Spain: A History

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Overview

Sir Raymond Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on the history of Spain. In Spain: A History, he and eight other leading scholars—including Sebastian Balfour and Felipe Fernandez-Armesto—provide an authoritative overview of a country that has played a vital role in the history of the Western world.

Here is an up-to-date and engaging tour of Spain through the ages. We read of prehistoric Spain and of the imposition of Roman rule, which created the idea of Hispania as a single entity. There are knowledgeable discussions of the Visigoth monarchy, Moorish Spain, the establishment of an empire, and the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, all of which not only chart the political and economic development of Spain, but also examine the extraordinary artistic and literary achievements of the Spanish people. We read of the rise of liberalism in the nineteenth century, and of its fall, which ushered in a period of political instability culminating in the Civil War and authoritarian rule. The book concludes with a look at modern Spain as a fully integrated and enthusiastic member of the European community.

Attractively illustrated with eight pages of color plates and twenty-four black-and-white plates, Spain: A History is the best historical account of Spain currently available for general readers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Potent yet palatable, this history of Spain is remarkably seamless--especially considering that it traces the development of a fractious society and that it is the creation of nine collaborating authors. The work's fluidity is both evidence of editor Carr's diligence and a manifestation of the authors' unity of purpose. Together and individually they dismiss the romantic notion that, to preserve traditional values, Spain has repeatedly resisted social change and intentionally sacrificed its own prosperity. Instead they propose that Spain's unique path toward integration with modern Europe has been the result of the perpetual clash of its diverse inhabitants and conquerors. Far from isolating itself from Europe, they argue, Spain grew in power by exploiting its ties to other European societies. The authors' shared thesis spans the centuries from Roman domination, to the Islamic invasion, to the tyranny of Franco, but their narrative styles and interests are by no means uniform. Carr (a former warden at St. Anthony's College at Oxford and author of Modern Spain, 1875-1980) displays what amounts to contempt for Spanish culture of the mid-19th century; Felipe Fern ndez-Armesto (professor of history, Oxford) combines effervescence with erudition in his discussion of the Spanish Golden Age; Sebastian Balfour (assistant director of Spanish studies, London School of Economics) employs the brevity demanded by the book's structure to heart-wrenching effect in his account of the Spanish Civil War. As era is layered upon era, the events of history become linked not only by a causal relationship, but by a creative one as well: this book suggests that the concept of Spain has evolved through the continuous and repeated reinterpretation of a rich and controversial past. 8 pages color and 70 b&w illus. not seen by PW. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
For most students of European history, Spain is significant only briefly during the late 15th and 16th centuries in connection with discovery and conquest in the Americas; otherwise, knowledge about its history is often lacking. Carr (former warden, St. Antony's Coll., Oxford Univ.; Modern Spain, 1875-1980) and eight other international experts on Spanish history have contributed essays that will fill in the fascinating span of Spanish history from prehistoric and Roman Spain to the country's emergence as a dedicated and energetic member of the European Economic Community. A careful and pointed selection of color and black-and-white plates bring historical figures and events to life. However, this is not a superficial and popular history. The essays are serious and scholarly in tone and certainly provide grist for further reading and discussion. Fortunately, a well-selected bibliography of items (in English) will facilitate further study and deeper consideration of the historical facts. Recommended for larger historical and travel collections.--Olga B. Wise, Compaq Computer Corp., Austin, TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Edgar-nominee Abrahams (The Fan) weaves a tight web of deception and intrigue involving the two couples, a sheriff whose wife was brutally murdered years ago, and a desperate ex-con who becomes Roger's pawn in his murderous game. A Perfect Crime is fast-paced, tense, even witty as it careens to its bloody conclusion. -- Karen Anderson, Arizona State University West Library, Phoenix

From the Publisher

"A wonderful overview of an oft-unexplored history."--Booklist (on the previous edition)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198206194
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Raymond Carr is the former Warden of St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He is the author of six books on Spanish history, including Modern Spain, 1875-1980.

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Table of Contents

Preface
  1. Prehistoric and Roman Spain, A T Fear
  2. Visigothic Spain, Roger Collins
  3. The Early Middle Ages, Richard Fletcher
  4. The Late Middle Ages, Angus Mackay
  5. The Improbable Empire, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
  6. Vicissitudes of a World Power, 1500-1700, Henry Kamen
  7. Flow and Ebb, 1700-1833, Richard Herr
  8. 1833-1931, Sir Raymond Carr
  9. Spain from 1931 to the Present, Sebastian Balfour
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2003

    Not a Comprehensive History

    This book is a thrown-together compendium of essays about Spanish history. It does not qualify as a history of Spain. The tone is so academic as to be either useless or very boring to the lay reader.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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