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Boundaries: The Making of France and Spain in the Pyrenees
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Boundaries: The Making of France and Spain in the Pyrenees

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“Brilliant. . . . This fascinating exploration through three centuries of the frontier is rounded off with a perceptive and balanced appraisal of the nature of national identity within the context of the Pyrenees. . . . A study which is exciting, learned, and thought-provoking, a splendid example of interdisciplinary history at its best.”—Times Literary Supplement
Paperback, 372 pages
Published March 19th 1991 by University of California Press (first published October 7th 1989)
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It might look like a stuffy academic case study, but don't let that scare you off. Really enthralling study of the formation of national identity and a territorialized conception of state sovereignty in one particular valley on the French-Spanish border which was divided pretty arbitrarily in half in 1659. Traces the development of the meaning of the border from the point of view of both the centralized government and local inhabitants. Really fascinating ideas about opportunistic identity as th ...more
Jun 18, 2015 John rated it liked it
I "heavily skimmed" this, but I didn't just sit down and read the thing. The nitty gritty details aren't really relevant to my studies of MY border, the northeastern US/Canada border, it's more the general ideas. The general ideas are quite useful. For example, this 17th/18th century obsession with the idea of "natural frontiers" that sounds logical if you don't think about it too long, but inevitably falls apart at the local level. If you are dealing with one river, sure, but trying to make a m ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Kimiko rated it really liked it
Excellent. Well written, and really challenged my conception of "natural" borders, and the effect such political lines can have on border peoples.
Aug 01, 2007 Brad rated it liked it
Describes the history that produced the mutant, porous border between "France" and "Spain" but lamentably undertheorizes the Catalan border which is hardly drawn in the same place.
Soha Bayoumi
A very interesting book on the social history of nation-building at the borders...
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