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Spain: A History

by Raymond Carr (Editor)

Other authors: Sebastian Balfour (Contributor), Roger Collins (Contributor), A.T. Fear (Contributor), Felipe Fernández-Armesto (Contributor), Richard A. Fletcher (Contributor)3 more, Richard Herr (Contributor), Henry Kamen (Contributor), Angus Mackay (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1681128,915 (3.07)2
'The book, which is nicely illustrated, contains nine essays... which cover the history of Spain, still unfamliar to most English-speakers, from prehistoric times to the present. The essays are well written by experts in that particular period and show how many of the trends we usually regard as 'post-Franco' have been about for some time in the ebb and flow of Spanish history.' -Contemp. Rev.From Roman times to the present day, Spain has occupied a significant role in the evolution of our Western world. In this one volume, under the editorship of Sir Raymond Carr, leading scholars present an overview of the political, economic, social, and intellectual factors which have shaped Spanish history over the last two thousand years.… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

I had seen this book reviewed as the best, single volume, concise history of Spain. Being a sucker for all things Spanish stemming from my college days, I thought I would pick it up.

I can't say that it is the best single volume treatment because I continue to believed that James Michener's Iberia remains the very best history of Spain I have read but this book is a solid second. Plus, it has the benefit of being far more current as Michener's book was written while Franco was still in power.

The book is not by one author but rather a group of authors covering discrete time periods of Spanish history. For example, Henry Kamen wrote the section on Spain's Golden Age (I enjoyed his How Spain Became a World Power. I thought the prehistoric and Roman sections to be some of the better parts of the book. Some parts admittedly dragged but I think that is a function of the history rather than the writing. Personally, I find the long period of imperial decline to be somewhat boring with the exception of Francisco Goya.

I think there is a lot to commend this book to a general reader. The history of Spain is especially diverse and interesting and that history played a significant role in the overall development of Western Europe.

I will say that the book could benefit from a new edition that dealt with Spain's recent efforts to deal with the legacy of Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. At the time this was published there was less of a concrete challenge to the Pact of Forgetting then there is now. Ghosts of Spain by Giles Tremlett covers this more recent development and has my vote for an additional chapter. ( )
  Oberon | Jan 10, 2018 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carr, RaymondEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balfour, SebastianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collins, RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fear, A.T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fernández-Armesto, FelipeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fletcher, Richard A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Herr, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kamen, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mackay, AngusContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gil Aristu, José LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'The book, which is nicely illustrated, contains nine essays... which cover the history of Spain, still unfamliar to most English-speakers, from prehistoric times to the present. The essays are well written by experts in that particular period and show how many of the trends we usually regard as 'post-Franco' have been about for some time in the ebb and flow of Spanish history.' -Contemp. Rev.From Roman times to the present day, Spain has occupied a significant role in the evolution of our Western world. In this one volume, under the editorship of Sir Raymond Carr, leading scholars present an overview of the political, economic, social, and intellectual factors which have shaped Spanish history over the last two thousand years.

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