Review: The Basque History of the World

I am back in the Basque Country, my favorite home away from home. It is a land that I have come to love dearly after living here for a year and coming back to visit as regularly as I can.

The Basque Country fascinates me. Growing up in America, I had the perception that the borders in Europe were more or less settled. So I was surprised to discover an ancient people with a long, unknown history and relatively undiscovered culture sitting between Spain and France, two of the most heavily touristed countries in the world. It showed me that the map on my bedroom wall hit many more subtleties than I had previously imagined.

I urge you to explore the land of the Basques, if not in person, then from home. The best way to do so is through The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurkansky, the author of Cod and Salt. It’s a popular history of the Basques sweeping from their pre-Indo European roots to their autonomy with the Romans to the complex role they played within the Spanish empire. In integrates food, culture, colorful anecdotes and the controversial subjects surrounding the modern independence movement, all in a very readable and engaging style.
Interesting for the armchair traveler, indispensable for expats in Basqueland, and a good read for anyone interesting in placing one more piece in the puzzle of our world.

Check out the review on Goodreads here.

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