The Basque History of the World

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

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From Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod, Salt, Birdseye, and Paper--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, as displayed by new cookbooks like chefs Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero's The Basque Book and restaurateur Jose Pizarro's Basque.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 Reviewshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 387 pages
  • 129.54 x 193.04 x 20.32mm | 249.47g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • The Penguin Press
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0140298517
  • 9780140298512
  • 98,755

Review quote

"Entertaining and instructive, [Kurlansky's] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes." --The New York Times Book Review "A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation." --Newsday "A lively, anecdotal, all-encompassing history of Basque ingenuity and achievement." --Atlantic Monthlyshow more

About Mark Kurlansky

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 more

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 Cometshow more

Rating details

2,813 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 24% (667)
4 44% (1,226)
3 27% (751)
2 5% (145)
1 1% (24)
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