Ramón Zallo offers us with this informative book an overall synthesis of Basque culture, society and history. Thanks to its contents it may be destined to become a road map for understanding some keys about the country of the Basques.
The author starts from a broad concept of Basque culture which, while it is not very well known, is proportionally very rich for such a small country. He conceives it as a whole culture and as having a history of its own, although it is very closely related to its surroundings. And its trajectory indicates the need to prioritize its development and singularity in this global world full of uncertainty.
In Part One he traces (and vindicates) the cultural and spatial idea of Euskal Herria, and briefly describes its history, society and characteristics, its economic evolution and the political systems of Euskadi, Navarra and Iparralde. He presents a society with deeply-rooted values and a very dense civil society that now needs to review, without amnesia, the tragedies and disappointments of recent years.
In Part Two he offers a new vision of each one of the various branches of culture. Giving Euskara the attention that it deserves as the most specific defining trait, the book offers an added dimension through an updated look at the styles, works and names within architecture, the visual, theatre and musical arts, Basque literature in Euskara and Spanish and the different types of heritage.It ends with a gallery of historical and contemporary figures that demonstrate the country’s diversity.
Its method is descriptive, orderly and not overly interpretative. Interpretation is left to the reader.