The Basque Country: A Cultural History

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$21.66
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$16.16
(Save 40%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 44%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $14.99   
  • New (2) from $23.85   
  • Used (3) from $14.99   

Overview

The Basque Country is a land of fascinating paradoxes and enigmas. Home to one of Europe's oldest peoples and most mysterious languages, with a living folklore rich in archaic rituals and dances, it also boasts a dynamic modern energy, with the reinvention of Bilbao creating a model for the twenty-first-century city.

In The Basque Country, Paddy Woodworth takes us on a sweeping tour of this enchanting land. We discover a small territory which abounds in big contrasts, ranging from moist green valleys to semi-desert badlands, from snowy sierras to sandy beaches, from harsh industrial landscapes to bucolic beech woods. The book reveals how this often idyllic scenery forms the backdrop for a land of ancient and modern culture, where Basque poets still compose spontaneous stanzas in public contests and where strange age-old sports—rock lifting, goose decapitation—are still held at fiestas. Likewise, the region has made important contributions to modern culture, through novelists like Bernardo Atxaga, sculptors like Eduardo Chillida, painters like Zuluoaga, and cineastes like Julio Medem. And of course Bilbao's flagship museum, the Guggenheim, designed by Frank O. Gehry, may be the best work of architecture of the last century.

Here then is a marvelous guide to the culture and landscape of one of the most intriguing places on Earth.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Basque Country is full of gems.... Woodworth has a good eye for architecture and topography.... This is a splendid portrait of a bewitching land."—Financial Times

"An enthralling homage...deserves to rank as [the] companion of Julio Medem's film, The Basque Ball."—The Sunday Tribune

"A terrific modern introduction to the Basque Country...succeeds in showing us the complexities of the Basque struggle for identity."—Irish Times

"He weaves a rich tapestry from his catalogue of stories and journeys but is not slow to criticise, often with acerbic wit...knows his subject intimately...a roller-coaster ride around the region...expands our idea of identity in a world of sameness...more than a travel book. Through this valuable record of a culture surviving, often thriving, we share a richness and depth often missing from modern life. Woodworth guides us down that road with style and intensity, until you want to savour the uniqueness of the Basque country first-hand."—Sunday Business Post

"A spectacular achievement by any standards. Definitive in scope and lyrical in style...fit to set alongside any of the finest travel writing of recent decades."—The Hot Press

"A marvellous book...subtle and ironic...he has] an exasperated love for this region...do buy this book if you are going to the Basque Country, or if you have no intention of ever going but enjoy armchair exploration."—The Dubliner

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195328004
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/27/2007
  • Series: Landscapes of the Imagination Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 455,574
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Paddy Woodworth has written about the Basque Country for thirty years, and is the author of Dirty War, Clean Hands: ETA, the GAL and Spanish Democracy, described by Paul Preston as "one of the best books ever published on post-Franco Spain."

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgements
Preface
Introduction - Land of stone, iron, glass: Land of the Basques
Chapter One. Where are we, exactly? And what will we call this place?
Chapter Two. A short version of a long history: From the stone age to the Civil War
Chapter Three. Bai, bai, Urdaibai: cave paintings, painted trees, tree of Gernika
Chapter Four. The fronton at the heart of life: the power and beauty of pelota
Chapter Five. Cinco Villas: Pio Baroja, flying Mari, sword dances, and sorcery
Chapter Six. Gastronomy: some answers to the most urgent Basque question
Chapter Seven. Wow, Bilbao! The transformation of a tough city
Chapter Eight. From the music of labor, to music as a labor of love
Chapter Nine. Obaba in Asteasu: the Basque village as a literary universe
Chapter Ten. Gudari for God
Chapter Eleven. Serious Fun: fiestas in Laguardia
Chapter Twelve. Don't mention the war: the dark side of Basque - and Spanish - politics
Chapter Thirteen. Bay of Biscay: whales, Belle Epoque, decapitated geese, sexual politics
Chapter Fourteen. Living in shadowlands: Basque, but not Basque nationalist
Chapter Fifteen. Navaree - heartland or hinterland?
Chapter Sixteen. Mountain high: pleasure and penitence and pagan gods
Chapter Seventeen. Iparralde: the Basques on the other side of the mountains
Afterword

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 30, 2010

    Informative, interesting and easy to read!!

    Posted June 30, 2010, 5:41 PM EST: I have to say that I am actually a Basque person myself and that I enjoyed every single word and every single page of this book: in my opinion you don't need to love the Basque people to start reading the book... but once you read the book, you cannot but help it loving us...:-) The book is not just a cultural or historical book or a travel guide of the Basque Country. Well, it could be considered to be a mixture of the above, but I would say that the book goes far beyond the specifics of depicting the Basque people: the book is more like a celebration of human identity, of our universal need of belonging to a group (any at all!!): In a nutshell the book "The Basque Country" is a hymn to the beauty of belonging to the human race!!!! no more, no less. God bless the author for that.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)