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Catalonia: A Cultural History Paperback – 1 Jul 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Signal Books Ltd (1 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904955320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904955320
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.1 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 488,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A great contribution to international understanding of Catalonia, with the eye of the person who lives inside but comes from outside." -- Quim Aranda, Avui

"Sure-footed in every field, Eaude, [writes] with a beguiling lightness of touch in this tour of Catalan culture and society." -- The Independent

"The best attempt so far to give the English-reading public an accurate idea of what this 'stateless culture' consists of." -- Times Literary Supplement

Catalonia Today
-- "An essential read."

About the Author

MICHAEL EAUDE writes for the Guardian and Independent. He is the author of Barcelona, the city that re-invented itself (Five Leaves).


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has just the right balance of history and culture, ancient and modern. It gives the reader a real feel for today's Catalunia and its journey from pre-Franco to present democracy, and its gentle quest for a measure of independence. It ranges from the buildings of Barcelona to the Monastery at Montserrat, and from the protest songs of Raimon to the passion of the Camp Nou and Barcelona F.C. I would have liked more detail in the small Catalunia map provided, and perhaps a street map of Central Barcelona but these are minor criticisms of what is a fascinating read for the indending visitor. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Michael Eaude writes with a novelist's sensibilities about a region that he clearly adores, and he is able to translate his passion into captivating chapters about everything from cuisine to architecture to anarchist politics and history. I particularly enjoyed the section on Catalan music and its connection to the region's political movements since I knew nothing about that subject. He writes concise and often poetic prose, and his flashes of wit enliven his text. For anyone preparing to visit Catalonia or explore its history, this book would be a great place to start. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As far as it goes, this is a thoughtful and well-written book. It contains valuable information about the history, art and architecture of Catalonia, and about politics and identity. The author contrives to be both affectionate and unsentimental about the country, is not afraid to criticise where criticism is justified, and addresses many topics that will be of interest to a wide range of readers. The publication is part of a series labelled 'Landscapes of the imagination', and as one writer's intelligent and personal perception of a country that he clearly knows well and likes, it has much to recommend it.
But the full title is 'Catalonia: a cultural history'. That all-embracing sub-title implies a different aim, a much wider and more objective one. The author of a 'cultural history' needs to go beyond his personal impressions and interests, and should attempt to create a full and balanced picture. The chapters read like a disconnected series of self-contained essays rather than an organic whole, and there are some surprising omissions if the objective were to convey an overview of Catalan culture, past and present.
The most obvious lacuna is a specific and focused discussion of the language, which has always been a crucial unifying element in Catalan identity and carries a strong political charge. If a reader came to this volume in total ignorance, it might take him a while even to realise that Catalan is not some regional dialect of Spanish, but a completely separate language with its own long history and distinguished body of literature. I should have liked to have seen a chapter, or essay, on the linguistic issue alone.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read Michael Eaude's other book "Barcelona" which I enjoyed very much, learning a lot and visiting places on the city I otherwise would not have found.

This book points one in so many directions and whets the appetite for many more visits in Catalonia.
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