Author: Raphael Minder
Extent: 256 pp
Publication: September 2017
Publisher: Hurst and Company
Analyses with rare impartiality what sets the Catalans apart from Spain, and how the separatist debate is playing out.
In 2012 on Catalonia’s National Day, the Diada, an enormous crowd calling for Catalan independence took over the heart of Barcelona. On the back of this show of force, Catalonia’s governing politicians turned secessionist claims into a new headache for a Madrid government only just recovering from the near-meltdown of Spain’s financial system. Five years on, the separatist challenge has neither come to fruition, nor faded away.
The Struggle for Catalonia looks at how and why Catalan separatism reached the top of Spain’s political agenda, as well as its connection to the broader European malaise generated by flawed political responses to financial and other crises.
Through extensive travel and reporting, as well as dozens of interviews with leading Catalan personalities, Raphael Minder gives a cultural history of the region, showing how the reshaping of Catalan identity is being played out everywhere, from football clubs to the world of haute cuisine.
A very serious and well-documented book that helps shed light on as complicated a topic as the relationship between Catalonia and the rest of Spain. An outsider’s analysis, lucid and objective, that also displays a clear desire to promote fraternity. Josep Piqué, former Spanish Foreign Minister