The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation (Paperback)
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 chefsAlexandra Raij and Eder Montero's "The Basque Book "andrestaurateur 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 Review.
About the Author
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 City.
"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 Monthly