New Spaniards - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Probably the best book you can read to understand where
the Spanish as a people have been and are going in the future.
Topics such as women in spain, ETA, regionalism, work, real
estate and social and economic policy are well written and
without the dry commentary you'd expect on such subjects.
Television, radio, eating, drinking and other topics show
give you insight into daily, individual life in Spain. I
would recommend this as the first book you should read before
studying or living here.
Spain: A History
Nobody puts together the history of Spain like Raymond Carr,
one of the most respected authors of Spanish History in
English. Carr did a remarkable job unifying the work of
several different authors into one cohesive piece. Starting
with prehistoric Spain and moving through periods of Roman
rule, the Visigoths, Moors and the Enlightenment. Along
the way learn of the impressive literary and artistic history
of the country.
Modern Spain, 1875-1980
I was first introduced to this book as required reading
in my History of Modern Spain class back in 1991. Again,
as the probably the best author in English on the history
of Spain, Raymond Carr does a fantastic job of leading you
through probably the most confusing epoch of Spanish history.
A great read to understand the rise of Franco in the context
of the fifty odd years before his coup. A great book which
covers the basics of Spanish history up to present day.
Spanish Labyrinth : An Account of the Social and Political
Background of the Spanish Civil War
An account by Brennan, another great modern writer of Spanish
history, which details the build up to and struggle of the
Spanish Civil War. Written during the same period it offers
some fascinating insight without the benefit of hindsight.
Much is related through Brennan's personal experience while
he intends to give an objective view of the causes of the
Via De LA Plata: The Way of St James, Seville to Santiago
A guide to the road less traveled when it comes to the pilgrimage.
The southern route from Seville to Santiago is covered in
Stopped By Franco
A thoroughly documented historical novel from the years
1940-1943 of WWII. Did Franco provide crucial help in winning
the war for the Allies by denying Hitler entrance into Spain
and control of Gibraltar, effectively closing British shipping
lines in the Med. sea? Did Franco rescue thousands of Jews
from the Nazis? The book is well liked by readers as well
as some academics.
Spanish Civil War
A more political historical account Spanish Civil War, including
the events leading to the conflict. An in depth look at
the Republicans and their multinational yet often conflicting
political support versus Franco and the Nationalists, with
aid from Italy and Germany. Less a battlefield account and
more coverage of the intense political and diplomatic efforts
on both sides.
and Nazi Germany: Collaboration in the New Order
Perhaps an interesting companion to the book listed in my
fiction section, The Blind Man of Seville. Covering
some of the most radical and fascist elements of Franco's
regime. those who sought close ties to Nazi Germany, including
the famous Blue Division who joined the Germans to fight
Stalin and the Russians in World War II. Some interesting
research was done for this book with some little known facts
pulled together by the author.
Story of Spain
A great overview and introduction to the history of Spain.
In some 300 pages, many with illustrations and maps, the
author, Mark Williams, covers Spain from pre-historic times
to the 1990's, including political, social and cultural
events. Showing great admiration for the country, Williams
does a great job at producing a very readable and interesting
account of Spain over more than 2,000 years and provides
photos and a bit of information on the sites for those visiting
the country. A great read before a trip to Spain or a companion
book to the travel guide you'll bring with you to help put
the sites in some historical context.
The Rough Guide History of Spain
You won't get quite the academic review of Spanish history
from the Rough Guide series, but they do a good job putting
together history for the traveler and blending it with some
helpful information about the sites you'll see along the
way. As always a little detail and some lesser known facts
about sites, cities and towns.
Spain: A Handbook
A fairly thorough account of Spain with a focus on politics,
economy and institutions written in an easy to digest format.
Billed as a "valuable book for English-speaking students
of Spanish", the book provides a lot of tools that
others don't. Each chapter contains a Spanish-English glossary
with relevant words as well as suggested readings for those
who want more information on specific topics. I haven't
read this one yet, but am waiting for a copy, so I'll have
more on this one soon.
Originally written in Arabic, this book is a collection
of poetry born in Andalucia which beautifully represents
the times of Moorish Spain. Well translated by Cola Franzen
considering in reading this you'll be on the third language
(Arabic to Spanish to English). If you know Spanish I do
recommend reading them that way, but she does an excellent
job of conveying the emotions of the original authors. Of
course if you speak Arabic track them down in the original
language and that's even better.
Spain - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
A great book for travelers of Andalucia who want to know
more detail about the 700 years of Islamic Spain. Covering
everything from art, architecture, poetry and history the
book is also extremely readable for a "history"
text. The author, Richard Fletcher, also offers specific
examples and theories on how Spain acted as the most important
Islamic influence on modern European culture and thought.
I've only read half the book at this point, but will be
finished within the next few days!
Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians
Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
The title describes well the content of the book - a glimpse
into a unique culture of religious and cultural tolerance
during the 700 years of Arab occupation in Andalucia. Significant
historical figures of the time are given intimate descriptions.
The accomplishments of Islamic Spain are well documented
and impressive. Another good read for those planning to
travel to the south of Spain.
Art and Ritual in
A must read for those interested in the history of processional
sculpture of Semana Santa. The work involved and the social,
cultural, religious and political influences behind the
pieces, which were at one time looked upon as a lower art
form. The author pieces together archival evidence with
more contemporary accounts to fully understand the artistic
history of not only the sculpture, but also the fraternidades and people's devotion to the event of Holy Week or Semana
Santa in Seville.
Velazquez in Seville
If you really love Velazquez and Sevilla then this book
is worth the $70 you'll pay. Full of color illustrations
it focuses on Velazquez's years in Sevilla and the influences
the culture, religion and city had on his work in his formative
years. It's one of those coffee table books, but it doesn't
convert to a coffee table if you don't have one like Kramer's
book in Seinfeld.
Houses and Palaces of Andalusia
The descriptions come to life through the work of a reporter
for the Spanish newspaper el ABC. Photographs are excellent
as they take you around some of the finest houses in Andalucia
built between the 16th and 18th centuries as the New World
wealth flowed to the south of Spain. History behind the
houses gives you some insight into their history and the
families who built them.
Cathedral of Seville
follow the history of the world's largest gothic building,
from it's start as a Mosque during Moorish times to the
subsequent additions and renovations converting it into
one of the most visited churches in Europe. A photographic
tour of the interior architecture plus plenty of color illustrations
representing some of the finest paintings and works of art
within the cathedral. The book covers La Catedral thoroughly giving you plenty to look at along the way.
Is a Bridge? The Making of Calatrava's Bridge in Seville
From old to new, in this book take a look at the man behind
the Alamillo Bridge, architect Santiago Calatrava, who was
commissioned to design the structure for Sevilla's 1992
World Exposition. From the design to the various phases
of construction to completion the book is a wonderful account
of the entire process. Calatrava is famous for his works
around the world, and in 2003 was commissioned to design
the new railway terminal on the site of the World Trade
Center in New York City.