Tosko's book examines the secessionist movement in Catalonia, a province of Spain. She finds that the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia has not prompted by the animal rights movement, which many Americans have been led to believe, but by secessionist politicians who want to distance themselves from Spanish culture. And so they have banned the bullfight in their province, even though the economy of a major city, Barcelona, is likely to suffer because of the importance of the corrida de toros to the Catalan way of life. For those of us who follow and appreciate bullighting from afar, this story is an eye-opener. Tosko does a good job of exposing the hypocritical politicians who have banned the corrida but permit the correbous and correfoc to continue. These are street events in which bulls are let loose to be prodded, teased and even set on fire by fiesta revelers.
For novice aficionados, Tosko also includes interviews with matadors, student toreos, a sword handler, an impresario, and others who make their livings in bullfighting. People can learn a lot about this very important and traditional form of art. If, after reading this book, you believe that bullfighting is still a brutal and inhumane sport, well, you are welcome to your opinions. But true fans of the corrida will come away from this book believing more than ever that bullfighting should be preserved and the people of Catalonia will, eventually, boot out the anti-secessionists and embrace their Spanish heritage.