet despite their obscure origins and small numbers (2.4 million people today), the Basques have had a profound impact on Europe and the world for more than 2,000 years. Never seeking more land, they have nonetheless fiercely defended their own against invaders ranging from the Celts and Visigoths to Napoleon and Franco. They have always been a paradoxical blend of inbred tradition and worldly ambition, preserving their indigenous legal code, cuisine, literature — even their own hat and shoe — while at the same time striving immodestly to be leaders in the world.

Synopsis:

From the author of Cod comes the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine through this fascinating book which blends human stories with economic, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale. Maps, photos & drawings.

Synopsis:

From Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod, Salt, and Birdseye—the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people
Straddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.
Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World, blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.
Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:
  • Exploration—the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America
  • Gastronomy and agriculture—they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate
  • Religion—Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order
  • Business and politics—they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe
  • Recreation—they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls
“A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation.” –Newsday

“Exciting, Illuminating, and thought provoking.” –The Boston Globe

Entertaining and instructive… [Kurlansky’s] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes.” –The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

From the author of Cod—the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people

Straddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.

Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.

Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:

  • Exploration—the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America
  • Gastronomy and agriculture—they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate
  • Religion—Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order
  • Business and politics—they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe
  • Recreation—they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls

About the Author

Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times bestselling author of many books, including The Food of a Younger Land, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World; Salt: A World History; 1968: The Year That Rocked the World; and The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Island and the World

Part One THE SURVIVAL OF EUSKAL HERRIA

The Basque Cake

1: The Basque Myth

2: The Basque Problem

3: The Basque Whale

4: The Basque Saint

5: The Basque Billy Goat

6: The Wealth of Non-Nations

Part Two THE DAWN OF EUSKADI

The Basque Onomatopoeia

7. The Basque Beret

8: The Basque Ear

9: Gernika

10: The Potato Time

11: Speaking Christian

12: Eventually Night Falls

Part Three EUSKADI ASKATUTA

Slippery Maketos

13: The Great Opportunity

14: Checks and Balances

15: Surviving Democracy

16: The Nation

Postscript: The Death of a Basque Pig

The Basque Thank You

Bibliography

Index of Proper Nouns

MAPS

Basqueland's Seven Provinces

Basque Border Passes

Basque Coastline

Pilgrim Routes to Santiago

German-Occupied France

Operation Comet

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Sarah Foutts, August 5, 2012 (view all comments by Sarah Foutts)
You only hear whisperings of these amazingly fascinating and deeply marginalized people found at the top of Spain and bottom of France. I found myself blown away by the writers overwhelming respect for these impactful people whom do not receive nearly enough credit for their historic cultural influence. I share all that I have learned with anyone willing to listen. If you want to know more about the Basque people, aside from commercial media's allogations of terrorism, then pick up this book and be amazed. It is a must read for anyone who is intrigued by the origins of human culture and its historical relevance. An insightful look into the Basque heritage free of influence by government or corporate interests.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Carrie Laben, June 17, 2012 (view all comments by Carrie Laben)
A strong entry from Kurlansky, who uses an obscure subject and an unconventional structure to create a book that is satisfyingly focused while still communicating a vast amount of information on topics from cod fishing to the Spanish Civil War.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
damaskos777, June 11, 2007 (view all comments by damaskos777)
The powells book is a very good book that give more knowlledge about acient things that many people had forgotting. So I would like to encourage every book to pay perfectly attention on powells books
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(7 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780140298512
Author:
Kurlansky, Mark
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Europe - Spain & Portugal
Subject:
Spain & Portugal
Subject:
Pais Vasco (Spain)
Subject:
Basques
Subject:
Paâis Vasco
Subject:
Pays Basque
Subject:
Western Europe - General
Subject:
Paâis Vasco (Spain) History.
Subject:
World History-European History General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
GTR-128
Publication Date:
20010231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
7.71x5.10x.77 in. .58 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » Spanish and Portuguese
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Europe » Spain and Portugal » Basque
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Spain

The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140298512 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation."
"Review" by , "Part history, part travelog, part contemporary journalism, The Basque History of the World traces the Basque story from its ancient origins to the immediate present. Enriching the text with old photographs, maps, excerpts from Basque literature, and even several recipes, Kurlansky provides rare insight into this mysterious 'nation without a country.' This fascinating and very readable book should interest scholars and informed lay readers alike."
"Review" by , "As he did in Cod, Kurlansky fuses political and economic history with delightful digressions into cultural and culinary traditions (several delicious recipes are included). For all the ground it covers, this wildly informative work is a marvel of clarity, glittering with unusual facts and marked by penetrating insights into a people always 'making complex choices about the degree of independence that was needed to preserve their way of life, while looking to the rest of the world for commercial opportunities to ensure their prosperity.'"
"Review" by , Entertaining and instructive, [Kurlansky's] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes.
"Review" by , "A lively, anecdotal, all-encompassing history of Basque ingenuity and achievement."
"Synopsis" by , The Basque History of the World is the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Signs of their civilization existed well before the arrival of the Romans in 218 B.C., and though theories abound, no one has ever been able to determine their origins. Their ancient tongue, Euskera, is equally mysterious: It is the oldest living European language, and is related to no other language on Earth. Yet despite their obscure origins and small numbers (2.4 million people today), the Basques have had a profound impact on Europe and the world for more than 2,000 years. Never seeking more land, they have nonetheless fiercely defended their own against invaders ranging from the Celts and Visigoths to Napoleon and Franco. They have always been a paradoxical blend of inbred tradition and worldly ambition, preserving their indigenous legal code, cuisine, literature — even their own hat and shoe — while at the same time striving immodestly to be leaders in the world.
"Synopsis" by , From the author of Cod comes the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people. Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine through this fascinating book which blends human stories with economic, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale. Maps, photos & drawings.
"Synopsis" by ,
From Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod, Salt, and Birdseye—the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people
Straddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.
Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World, blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.
Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:
  • Exploration—the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America
  • Gastronomy and agriculture—they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate
  • Religion—Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order
  • Business and politics—they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe
  • Recreation—they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls
“A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation.” –Newsday

“Exciting, Illuminating, and thought provoking.” –The Boston Globe

Entertaining and instructive… [Kurlansky’s] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes.” –The New York Times Book Review

"Synopsis" by ,
From the author of Cod—the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic people

Straddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence.

Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.

Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:

  • Exploration—the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America
  • Gastronomy and agriculture—they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate
  • Religion—Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order
  • Business and politics—they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe
  • Recreation—they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls

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