Customer Reviews


2 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars A new look at Spanish history
In the UK we typically do not understand much about the history of Spain. A few negligent phrases perhaps about Ferdinand and Isabella who got rid of Muslim rule over most of Spain, The Inquisition, Christopher Columbus, war against the Incas and conquering South America, Don Quixote and of course, the Spanish Civil War and Franco.

Kamen's book The...
Published on 30 May 2010 by The Judge

versus
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow! blatantly anti-Spanish
Shockingly biased. Kamen makes all sorts of childish personal attacks.

A central point is that the Spanish were somehow uniquely anti-semitic (he does clear them of overt racism in this respect) by refusing to accept the 'new Christians' as Christians and Spaniards through and through...but then he ridicules latter generations for claiming the achievements of...
Published on 5 Aug. 2008 by Acinom


Most Helpful First | Newest First

5.0 out of 5 stars A new look at Spanish history, 30 May 2010
This review is from: The Disinherited: The Exiles Who Created Spanish Culture (Allen Lane History) (Hardcover)
In the UK we typically do not understand much about the history of Spain. A few negligent phrases perhaps about Ferdinand and Isabella who got rid of Muslim rule over most of Spain, The Inquisition, Christopher Columbus, war against the Incas and conquering South America, Don Quixote and of course, the Spanish Civil War and Franco.

Kamen's book The Disinherited: the exiles who created Spanish culture, while not claiming to be a history of Spain from the end of the 15th century, in fact tells us a great deal about Spanish history, while brilliantly developing his thesis that there is, as it were, a fault line running through Spanish culture. This fault line consists in the inability to accept dissent, to integrate different cultural values and points of view and to express this inability by 'exiling' those who were unacceptable. Sometimes this was actually expulsion by decree, most obviously applied to the 'converted' Jews and later the Moors, but also, and this is typical of the jaw-dropping information found on nearly every page of this book, of powerful groups such as the Jesuits - who would have thought it?
'Exile' is a concept that is treated very broadly, and often refers to 'exile' within Spain itself, or self-imposed exile, often by writers or political dissenters, who could not fit with the contemporary culture and saw the outside world as the only place they could flourish. This constant recourse to getting rid of whoever was felt to be unfitting, often highly-placed political figures, meant that Spain became introverted, its cultural development, according to Kamen, who produces a wealth of evidence, left in the hands of those outside Spain.

Some'exiles' are well-known, Picasso being an obvious one. This meant that at times Spain has ended up, as in the case of Picasso and others, revering their 'exiles' once they were dead, or at least too old to disturb. Not all the exiles were of this ilk, the Civil War, of course produced huge numbers of ordinary Spaniards in danger from both sides.
All in all, Spanish exiles have affected the countries they have lived in, by bringing their Spanish culture with them, while, according to Kamen, leaving Spain impoverished and moribund until very recently. Kamen writes as an 'exile' himself, in his own words "...this is a book written by an expatriate who has lived all his life within cultures that have sheltered him but were not his." The book is meticulously researched, written clearly and gracefully and opened my eyes to a cultural history hitherto unknown, but important and fascinating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow! blatantly anti-Spanish, 5 Aug. 2008
By 
This review is from: The Disinherited: The Exiles Who Created Spanish Culture (Allen Lane History) (Hardcover)
Shockingly biased. Kamen makes all sorts of childish personal attacks.

A central point is that the Spanish were somehow uniquely anti-semitic (he does clear them of overt racism in this respect) by refusing to accept the 'new Christians' as Christians and Spaniards through and through...but then he ridicules latter generations for claiming the achievements of certain New Christians (or their descendents) as Spanish achievements!

How strange to dedicate your life to the study of a culture which you appear to despise and constantly seek to belittle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Disinherited: The Exiles Who Created Spanish Culture (Allen Lane History)
Used & New from: £2.23
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews