Book review: “What Catalans Want” by Toni Strubell

“What Catalans Want” is a book of interviews, made by Catalan MP and writer Toni Strubell, to relevant people from all aspects of Catalan society. From former President Jordi Pujol to economists such as Xavier Sala-i-Martin or Germà Bel. University professors like Salvador Cardús, former FC Barcelona President turned into politician Joan Laporta or former Barça player Oleguer Presas. Also people in the media business like Vicent Partal or Vicent Sanchís and others who, thanks to having taken active part in recent history, have a clear view of the best direction to take, like 102 years old Doctor Moisés Broggi.

The people interviewed in this book have played, are playing or will play an important role for Catalonia and their views reflect the direction where Catalan society is heading to and from their privileged position are able to lead it.

The book arrives one year after the turning point that meant the demonstration of July the 10th 2010, and a few months after having finished the popular referendums last April the 10th. At a time when the crisis, both economical and political is tightening the relationship between Catalonia and Spain and polls reflect a majority of Catalans in favor of independence.

The next chapter will be defined by CiU’s last attempt to counter the great independentist wave that is sweeping the country. Will they be able to claim a new fiscal deal next year and make Catalonia manage all of its taxes as they promised? Or will they lead the independentist movement once the new fiscal deal fails?

The book captures the full range of opinions that will help understand the direction the country is taking even and I recommend it since, not only it is a pleasant read and the interviews are excellent but it is also one of the few resources about Catalonia that are available in english. My only criticism is that I would have liked to see a few more people, like Miquel Calçada or Oriol Junqueras, for instance.

I hope the publishers have a Catalan version in mind, since it would be great to make this available to a broader audience within the Catalan speaking community.

The book has a website and the book’s electronic versions can be purchased directly from the publishers in electronic format and if you prefer it in dead tree format you can purchase it from the Amazon US and UK websites.

There’s even have a free sample available to download here.

Related to this I also recommend, also from CataloniaPress, the book by Matthew Tree, “Barcelona, Catalonia” which was also reviewed here a few months ago.

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