Synopses & Reviews
The dramatic one-thousand-year history of Jews in Spain comes to life in Exiles in Sepharad
. Jeffrey Gorsky vividly relates this colorful period of Jewish history, from the era when Jewish culture was at its height in Muslim Spain to the horrors of the Inquisition and the Expulsion.
Twenty percent of Jews today are descended from Sephardic Jews, who created significant works in religion, literature, science, and philosophy. They flourished under both Muslim and Christian rule, enjoying prosperity and power unsurpassed in Europe. Their cultural contributions include important poets; the great Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides; and Moses de Leon, author of the Zohar, the core text of the Kabbalah.
But these Jews also endured considerable hardship. Fundamentalist Islamic tribes drove them from Muslim to Christian Spain. In 1391 thousands were killed and more than a third were forced to convert by anti-Jewish rioters. A century later the Spanish Inquisition began, accusing thousands of these converts of heresy. By the end of the fifteenth century Jews had been expelled from Spain and forcibly converted in Portugal and Navarre. After almost a millennium of harmonious existence, what had been the most populous and prosperous Jewish community in Europe ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula.
The rich cultural and political life of Spain has emerged from its complex history, from the diversity of its peoples, and from continual contact with outside influences. This book traces that history from prehistoric times to the present, focusing particularly on culture, society, politics, and personalities. Written in an engaging style, it introduces readers to the key themes that have shaped Spain's history and culture. These include its varied landscapes and climates; the impact of waves of diverse human migrations; the importance of its location as a bridge between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and Europe and Africa; and religion, particularly militant Catholic Christianity and its centuries of conflict with Islam and Protestantism, as well as debates over the place of the Church in modern Spain. Illustrations, maps, and a guide to further reading, major cultural figures, and places to see, make the history of this fascinating country come alive.
Engaging history of the rich cultural, social and political life of Spain from prehistoric times to the present.
Concise survey of Spain's complex history from prehistoric times to the present that focuses particularly on culture, society, politics, and personalities. Written in an engaging style and using illustrations, maps and guides to further reading, it introduces readers to the key themes that have shaped Spain's rich history and culture.
About the Author
William D. Phillips, Jr. is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota and directed the Center for Early Modern History there from 2001 to 2008. His previous publications include Testimonies from the Columbus Lawsuits (edited 2000), The Worlds of Christopher Columbus (with Carla Rahn Phillips, 1992, 'Spain in America' (Second) Prize, awarded by the Spanish government), Historia de la esclavitud en España (1990), Slavery from Roman Times to the Early Transatlantic Trade (1985), and Enrique IV and the Crisis of Fifteenth-Century Castile (1978). He is a corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of History.Carla Rahn Phillips is Union Pacific Professor in Comparative Early Modern History at the University of Minnesota. Her previous publications include Six Galleons for the King of Spain: Imperial Defense in the Early Seventeenth Century (1986, winner of the 1987 'Leo Gershoy Award' of the American Historical Association for best book in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European history), Spain's Golden Fleece: Wool Production and the Wool Trade from the Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century (1997, with William D. Phillips, Jr., winner of the 1998 'Leo Gershoy Award' of the American Historical Association) and The Treasure of the San José: Death at Sea in the War of the Spanish Succession (2007, Award for Excellence in World History and Biography/Autobiography of the Professional and Scholarly Publishing division of the American Association of Publishers). She is a corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academy of History.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. The land and its early inhabitants; 2. Ancient legacies; 3. Diversity in medieval Spain; 4. The rise of Spain to international prominence; 5. Spain as the first global empire; 6. Toward modernity: from the Napoleonic invasion to Alfonso XIII; 7. The struggle for the Spanish soul: republic, civil war, and dictatorship; 8. New Spain, new Spaniards: European, democratic, and multicultural; List of rulers; Short guide to further sources of information.