Sunbathers flock to Portugal's glorious beaches. Golfers enjoy its year-round mild climate. Travellers esteem Portugal's treasure of centuries-old churches and castles, the peaceful villages in a lovely land. Discerning palates savour Portugal's impressive wines and robust food, and adroit investors join a vigorous business boom. Suddenly the Portuguese, descendants of the great discoverers, are once again on the move. From bloodless revolution in 1974 and subsequent uncertainty has emerged a stable, democratic nation determined to erase decades of backwardness and poverty, and to remind the world of a distinguished past. An independent maritime nation since the 12th century, Portugal can look back upon a rich and colourful history - the inheritance of the Romans and the Moors, conquest and reconquest, bold exploration and the dramas of discovery, dynasties of extraordinary kings and queens, a vast empire earthquake, the horrors of Inquisition, bloody battles, fierce politics, tyrants and autocrats, despair, emigration, passion and intrigue. The focus on a society in transition embraces Portuguese present-day convictions, quirks and customs along with the exhuberance of the past, the beauty and variety of the landscape and the threats to it, the splendours of architecture and the arts and the complex challenges of EC membership and a mutating eastern Europe which face the country today.
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Marion Kaplan is a journalist whose articles have appeared in National Geographic, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Observer, and The Times.
This sprawling, sometimes rambling view of modern Portugal mingles straight history with travel information. Sections trace the country's growth from its Moorish origins through centuries of naval exploration, colonial empire and monarchy and on into the 20th century, covering the Portuguese literary tradition and the modern economic and political state. The pre-1900 account is jumbled and unsatisfactory, giving short shrift to the many discoveries that built the once mighty empire, but British photojournalist Kaplan, who has lived in Portugal for a decade, ably conveys the eras of fascism, war and revolution and present-day affairs in Europe's "poor relation." After the toppling of dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar's regime in 1974, Portugal joined the EEC and embarked on an era of development. The author catalogues the successes and failures of this enterprise and paints a rosy picture of Portugal's economic future. The most enjoyable interludes, though, are Kaplan's digressions into the art and architecture of the country, capturing the beauty of sun-drenched cathedrals, castles and cities. At times the prose gushes, but sublime moments appear throughout. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Viking, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110670823643
Book Description Viking, 1991. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0670823643