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

Claudio Veliz

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0520083164 / ISBN 13: 9780520083165
Published by University of California Press, 1994
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

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.

About this title

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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