Spain: A Unique History

Spain A Unique History From bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance stereotypes of Spain abound This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G Payne draws on his half century of experience to offer a balanced broadl

  • Title: Spain: A Unique History
  • Author: Stanley G. Payne
  • ISBN: 9780299250249
  • Page: 314
  • Format: Paperback
  • From bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance, stereotypes of Spain abound This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G Payne draws on his half century of experience to offer a balanced, broadly chronological survey of Spanish history from the Visigoths to the present Who were the first Spaniards Is Spain a fully Western country Was Spanish liberalism a failuFrom bloodthirsty conquest to exotic romance, stereotypes of Spain abound This new volume by distinguished historian Stanley G Payne draws on his half century of experience to offer a balanced, broadly chronological survey of Spanish history from the Visigoths to the present Who were the first Spaniards Is Spain a fully Western country Was Spanish liberalism a failure Examining Spain s unique role in the larger history of Western Europe, Payne reinterprets key aspects of the country s history Topics include Muslim culture in the peninsula, the Spanish monarchy, the empire, and the relationship between Spain and Portugal Turning to the twentieth century, Payne discusses the Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War The book s final chapters focus on the Franco regime, the nature of Spanish fascism, and the special role of the military Analyzing the figure of Franco himself, Payne seeks to explain why some Spaniards still regard him with respect, while many others view the late dictator with profound loathing Framed by reflections on the author s own formation as a Hispanist and his evaluation of the controversy about historical memory in contemporary Spain, this volume offers deeply informed insights into both the history and the historiography of a unique country.A Choice Outstanding Academic BookBest Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Association

    One thought on “Spain: A Unique History”

    1. Stanley G. Payne is one of the most prolific American Hispanist historians out there, but his eminent academic status and myriad publications still can't erase the fact that he has some extremely prejudicial thoughts about the contributions of Andalusian Spain. He deigns to call medievalist Yale professor María Rosa Menocal's groundbreaking ORNAMENT OF THE WORLD: HOW MUSLIMS, JEWS, AND CHRISTIANS CREATED A CULTURE OF TOLERANCE IN MEDIEVAL SPAIN a "fable"!!!! Even though Payne touts himself as e [...]

    2. An idiosyncratic and ultimately disappointing overview of Spain's history by one of the leading modern historians of the country, Payne's analysis is rather superficial; too often, he is satisfied with debunking an 'accepted' version of events, without exploring the questions that an alternative version raises.For example, Payne dedicates a lot of time to dismissing the motion that the Republican side during the Civil War stood for liberal democracy, but here he is really arguing with pro-Republ [...]

    3. Approximately the first 1/3 of the book was an extended version of what should have been a prologue going into depth on the Author's history rather than that of Spain. Once into the actual history of Spain, large sections that could have/should have been really interesting were either glossed over or extremely dry. Very disappointing.

    4. DNF. The tone this author uses makes this dry prose even harder to read. For someone whose entire career centers around Spain he sounds like he absolutely hates it. Unfortunately this was the only book on spanish history my library had.

    5. I really liked this one not sure why it had such poor reviews. Does a great job of explaining Spanish history with focus on 1920s/1930s and ties it into modern era without taking political sides.

    6. Spain, A Unique History; Stanley PayneReviewed by Graham MulliganPayne describes the study of Spanish history as problematic compared to other Western European countries. He summarizes the outsiders’ perceptions of Spain, the stereotypes, into four broad groups; the Black Legend stereotype of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the enlightenment second half of the seventeenth century and eighteenth century; the romantic myth of the nineteenth century; and the composite stereotypes of the [...]

    7. A large portion of the book was dedicated to solely explaining Payne's own tale rather than that of Spain. The novel was written from a rather biased perspective, even to the point where it detracted from the actual content. Especially in regards to the Spanish Muslims, many of the facts were inaccurate. It is true that Al-Andalus was not a utopia, however, there were many aspects of the period which were entirely disregarded. Al-Andalus is considered a sort of golden age by many renowned schola [...]

    8. This is not a bad book. But it isn't a great book. Payne walks us through his perspective, as a scholar, of the Spanish national history. His treatment is very broad and pertains as much to the "what does it mean" and "how does it compare to X" as it does "what happened?". I tend to prefer that the author tell me about the later and in so doing give me a window into the former without necessarily framing such ideas explicitly. In contrast, Payne takes the scholar's approach. Nevertheless, there [...]

    9. Professor Payne has written a thorough, in-depth and surprisingly readable overview of Spanish history and how this history is and has been written. He is unsparingly accurate in pointing out the egregious mistakes of other writers, especially in the current PC post-modernist era. His dissection of those who like to paint the Muslim Al-Andalus as a sort of multicultural utopia is both edifying and fun to read, if you have a cruel streak. Ditto his observations of the left on the Civil War and Fr [...]

    10. I decided to read this because I'm going to Spain on a holiday and wanted to know more about the country. It is by a very academic historian of modern (Fascist) Spain, and is written in a style more akin to that of a journal article than a long history for public consumption (he frequently discusses individuals that even a well-educated non-specialist would not know, with little or no introduction, as though he were talking about Oprah or David Beckham). It is interesting and informative, and in [...]

    11. SEVEN YEARS AGO this spring, Spain held what should have been a valedictory sort of election. Here was a modern European success story. Spaniards were richer and freer than ever before. Their country was a European power. The ruling right and the opposition left shared equal credit for establishing a democracy and a booming economy after Franco’s death in 1975. Read more

    12. Payne's SPAIN: A UNIQUE HISTORY is an excellent piece of historiography from one of the world's leading Hispanists. Definitely not to be recommended to someone looking for an introduction to Spanish history; it's a must-read, however, for those familiar with the long and complex history of the the Iberian peninsula.

    13. For a Civil War recap, this was decent. For all other purposes this was superficial and unsatisfying. The fact that personalities like Felipe II went unmentioned seems like a significant omission to me.

    14. Almost a history of Spanish History. I wanted a little more of a traditional narrative. Still, a lot of interesting stuff; especially strong on the Civil War and Franco era. Disappointingly little reference to the empire-colonial periods.

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