Synopses & Reviews
What happens in Spain, among the euro zone's largest economies, matters. Its high unemployment (over 26%), burgeoning public debt, and banking crisis will be formative for the zone's future.
In Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know®, a timely addition to Oxford's acclaimed What Everyone Needs to Know®
series, veteran journalist William Chislett provides much-needed political and historical context for Spain's current economic and political predicament. Chislett recounts the country's fascinating and often turbulent history, beginning with the Muslim conquest in 711 and ending with the nation's deep economic crisis, sparked by the spectacular collapse of its real estate and construction sectors in 2010. He explains the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy and covers such issues as the creation of a welfare state, the influx of immigrants, internal strife from the separatist Catalan region, the effects of stringent austerity measures, the strengths and weaknesses of the economy, and how the country can create a more sustainable economic model for the future. In a concise, question-and-answer format that allows readers to quickly access areas of particular interest, the book addresses a wide range of questions, including: What was the legacy of the Muslim presence between 711 and 1492? How did the Spanish Empire Arise? What were the causes of the 1936-39 Civil War? Why did the Socialists win a landslide victory in the 1982 election? What was the impact of European Economic Community membership? What is the violent Basque separatist group ETA? What caused the banking crisis? and more.
This engaging overview covers a wide sweep of Spanish history and helps readers understand Spain's place in the world today.
What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
Spain is a model of intelligent concision, and it is splendidly balanced in its judgments and assessments. Perhaps at this moment it is Spaniards themselves who stand most in need of it, but it will attract a wide range of readers."--Sir John Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Oxford
"This is the one indispensable handbook on contemporary Spain. In lucid prose, it clearly explains everything one needs to know. It is dazzingly good on the economic crisis and the consequent undermining of social cohesion." --Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Holocaust
"Objectivity of viewpoint, mastery of facts, depth of reflection, balance in judgement, economy in expression, and sagacity in selection rarely go together - especially in the arena of Spanish historiography. Few writers unite these qualities better than William Chislett in this useful, brisk, reliable, and engaging conspectus of Spain." --Felipe Fernández-Armesto, William P. Reynolds Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Spain is a model of intelligent concision, and it is splendidly balanced in its judgments and assessments. Perhaps at this moment it is Spaniards themselves who stand most in need of it, but it will attract a wide range of readers." - Sir John Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History, University of Oxford
Spain has undergone significant transformations over the past three decades, from a dictatorship to a democracy and from a mostly local and agriculture-based economy to one of the biggest financial systems in the EU and internationally. Until 2008, it enjoyed a major influx of foreign investment and the most rapid economic growth of any of the countries in the EU, resulting in half of the new jobs created during the early days of the Union. Yet, it now faces the highest rate of unemployment in Europe and slow growth for the foreseeable future. Additionally, the country faces internal strife from the separatist Basque region and stringent austerity measures.
In Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know, veteran journalist William Chislett recounts the country's fascinating and often turbulent history, beginning with the Muslim conquest in 711 and ending with the nation's deep economic crisis, sparked by the spectacular collapse of its real estate and construction sectors. He explains how some of the ghosts of the 1936-39 Civil War were laid to rest and the country moved to democracy, and covers issues such as the devolution of power to the country's 17 regions, the creation of a welfare state, the influx of several million immigrants over a very short time span, the religious cleavage, the strengths and weaknesses of the economy and how the country can create a more sustainable economic model.
What happens in Spain matters. As Chislett shows, the country is much more than bullfighting and flamenco. It is an international economic power, and its future will significantly shape that of the European Union.
About the Author
is a journalist who has lived in Madrid since 1986. He covered Spain's transition to democracy (1975-78) for The Times
of London and was later the Mexico correspondent for the Financial Times
(1978-84). He writes about Spain for the Elcano Royal Institute, which has published three books of his on the country, and he has a weekly column in the online newspaper El Imparcial
Table of Contents
LIST OF TABLES
POLITICAL MAP OF SPAIN
1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND : 711-1939
2 THE FRANCO REGIME: 1939-75
3 THE TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY: 1975-82
4 THE SOCIALIST ERA: 1982-96
5 THE RETURN OF THE RIGHT: 1996-2004
6 THE SOCIALISTS STRIKE BACK: 2004-11
7 WHAT LIES AHEAD?
RESULTS OF GENERAL ELECTIONS, 1977-2011
SELECTED SUGGESTED READINGS IN ENGLISH