What's Up with Catalonia: The Causes Which Impel Them to the Separation
This lively compilation of penetrating essays from 35 experts raises questions that transcend the specific issue of Catalan independence from Spain. Forcibly absorbed by the kingdom of Spain in 1714 following military defeat, Catalonia, in 2012, held its largest pro-independence rally. The collection's essayists persuasively maintain that the Spanish centralized bureaucracy drains Catalonian wealth even as it continues its historical suppression of Catalan culture. Language and culture are important; they, as much as territory, define a Catalan. And one writer even raises the question: if Catalonia does obtain full independence, what future will Spain itself have? Given the inability of the Franco regime to stifle Catalan inclinations to independence, a sentiment that more recent initiatives from Madrid have only encouraged, reforms to the present system that would give Catalonia a better fit may well prove impossible. Although the collection does not contain any anti-independence pieces, the reader comes away with a vivid sense of the threads that run through history and the impermanence of political structures.