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Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
Jos¿ Saramago
0156007134
February 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1979, 19 years before he won the Nobel Prize for literature, Portuguese novelist Saramago (Blindness) journeyed across his homeland, hoping "to write a book on Portugal that [would be] capable of offering a fresh way of looking, a new way of feeling" about the country's history and culture. Out of that personal quest comes this monumental work, a literary hybrid that intermingles an intimate portrait of a nation with aspects of a novel, travel log and guide book. From the outset, a deep sense of Portuguese and European history pervades Saramago's descriptions, which evince a longing for the past whose fragments lie in every crevice, niche and portico. For example, upon seeing "traces of ancient anti-Spanish rancor in the form of obscene graffiti scored into good 15th-century stone" in Miranda do Douro, he...


Commander of the Armada : The Seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia

0300044089


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Dogs of God
James Reston
0385508484
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran journalist and author Reston brings to life three key elements of Spanish history that intertwined in 1492. Columbus takes a back seat to the Inquisition and the defeat of Islamic Granada, but plays a key role in demonstrating their relationship to the rise of empire and the modern state. Reston (Warriors of God; Galileo) has done tremendous research, though the shadows of his mostly older sources tend to show in stereotypes of the treasure-hungry, Machiavellian Ferdinand and the handsome adventurer Columbus charming Isabella. While he reduces the order of Dominicans to their role as inquisitors, he generally does justice to the complexities of his subject, examining the worlds of Christians, Muslims and Jews with sympathy and irony, and incorporating portraits of several lesser-known figures. The...


Story of Spain: The Dramatic History of Europe's Most Fascinating Country
Mark R. Williams
0970696922
April 2004
Paperback
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Paul Smith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish, U.C.L.A.
"By far the best introduction for students in English to Spain's history and culture..."

David Baird, Lookout Magazine
"A vivid account of the country's origins and development as a nation..."

See all Editorial Reviews


Empires of the Atlantic World : Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830
John H. Elliott
0300114311
May 8, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In a masterful account, Oxford don Elliott explores the simultaneous development of Spanish and English colonies in the so-called New World. Though colonists tried to recreate traditional institutions on American soil, there were inevitable differences between colonial life and life in the mother countries: familial roles, for example, were reconfigured across the ocean. In addition to differing from Europe, Spanish and British settlements differed from one another, says Elliott. Whereas Spain determined to prevent Jews and Moors from entering its territories, Britain's grudging acceptance of religious diversity was evidenced in the Crown's allowing, and in some cases encouraging, persecuted minorities to join colonial ventures. The English colonies' fractious Protestantism made Spain's...


Sharpe's Havoc: Richard Sharpe and the Campaign in Northern Portugal, Spring 1809
Bernard Cornwell
0060566701
March 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Sharpe fans who may have worried that Cornwell's popular series was drawing to a close can heave a sigh of relief-the 19th entry (after 2002's Sharpe's Prey) brings the up-from-the-ranks rifleman back to the Peninsular War where the series began, among such familiar comrades-in-arms as Sergeant Harper and the "old poacher" Dan Hagman. In the treacherous villain role without which no Sharpe adventure would be complete, the Shakespeare-quoting Colonel Christopher plays both sides of the fence in an effort to contrive a peace between the warring parties that will leave him a rich man. But Christopher hasn't reckoned with the new British commander, Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, who arrives in time to catch Marshal Soult's invading army by surprise. Meanwhile, Sharpe and his men, cut off in a...


Homage to Catalonia
George Orwell
0156421178
October 1969
Paperback
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Book Review
"I wonder what is the appropriate first action when you come from a country at war and set foot on peaceful soil. Mine was to rush to the tobacco-kiosk and buy as many cigars and cigarettes as I could stuff into my pockets." Most war correspondents observe wars and then tell stories about the battles, the soldiers and the civilians. George Orwell--novelist, journalist, sometime socialist--actually traded his press pass for a uniform and fought against Franco's Fascists in the Spanish Civil War during 1936 and 1937. He put his politics and his formidable conscience to the toughest tests during those days in the trenches in the Catalan section of Spain. Then, after nearly getting killed, he went back to England and wrote a gripping account of his experiences, as well as a complex analysis of the political machinations that led...


Barcelona
Robert Hughes
0679743839
Mar 1993
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Hughes's historical-cultural treatise on the Catalonian capital sparkles on the topic of architecture. Photos. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
YA-- The throbbing beat of flamenco guitars and the clicking of castanets resound as readers peruse the pages of this epic history. Founded as an encampment by Roman invaders around 210 B.C. , Barcelona passed through centuries of strife until it reached its ``Golden Age'' between the years 1850 and 1925; it is on this era that Hughes focuses. Aficianados of his descriptive, colorful prose style from such bestsellers as The Fatal Shore (Random, 1988) and The Shock of the New (McGraw, 1981) will not be disappointed with this work, and students of architecture will be especially pleased with...


Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe
Laurence Bergreen
006093638X
November 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Bergreen, who has penned biographies of James Agee, Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin and Al Capone, superbly recreates Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan's obsessive 16th-century quest, an ill-fated journey that altered Europe's perception of the planet: "It was a dream as old as the imagination: a voyage to the ends of the earth.... Mariners feared they could literally sail over the edge of the world." In 2001, Bergreen traveled the South American strait that bears Magellan's name, and he adds to that firsthand knowledge satellite images of Magellan's route plus international archival research. His day-by-day account incorporates the testimony of sailors, Francisco Albo's pilot's log and the eyewitness accounts of Venetian scholar Antonio Pigafetta, who was on the journey. Magellan's mission for...


The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico 1517-1521
Bernal Diaz del Castillo
030681319X
Feb 2004
Paperback
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New York Times
"The most complete and trustworthy of the chronicles of the Conquest."

New York Times
"The most complete and trustworthy of the chronicles of the Conquest."

See all Editorial Reviews


The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
Maria Rosa Menocal
0316168718
April 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
María Rosa Menocal's wafting, ineffably sad The Ornament of the World tells of a time and place--from 786 to 1492, in Andalucía, Spain--that is largely and unjustly overshadowed in most historical chronicles. It was a time when three cultures--Judaic, Islamic, and Christian--forged a relatively stable (though occasionally contentious) coexistence. Such was this period that there remains in Toledo a church with an "homage to Arabic writing on its walls [and] a sumptuous 14th-century synagogue built to look like Granada's Alhambra." Long gone, however, is the Córdoba library--a thousand times larger than any other in Christian Europe. Menocal's history is one of palatine cities, of philosophers, of poets whose work inspired Chaucer and Boccaccio, of weeping fountains, breezy courtyards, and a long-running...


The Food of Portugal
Jean E. Anderson
0688134157
June 1994
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Portugal, as much as Portuguese cooking, is the subject of this book, which is enlivened by veteran food writer (coauthor of The NEW Doubleday Cookbook Anderson's familiarity with the country's people, regions, rivers and markets. A lengthy glossary in the introductory section notwithstanding, the narrative is buoyed by historical notes, reminiscences and tips on the best inns and restaurants in Portugal. When Portuguese is used in the recipes, the English translation is also included, thereby precluding the necessity of making frequent reference to the glossary, a mild annoyance with many ethnic cookbooks. The recipes depend on simple ingredients, often in unusual combinations ("pork and clams may sound like a new low in surf 'n' turf dinners, but it is in fact a Portuguese classic"), subtly seasoned with olive...


The Basque History of the World
Mark Kurlansky
0140298517
February 1901
Paperback
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Book Review
The buzz about the Guggenheim Bilbão aside, the Basques seldom get good press--from the 12th-century Codex of Calixtus ("A Basque or Navarrese would do in a French man for a copper coin") to current news items about ETA, the Basque nationalist group. Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod, sets out to change all that in The Basque History of the World.

"The singular remarkable fact about the Basques is that they still exist," Kurlansky asserts. Without a defined country (other than Euskadi, otherwise known as "Basqueland"), with no known related ethnic groups, the Basques are an anomaly in Europe. What unites the Basques, above all, is their language--Euskera. According to ETA, "Euskera is the quintessence of Euskadi. So long as Euskera is alive, Euskadi will live." To help provide a complete picture of the Basques,...



The Portugal Story
John DOS Passos
0385513631
Mar 1995
Paperback
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Brutal Journey : The Epic Story of the First Crossing of North America
Paul Schneider
080506835X
May 2, 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite his failure to suppress the rebellious Cortés in Mexico, would-be conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez was given another chance by the king of Spain, who awarded him governorship over the entire Gulf Coast of the modern United States. But Narváez's luck was no better this time: the expedition, which arrived in 1528, was a complete disaster. Out of the 400 men who went ashore in Florida, only four made it to Mexico eight years later, long after Narváez himself was lost at sea in a makeshift boat. Schneider (The Adirondacks) has only two firsthand documents to work with, but he ably combines the raw narrative with a wealth of secondary research to create a vivid tale filled with gripping scenes, as when natives lead the starving Spanish forces into a swamp ambush. Though...


A Concise History of Portugal
David Birmingham
0521536863
Nov 2003
Paperback
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Review
'... standard reading for all those seeking an insight into the historical evolution of this remarkable country.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
'... a highly accessible and weighty study... unlikely to be superseded for some time.' History Today

Review
"Standard reading for all those seeking an insight into the historical evolution of this remarkable country." Times Higher Education Supplement

"A modern account and the first to be written in ENglish since the termination of dictatorship. No international history series can be considered complete without this...edition." Library Bookwatch

See all Editorial Reviews



Sylloge Nummorum Graecorun: The British Museum, Spain
Peter Bagwell Purefoy, Andrew Meadows
0714118028
October 2002
Hardcover
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Book Description
This second SNG volume devoted to the collection of The British Museum constitutes the full publication, for the first time, of the Museum's holdings of ancient Spanish coins. In total 1,802 coins from over 140 mints of the period before the Roman empire are published. Each coin is illustrated by black and white photographs of its obverse and reverse, while full description, technical information and available provenance are given on the facing page. With its indices of mints, legends and obverse and reverse types, as well as nine tables illustrating non-Graeco-Roman legends, the book will be an indispensable tool for the identification of the coins of ancient Spain.


Traveller's History of Spain
Juan Lalaguna
1566564069
May 2001
Paperback
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Book Description
During its "golden age," Spain was a political giant whose influence spanned the world from Germany to the Western Pacific. Rich on American gold and silver, Spain was able to send the Armada against England, defeat the Turks and challenge France for the hegemony of Europe. This book will unlock the secrets of Spain's vibrant and colorful past, its people and culture for the interested traveller. It takes the reader on a journey from the earliest settlements on the Iberian Peninsula, through the influences of the Romans, the Goths and the Muslims, the traumas of expansion and the end of the Empire, right up to the present.

About the Author
Juan Lalaguna is the head of the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of North London.


Ferdinand and Isabella
John Edwards
0582218160
Nov 2004
Paperback
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Book Description
This book shows how Ferdinand and Isabella exercised power at work as a ruling couple, probably unique in European history, with a heady mixture of culture and intolerance. 2004 is the anniversary of Isabella's death. It focuses on powerful personalities, which had an impact on whole societies in Europe and America. The combination of the exercise of power with royal and religious ideology. Its focus on the often painful interaction between Christians, Jews and Muslims and their respective religions: this is highly topical, as is the whole region. This book is about a couple, not a single, dominant ruler. Thus it raises issues of gender, and the dynamics of a marriage over thirty-five years, as well as the practice of monarchical power. The reader sees Ferdinand and Isabella struggle to establish their...


The Alhambra
Robert Irwin
0674015681
September 2004
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Built mostly in the mid- to late fourteenth century atop a hill overlooking Granada, Spain, the Alhambra stands as a stunning example of Moorish architecture, the only Muslim palace to have survived since the Middle Ages. Its inordinate artistic detailing and disorderly layout--"underpinned," Irwin suggests, "by a geometry that [has] mystical resonance"--attract thousands of tourists every day. But the Alhambra has a complicated and often unclear history; it has served as a jail for debtors, invalid soldiers, and gypsies, and in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was "a monument to murder, slavery, poverty, and fear." In addition, as the site of the Moors' last stand before being driven from Spain by the Christian Reconquista in 1492, it has come to symbolize, for many Arabs and Muslims, everything they have lost in...


To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World
Arthur Herman
0060534249
October 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
The author of How the Scots Invented the Modern World returns with this quite splendid history of the British Royal Navy. Probably to no one's surprise, his thesis is that the British Empire was the foundation of the modern world and the Royal Navy the foundation of that empire. By and large, he sustains that thesis in a fluent narrative that stretches from the Elizabethan Age to the Falklands War. Although definitely Anglocentric and navalist, the author has done his research on a scale that such a large topic (to say nothing of a large book) requires. The Royal Navy's discipline and food in the age of sail may not deserve quite as much rehabilitation as he gives them, but on the other hand, he is frank about the limitations of British warship design, poor Victorian gunnery and lack of preparations for...


The Day It Snowed Tortillas / El Dia Que Nevo Tortilla
Joe Hayes
0938317768
Oct 2003
(Paperback) - Spanish
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Book Description
Kids of all ages are always asking Joe Hayes, "How can it snow tortillas?" Well, now they'll know where to find the answer-at long last, Joe's signature book The Day It Snowed Tortillas is appearing in this new bilingual edition. Bloomsbury Review listed the original English-only edition as one of their fifteen all-time favorite children's books. Our bilingual edition has all the original stories as they have evolved in the last twenty years of Joe's storytelling. It also has new illustrations by award-winning artist Antonio Castro. Storytellers have been telling these stories in the villages of New Mexico since the Spanish first came to the New World over four hundred years ago, but Joe always adds his own nuances for modern audiences. The tales are full of magic and fun. In the title story, for instance, a very...


Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939
Gabriel Jackson
0691007578


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Spain : A History
Raymond Carr
0192802364
December 27, 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
Spain, influential historians once maintained, was an "exceptional" country--meaning that, in many key respects, it lay outside the course of European history. Unlike any other nation of Western Europe, Spain was for centuries the province of Islamic rulers, and the crowned heads of other parts of the continent scorned it as an "oriental," necessarily backward nation--when in many ways it was considerably more advanced than its neighbors.

The exceptionalist view of Spanish history was misguided and damaging, writes the eminent historian Raymond Carr, but it was one that many Spanish people accepted: to them, it helped explain why Spain, once so mighty and rich an empire, should have fallen behind while the rest of Europe grew stronger and wealthier, and why a retrograde ruler like Franco could have remained in power when...


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