SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Outlaws’ by Javier Cercas

On a summer day at the arcade, timid sixteen-year-old Ignacio Cañas encounters two charismatic rebels: El Zarco (“Blue Eyes”) and his gorgeous girl, Tere. Entranced, he crosses the border into their dangerous world, becoming their partner in crimes that quickly escalate.   Twenty-five years later, Tere materializes in Cañas’s office, needing help. Cañas has settled back into middle-class life, becoming a successful defense lawyer. Zarco … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Outlaws’ by Javier Cercas

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Anatomy of a Moment (Anatomía de un instante)’ by Javier Cercas

In February 1981, just as Spain was finally leaving Francos’ dictatorship and during the first democratic vote in parliament for a new prime minister – Colonel Tejero and a band of right-wing soldiers burst into the Spanish parliament and began firing shots. Only three members of Congress defied the incursion and did not dive for cover,: Adolfo Suarez the then outgoing prime minister, who had … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Anatomy of a Moment (Anatomía de un instante)’ by Javier Cercas

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction’ by Helen Graham

Amid the many catastrophes of the twentieth century, the Spanish Civil War continues to exert a particular fascination among history buffs and the lay-reader alike. This Very Short Introduction integrates the political, social and cultural history of the Spanish Civil War. It sets out the domestic and international context of the war for a general readership. In addition to tracing the course of war, the … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction’ by Helen Graham

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Defence of Madrid’ by Geoffrey Cox

Goodies and baddies take some sorting out in this tale of the siege of Madrid by Franco’s right-wing forces supported by the Nazis and the fascist regime of Mussolini (the ‘rebels’), against the civilian population and its government representatives, just elected, who happened to be left-wing. Once sorted, Cox’s account of the city under attack, in one of the twentieth century’s first urban wars, has … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Defence of Madrid’ by Geoffrey Cox

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Franco: Biography of the Myth’ by Antonio Cazorla Sánchez

General Francisco Franco, also called the Caudillo, was the dictator of Spain from 1939 until his death in 1975. His life has been examined in many previous biographies. However, most of these have been traditional, linear biographies that focus on Franco’s military and political careers, neglecting the significance of who exactly Franco was for the millions of Spaniards over whom he ruled for almost forty … Continue reading SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Franco: Biography of the Myth’ by Antonio Cazorla Sánchez