Books---History and Politics of Spain

Old Jan 10th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Books---History and Politics of Spain

We are on a 5 week Spain adventure starting next week. Any suggestions about books to read beforehand and/or take along which will bring what we see to life. History, politics, culture..thanks for any tips.

Ken
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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How about Don Quixote? (sp?) I read it while travelling through Spain my first time & enjoyed it thoroughly.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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A little out of date but still wonderfully evocative: "Spain" by Jan Morris.

"Don Quixote," of course.

A very long travel book: "Iberia" by James Michener.

As a delightful appetizer: "Monsignor Quixote" by Graham Greene. A truly funny book by an author not noted for being light-hearted, it ends on a poignant note.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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Try for a history of Spain before 1492 and after. Spain expelled their Muslims at that time. Much of the current/ongoing chaos in the Mediterranean region begin then.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 10:59 AM
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Set around the time of the Civil War, a romantic saga based in Jerez and with lots is
'The Summer of the Spanish Woman' by Catherine Gaskin
and
'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' by Laurie Lee is the tale of how he walked across England and France to Spain and caught up in the Civil War.
And some of Bernard Cornwell's 'Sharpe' novels are set in Spain.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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If you like Ernest Hemingway, "For Whom the Bells Toll", takes place in the Spanish Civil war.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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"Roads to Santiago" by Cees Nooteboom. He's Dutch but this was his first book translated into English. It's got history and travel and a sense of place, but is also full of his personality and some digressions. Check out reviews on amazon or someplace--I liked it.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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See http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34689740

On your other post (posted after, and without remembering to mention "Spain" in the message header) has comments to you about double posting.

It appears that you have not yet grasped "click on your own name" (as a way to confirm that your post "took" - - or find your previous posts).

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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The recommendations by Longitude Books are usually good. Their suggestions for Spain are at http://www.longitudebooks.com/find/d...sula/mcms.html
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Anything by Federico Garcia Lorca and Camilo Jose Cela. Their works have been translated to English and they conveyed beautifully the passion and uniqueness of this amazing culture.

I also find the "Traveler's Tales- Spain Edition" to be very interesting and I STRONGLY recommend you take a copy with you.

"Driving over Lemons" is a good read about a couple who acquired and restored a small farmhouse in the mountains of Andalucia. Very entertaining.

Hemingway's "For Whom the Bells toll" is a given, of course.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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I was going to suggest Lee quite strongly; and I've just finished Shadow of the Wind, which is set in Barcelona just after the war, and is very good.

For a good "Year in Provence" type I suggest you ahve alook at Driving over Lemons by Chris Stewart
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 01:59 PM
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The answer to your question depends on how much you want to know. To understand Spanish character in depth I recommend "Invertebrate Spain", by the great Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega Y Gassett. It is a revelation about how the Spanish became who they are.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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I liked very much Garcia Lorca's work, and some of Cela's books (mainly La familia de Pascual Duarte and La Colmena). But the Spain their books depict has little to do with nowadays Spain.
Perhaps you will like a more contemporary vision of late dictatorship years and democracy period. I will recommend Vazquez Montalban books. He wrote essay, articles, poetry and fiction. But he is mostly well-know because of his awarded dectective books (Pepe Carvalho series). They are not whoduinit books, instead of that, they explore hidden reasons which provoke crime. Carvalho is almost always a loser. Most of the novels are set in Barcelona and would be a good approach to this city.
Of course, D. Quijote is always a good idea ).
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 06:41 PM
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I forgot to comment that Vazquez Montalban books are translated into English
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