Wonderfully concise and very readable, A Brief History of Spain (Robinson, 2019), is perfect for travellers as well as the discerning reader. This 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.
Jeremy talks to Charles Coutinho for the New Books Network. Listen to the podcast now.