A Concise History of Portugal / Edition 2

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"This concise, illustrated history of Portugal offers an introduction to the people and culture of the country and its empire, and to its search for economic modernisation, political stability and international partnership." The present Concise History was research during the years which followed the fall of Portugal's dictators in 1974, and it has since become the standard single-volume work. This second edition brings the story up to date and the revised bibliography discusses the current state of historical writing on Portugal.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Standard reading for all those seeking an insight into the historical evolution of this remarkable country." Times Higher Education Supplement

"A modern account and the first to be written in ENglish since the termination of dictatorship. No international history series can be considered complete without this...edition." Library Bookwatch

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521830041
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2003
  • Series: Cambridge Concise Histories Series
  • Edition description: Updated edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

David Birmingham is Emeritus Professor of Modern History in the University of Kent at Canterbury.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Introduction 1
1 Peoples, cultures and colonies 11
2 Rebellion and independence in the seventeenth century 35
3 The golden age and the earthquake in the eighteenth century 67
4 Brazilian independence and the Portuguese Revolution 99
5 The bourgeois monarchy and the republicans 131
6 The dictatorship and the African empire 161
7 Democracy and the European Community 185
The houses of Avis, Beja and Habsburg 204
The houses of Braganza and Braganza-Saxe-Coburg 205
Republican presidents 206
Select source materials 207
Selected works published since 1990 209
Further reading in English 213
Index 215
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Where Would Portugal Be Today Without Britain?

    If you read nothing else in David Birmingham's A CONCISE HISTORY OF PORTUGAL (1993, 2003) ponder its 10-page Introduction. If you insist on reading all seven chapters, genealogical charts, maps, sources and other lists, be sure to come back to that Introduction. It is a good Executive Summary of the whole. *** Therein you will notice (reinforced and verified by skimming the generally good Index) that certain biases or beliefs of the author recur: Portugal's aristocracy has always been a drag on the nation's progress, especially economic; the Catholic Church is equally backward; 700 years of skirmishing and warring with next-door neighbor Spain drained Portugal of scarce resources; Portuguese have always been among Europe's worst educated, poorest populations, and more. *** Perhaps the strongest recurring thesis of all is the paradox: "England made Portugal." Author Birmingham marshals his evidence convincingly. (1) English Crusaders were decisive in helping Portuguese remove Muslim invaders from Lusitanian soil many decades sooner than from Spain. Indeed the first bishop of Lisbon was English. (2) Royal Philippa of Lancaster married King John I of Portugal in 1387. She was the eldest daughter of John of Gaunt and sister of usurping King Henry IV of England. Their Luso-Anglo marriage cemented relations with England and their dynasty began with nine children collectively recalled today in Portugal as "the Illustrious Generation." One of those was the great pioneer of navigation and exploration Prince Henry the Navigator, to this day the nation's most revered hero. (3) In 1662 Princess Catherine of Braganza became the Queen Consort of King Charles II of England. She introduced the Portuguese nobility's custom of drinking tea to England. Also important to the King's strapped finances was her dowry which included the gift of Portuguese Bombay in India. And on and on. *** Fascinating also is the story of century upon century of Portuguese exporting of wine to Britain and of the very early dominance of that trade by English businessmen resident first in Lisbon and later in northern Porto on the Doura river down which increasing quantities of wines reached the sea. English consuls in Lisbon and Porto were counted as virtual monarchs with their own mini-courts. Pragmatic ultra-Catholic Portuguese learned the profitability of tolerating English heretics in their midst. Vine culture in Madeira also became part of this bilateral picture. In the 18th Century Portuguese Prime Minister the Marques of Pombal modernized the port wine standards of the Douro valley and port wine laced with brandy then became an unremovable staple at Oxford and Cambridge among dons who served it in the evening with bananas in their lodgings to their brainier students. *** Given its brevity (225 pages), A CONCISE HISTORY OF PORTUGAL is necessarily densely packed with fact, illustrations and speculations as to what made Portugal Portugal. In some real sense Britain made Portugal. -OOO-

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2004

    A Brilliant Documentation of Rare Facts

    This book was a life saver. I had to write an end-of-year paper for my history class about Portugal, and most other books were either outdated, unavailable, or off-topic. This book has accurate facts and presents them in a beautiful, organized manner. I recommend this book to anyone wondering about Portugal or looking for knowledge about the country.

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