Award-winning author Mark Kurlansky has drawn enthusiastic praise for his books, which are sharply-focused studies as well as glorious celebrations of their subjects. In The Basque History of the World, he turns his eye toward Europe’s oldest surviving culture - a culture as mysterious as it is fascinating.
Settled in the western Pyrenees Mountains of France and Spain, the Basque nation is not drawn on maps, and the origin of their forbidden language has never been discovered. Yet Basques appear to predate all other cultures in Europe, with many significant global contributions to their credit. Most notably, one of their own took command after Magellan’s death and was the first person to circumnavigate the globe.
This informative book is full of lively anecdotes that illuminate an otherwise obscure culture. Narrator George Guidall rises to the challenge of the text, which includes many Basque terms, and interprets beautifully.
©1999 Mark Kurlansky (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
The book is about one of the oldest surviving cultures in the world - the Basques.
The book discusses Basque language, cooking (including some recipes), culture, historically significant people, graffiti (3+4=1), sports (pelota), internal conflicts among the Basques themselves, the Spanish Civil War (the German bombing of Guernica), art, WWII, religion (Catholic versus secularism) and current issues. I didn't realize the Spanish government was so dictorial towards this culture.
The author is supportive of a Basque nation but that doesn't seem possible now. He almost justifies Basque violence by saying the Spanish government also engages in violence. The author thinks it is realistic for the Basques to follow their own laws but still be a part of Spain/France. That is not logical.
I gained so much knowledge and understanding of this culture. I wish I knew more about the people when I was in Spain so I could have been on the lookout for cultural references.
There is a question-answer session at the end of the audiobook. I would have liked to have heard how the Basque language sounded.
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