Jeremy Black

Oct 14, 2019

A Brief History of Spain

Robinson 2019

purchase at bookshop.org Wonderfully concise and very readable, A Brief History of Spain (Robinson, 2019), is perfect for travelers as well as the discerning reader. Professor of History at Exeter University Jeremy Black’s book is a ‘must read’. This is an extraordinary tale of Spain, from early tribalism and Roman rule to the Moorish conquest in the 8th century, Spain's eighteenth-century revival under the Bourbons, the Peninsular War and revolution in Spanish America right up to the horrendous civil war and Generalissimo Francisco Franco's regime. A leitmotif running from Columbus's first voyage in 1492 was Spain's trans-oceanic empire which was central to the country's global impact and to a degree self-understanding. And the story continues with a look at contemporary Spain, not least Catalonia, and its future. Professor Black excels in covering not only political and military history, but also environmental and cultural factors. He looks, too, at what makes Spain's regions distinct, and how the history of the Iberian peninsula, could, at various points, have taken very different turns.
Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com.

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Charles Coutinho

"To history has been attributed the function to judge the past, to instruct ourselves for the advantage of the future. Such a lofty function the present work does not attempt. It aims merely to show how it actually took place". Leopold von Ranke.
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