The New World of the Gothic Fox: Culture and Economy in English and Spanish America

Claudio Veliz

Published by University of California Press, 1994
ISBN 10: 0520083164 / ISBN 13: 9780520083165
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Synopsis: Claudio Véliz adopts the provocative metaphor of foxes and hedgehogs that Isaiah Berlin used to describe opposite types of thinkers. Applying this metaphor to modern culture, economic systems, and the history of the New World, Véliz provides an original and lively approach to understanding the development of English and Spanish America over the past 500 years.

According to Véliz, the dominant cultural achievements of Europe's English- and Spanish-speaking peoples have been the Industrial Revolution and the Counter-Reformation, respectively. These overwhelming cultural constructions have strongly influenced the subsequent historical developments of their great cultural outposts in North and South America. The British brought to the New World a stubborn ability to thrive on diversity and change that was entirely consistent with their vernacular Gothic style. The Iberians, by contrast, brought a cultural tradition shaped like a vast baroque dome, a monument to their successful attempt to arrest the changes that threatened their imperial moment.

Véliz writes with erudition and wit, using a multitude of sources—historians and classical sociologists, Greek philosophers, today's newspaper sports pages, and modern literature—to support a novel explanation of the prosperity and expanding cultural influence of the gothic fox and the economic and cultural decline endured by the baroque hedgehog.

Review: "Veliz has written a book that reflects a tenor of our times. . . . Veliz seeks to connect a closed, hermetic, and Counter Reformationist disposition of Iberians . . . with the failures to adapt to contemporary strides of industrial and consumer society."--"American Historical Review

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Title: The New World of the Gothic Fox: Culture and...
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: 1994
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: First Edition - may be Reissue.

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Claudio Veliz
Published by University of California Press (1994)
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Book Description University Of California, Berkeley, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good-. First Edition. 0520083164; Very minor wear and soil on the sound binding. Two lines of type are lightly underlined, else contents are clean. ; Maroon cloth spine, bright gold lettering. HISTORY. Selected bibliography. Index. "The heirs of the Iberian and the English cultural traditions in the New World have fared differently, especially with respect to their economic expectations and their political and social arrangements. .No amount of euphemistic embellishment suffices.to disguise the fact that the economic prowess of the English-speaking descendants of the originators of the Industrial Revolution and its scientific and technological concomitants has been neither surpassed nor successfully emulated by the Portuguese-and Spanish-speaking beneficiaries of the robust Iberian inheritance.Genesis cannot shape artifacts permanently , but it does bequeath qualities that are, by necessity, intrinsic to subsequent modifications. Unless we are prepared to accept that cultural artifacts are absolutely and permanently interchangeable, the eloquence of origins must be granted more than a perfunctory hearing. It ought not to be a matter of indifference whether basketball originated in Massachusetts or in Tenochtitlan, or if Falstaff's progenitors were English or Bulgarian, or whether Don Quixote grew up in La Mancha, Wessex, or Bangalore; to dismiss this intelligence as inimportant would be as bizarre as to explain the use of the Ionic and Cornithian orders in Helipolis, Antioch, and Pergamum as an amusing coincidence or entirely to ignore the origin of the New World and of its dominant cultural transplants when endeavoring to understand why their respective economic acievements differ so markedly. "(a); 9-1/4" Tall; 254 pages; A. Seller Inventory # 26779

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Veliz, Claudio
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