The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation (Paperback)

The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation By Mark Kurlansky Cover Image
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Description


"A lively, anecdotal, all-encompassing history of Basque ingenuity and achievement." Atlantic Monthly

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

"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 was born in Hartford, Connecticut. After receiving a BA in Theater from Butler University in 1970—and refusing to serve in the military—Kurlansky worked in New York as a playwright, having a number of off-off Broadway productions, and as a playwright-in-residence at Brooklyn College. He has worked many other jobs, including as a commercial fisherman, a dock worker, a paralegal, a cook, and a pastry chef. In the mid-1970s he turned to journalism, and from 1976 to 1991 he worked as a foreign correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Based in Paris and then Mexico, he reported on Europe, West Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Time, The New York Times and many more.
He has had 35 books published including fiction, nonfiction, and children's books. His books include Havana, Cod, Salt, Paper, The Basque History of the World, 1968, The Big Oyster, among other titles. He has received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Bon Appetit’s Food Writer of the Year Award, the James Beard Award, and the Glenfiddich Award. He lives in New York City.

Praise For…


"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

“Exciting, Illuminating, and thought provoking.” –The Boston Globe


Product Details
ISBN: 9780140298512
ISBN-10: 0140298517
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: February 1st, 2001
Pages: 400
Language: English
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