The Portuguese: A Modern History

The Portuguese: A Modern History

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by Barry Hatton
     
 

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Portugal is an established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous and largely overlooked country on the continent's southwest rim. Barry Hatton shines a light on this enigmatic corner of Europe by blending historical analysis with entertaining personal anecdotes. He describes

Overview

Portugal is an established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous and largely overlooked country on the continent's southwest rim. Barry Hatton shines a light on this enigmatic corner of Europe by blending historical analysis with entertaining personal anecdotes. He describes the idiosyncrasies that make the Portuguese unique and surveys the eventful path that brought them to where they are today. Portugal, which claims Europe's oldest fixed borders, measures just 561 by 218 kilometers. Within that space, however, it offers a patchwork of widely differing and beautiful landscapes. With an easygoing and seductive lifestyle expressed most fully in their love of food, the Portuguese also have an anarchical streak evident in many facets of contemporary life. A veteran journalist and commentator on Portugal, the author gives a thorough overview of his adopted country.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Clamped into a corner by Spain," Portugal is perhaps Europe's most isolated country. This brief history begins with Portugal's glory in the Age of Discovery, when it was a world power. Hatton, a longtime foreign correspondent in Lisbon, then focuses largely on the country's decline. He cites a famous 1871 analysis attributing this decline to religious conservatism, political centralization under an absolute ruler, and the economic boom "spawned by the Age of Discovery" that discouraged "prudent financial management." Hatton devotes almost as much space to the April 1974 Carnation Revolution that overthrew reactionary dictator António Salazar as to the entire 19th century. Still, he reveals a myriad of fascinating facts, including that in 1761 the Portuguese were the first to outlaw slavery in their own country but among the last to outlaw it in their colonies (1869), and that in 2008, only 27% of people ages 25 to 64 had completed secondary school. The author has many interesting observations about the character of the Portuguese, whom he praises for their "adaptability, resilience and resourcefulness." Hatton clearly loves Portugal and has written an engaging, often delightful history that should interest "Europeanists," Portuguese-Americans, and all those who have visited the country or want to. Illus. (July)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566568449
Publisher:
Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/30/2011
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
523,922
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

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The Portuguese: A Modern History 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great overview of Portugal and Portuguese culture. Bought it before taking my first trip there and it definitely helped to get a sense of the history. Quick read and doesn't go into too much detail.