Customer Reviews for

The Basque History of the World

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2012

    Highly recommended if you are traveling to southern France-northern Spain

    I enjoyed this book thoroughly. I knew little of the Basque struggle to establish a nation, or the many contributions Basque people have made to the world. I am planning to visit the Basque regions of southwestern France and northwestern Spain to increase my knowledge of these fascinating people and their long history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2002

    .Demystifying the Basque Country

    I have visited the Basque country several times and found it the most enigmatic of places: at once cultured, economically successful, and endowed with the most lethal indigenous terrorist activity on the Continent. Before I read this book, what little I did know only served to confuse me more. This book, far from a comprehensive hostorical narrative, is more of a mosaic of vivid tiles from different times, places and kitchens. The result is an economical but powerful portrait of the people and land today. I disagree with the earlier review with respect to Basque nationalism. I think it does a good if sketchy job of presenting its noble historical roots, its purist middle age steeped in ethnic supremicism, and the recent decades in which the cause has rather desparately served the frustrations of young malcontents of all political and ethnic stripes in that corner of Spain. The author is clearly intimate with his subjects on all levels, and there's not a dull page in it. Properly for a book about the Basques, it's heavy on the culinary traditions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2000

    A Charming voyage of discovery

    Kurlansky possesses a direct prose style and an eye for detail that presents an entertaining and compelling account of this unusual European 'nation'. From the stand by Roland at Roncevalles to current ETA bombings, the book certainly captures the indomitable spirit of Basques throughout history. It is obvious that Kurlansky has Hemingway's affection for the people devastated by the Spanish Civil War, in whose number he includes the Basque. [Aside: That conflict should be required study for all Americans, in high school, as it relates directly to our contemporary geopolitical situation as well as the myriad of Latin American wars since WW II.] The book's only weakness is its lack of objectivity concerning post-Franco issues. That shortcoming aside, he brings you 'all things Basque' with refreshing relevance, clarity, and humor. A high school friend of mine, whose mother was a French woman married to an American Air Force Pilot, advised me in 1977 that his ancestors were Basque. It meant nothing to me then; Kurlansky helps me understand my friend's pride. A Spanish colleague of mine, who commands a fighter squadron in Maron, Spain, will doubtless approach the copy I sent him from a different point of view. The linkages between 'Cod' and 'The Basque History of the World' relate directly to American colonial history. Both books are worthwhile reading for any American. Again, Kurlansky provides a book full of delightful surprises and anecdotes, not to mention intriguing recipes. Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 5, 2011

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    Posted April 27, 2011

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