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The Basque Country: A Cultural History

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  5 reviews
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 post-modern energy, with the reinvention of Bilbao creating a model for the twenty-first-century city of cultural services and information technologies. H ...more
ebook, 316 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Signal Books (first published July 1st 2007)
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Guah! Amazing! Quite honestly one of my new favorite books. Woodworth crafts a non-fiction gem that reads as quickly as a suspense thriller, but without scrimping on the details. Blending history, quotes from interviews with locals, photos, and contemporary events and descriptions of towns and traditions, he also manages to deal not only with French and Spanish concerns but also with the differences and similarities between the situations of the Basque Country and Ireland/Northern Ireland (mostl ...more
Well written (although some anecdotes go a bit long). Really helped me to understand the people and the region.
Jan 19, 2010 Isabel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: basques, bascophiles
This is, so far, the best book on Basques ever written. Paddy Woodworth covers a range of topics from gastronomy to politics. I found his book to take a much more neutral view than Mark Kurlansky's "The Basque History of the World".

The only thing working against the book is that some passages read like newspaper articles and at times, it will be difficult to appreciate the chapter if you are unfamiliar with certain things in Basque culture, gastronomy, literature, or politics.
It was probably better than 2 stars, but I was looking for Basque food ideas, and the book was a little lacking in that regard.
He does include one chapter about the importance of gastronomy in Basque culture, which was very interesting and made me want to go to Bilbao just for the food.
Probably the best book in English on the Basque country in my opinion
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