Cover image for Spain : a history
Spain : a history
Carr, Raymond.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
vi, 318 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Prehistoric and Roman Spain / A.T. Fear -- Visigothic Spain, 409-711 / Roger Collins -- The early middle ages, 700-1250 / Richard Fletcher -- The late middle ages, 1250-1500 / Angus Mackay -- The improbable empire / Felipe Fernández-Armesto -- Vicissitudes of a world power, 1500-1700 / Henry Kamen -- Flow and Ebb, 1700-1833 / Richard Herr -- Liberalism and reaction, 1833-1931 / Raymond Carr -- Spain from 1931 to the present / Sebastian Balfour.
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DP66 .S63 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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From Roman times to the present day, Spain has occupied a significant role in the evolution of our Western world. This book highlights the notable trends, intellectual and social, of each particular era in its history. The imposition of Roman rule created the notion of Hispania as a singleentity. Chapters on the Visigoth monarchy, Moorish Spain, the establishment of an empire, the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, all chart the political and economic development of Spain, but also emphasise the extraordinary and diverse artistic and literary achievements of the Spanish people withinthis one country at these different times. Moving on to the nineteenth century, we read of the rise of liberalism, and of its fall, which ushered in a period of disarray leading to the Civil War and authoritarian rule. Today Spain is a fully integrated and enthusiastic member of the Europeancommunity. The contributors to this work are all specialists in their field, and provide an authoritative overview of two thousand years of Spanish history for the student and general reader.

Author Notes

Raymond Carr, Former Warden, St Antony's College, Oxford.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Spain once ruled the seas, creating a vast empire with its investment in New World exploration and its subsequent gain of wealth. Its history is a tale of division, distrust, and internal unrest. Its literature is plentiful and rich. And Spain has seldom been allotted the kind of well-researched narrative historical overview that this excellent volume gives it. Due to Francoist restrictions and forced historical revisionism, it is only now that Spain's history can be given an objective look, by both Spanish and non-Spanish historians. As restrictions and access to historical documents become relaxed, only this generation's authors have fully realized the fascinating and epic nature of Spain's history. Edited by Oxford historian Carr, Spain presents a journey through the nation's entire history: from its prehistoric settlement through Roman, Visigothic, and Islamic rule, and from its golden age of exploration to the Spanish civil war in the 1930s, Franco's resulting rule, the monarchy's reestablishment, Basque separatists, and modern Spain's political unrest. Despite its slow moving density, this is a wonderful overview of an oft-unexplored history. --Michael Spinella

Publisher's Weekly Review

Potent yet palatable, this history of Spain is remarkably seamlessÄespecially 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

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.DOlga B. Wise, Compaq Computer Corp., Austin, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1 Prehistoric and Roman SpainA T Fear
2 Visigothic SpainRoger Collins
3 The Early Middle AgesRichard Fletcher
4 The Late Middle AgesAngus Mackay
5 The Improbable EmpireFelipe Fernandez-Armesto
6 Vicissitudes of a World Power, 1500-1700Henry Kamen
7 Flow and Ebb, 1700-1833Richard Herr
8 1833-1931Sir Raymond Carr
9 Spain from 1931 to the PresentSebastian Balfour