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Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know
 
 

Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know [Kindle Edition]

William Chislett
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Review

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 Fernandez-Armesto, William P. Reynolds Professor of History, University of Notre Dame Chislett condenses [Spain's] difficult story in 200 tight pages without a single drop of hearsay or meanness: not only a record, but a declaration of love to a country and a job. Juan Cruz, El Pais,

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 502 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (27 Jun 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DEKGCVY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #178,220 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Darren Simons TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Any book with the sub-title "What everyone needs to know" is asking for trouble, as it of course depends on what the reader wants to read. I was interested to get a narrative on the history of Spain over the past 200 hundred years with an informed view from the author of where the future lies. This book does deliver a not, but not really that.

The first three chapters take the reader through the history of Spain from 711 to the transition to democracy after General Franco, up to 1982. Rather than a narrative it is a series of questions and answers which I actually quite enjoyed - when there was a question I was not particularly interested in I skipped to the next one. It was well written, interesting, and the chronology of questions worked well.

However, the second half then described in more detail the successive governments since then and for me are just too detailed. It would have been far more interesting to expand on that first section in my mind.

Having read the book and reflected, I think the image painted is a little less than impartial. Little is said of Gibraltar, the impact of sport (notably football) - I certainly don't feel the book contains everything I want to know hence the loss of a second star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars William Chislett - "Y Viva Espana"? 30 May 2014
By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
William Chislett is a former journalist who has been based in Spain over the years not least during his stay as the Financial Times correspondent in Madrid during the democratic transition of the 1970s. His knowledge of this intriguing country is second to none and frankly in a market which has been cornered in the UK by the ubiquitous historian Paul Preston its good to hear another voice. The title of the book almost suggests a "Spain for Dummies" style thesis when in fact this is a sprightly romp through the entirety of Spanish history from the legacy of the Moors, the rise of the Spanish empire and the Golden Age right up to Franco, the emergence of King Juan Carlos and finally topped off with the blessed transition back to democracy.

Chislett reflections and analysis are crisp and often witty. He is particularly good on Franco fatigue with a dictator who looked at one time that he many live forever. He mentions the long running joke that thousands of Spaniards "had short index fingers for every year they tapped surfaces with it while saying that this really was the year when Franco would die". The dictator left the perception of a country which was a backwater with nice beaches packed with tourists. The poison legacy of the civil war, the all pervasive role of the Catholic church and the growing distance of elites from the population give Spanish society its own highly distinctive character. "Spain is different" might have been a tourist slogan in the 1960s but it does encapsulate the frustration of a country still defined by stereotypes. Chislett highlights the usual suspects not least bull fighting, the siesta, Flamenco and Don Quixote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Sussman TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is part of `What Everyone Needs to Know' book series. The author is a veteran journalist William Chislett. He gives an overview of Spanish history and in doing so places Spain's current political and economic woes in some form of contextualised frame work. Issues such as immigration, collapse of its construction industry, the call by certain regions for independence from Spain and its chronic unemployment. These are just some of the head line grabbing issues that affect Spain - its place within Europe and its future.

What was Moorish Spain and its' legacy?

What are the impacts of European Union membership on Spain, and the adoption of the Euro?

The Basque separatist group ETA and Catalans' need for independence.

The authors' style is to supply the reader with lots of data and factual information. This information is then conveyed in a question-and-answer format that allows readers to quickly zero in on areas of specific importance. Overall a good read that can be funny at times. I found the narrative engaged you from the get go - it helped me to better understand Spain's place in the world today with its' rich and complex history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sharp, witty, and truthful 19 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback
A book containing so many statistics might be dull - but this one is just full of life. It's beautifully written, funny, and gives a portrait of Spain which is both honest and affectionate. I'd recommend it to anyone, however well they (think they) know Spain already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 2 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In these 200 pages, I learnt about my country more than reading newspapers for 15 years. Objective information, clever observation, clearly writen. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A really clear description and analysis of Spanish society and politics as they are now, and set in the context of a quite racy yet thorough and well documented account of the historical structures and events that set the scene against which current events take place. If you do not believe me, and why should you, then you can believe Paul Preston and Felipe Fernández-Armesto. Radical, affectionate and unsentimental.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all. 14 Sep 2013
By Nu
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful, concise book on Spain - its history, present day politics, economics and the financial crisis are all dealt with in very readable chunks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good as well
I was just looking for general legal rules book everyone should know if living in Spain but this book is more of a history book. Good as well.
Published 8 days ago by Daiquiri
4.0 out of 5 stars Q&A format for a guide to Spain
This book is a nice addtion to the format, where a country is discussed through a Q&A format. Not great for an actual tourist book, but strangely well presented to allow the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jack Chakotay
4.0 out of 5 stars An Overview of a Fascinating Country
'Spain: What Everyone Needs to Know' despite its size is NOT to be confused with the 'Rough Guide to ...' series of books. Read more
Published 2 months ago by G. J. Oxley
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively and Comprehensive
A lively and comprehensive guide to a fascinating and varied country. The narrative is well written, engaging and often funny in an affectionate way. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Zipster Zeus
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and interesting account of modern Spain
I have always thought that Spain is a fascinating country. I was born in 1971 so my main picture of Spain is as a sun-drenched holiday destination on the one hand and a wonderful... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Peter Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of facts but a bit dry for me
I was looking forward to reading this book in order to get the full picture of Spain's history and more recent political and social events. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Manda Moo
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much propaganda.
William Chislett breezes you through Spanish history from the Moors to the present day. His prose is pleasantly readable as you would expect from a journalist. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Prof TBun
5.0 out of 5 stars Contextualising what's afoot in Spain
No one can argue that Spain is among the big beasts of the euro zone, a country boasting high profile companies from banking to oil and gas. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gaurav Sharma
4.0 out of 5 stars An effective quick guide to spains modern histrory
I have often been mystified by spanish history, being completely out of order with the rest of europe. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mikael Kirkebaek
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