Only, it's not quite that simple. Spanish soccer expert and historian Sid Lowe covers 100 years of rivalry, athletic beauty, and excellence. Fear and Loathing in La Liga is a nuanced, revisionist, and brilliantly informed history that goes beyond sport. Lowe weaves together this story of the rivalry with the history and culture of Spain, emphasizing that it is “never about just the soccer.” With exclusive testimonies and astonishing anecdotes, he takes us inside this epic battle, including the wounds left by the Civil War, Madrid's golden age in the fifties when they won five European cups, Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team, the doomed Galáctico experiment, and Luís Figo's “betrayal.”
By exploring the history, politics, culture, economics, and language—while never forgetting the drama on the field—Lowe demonstrates the relationship between these two soccer giants and reveals the true story behind their explosive rivalry.
“With scrupulous scholarship based on a profound knowledge of the Hebrew, Latin, and Spanish sources, Roth sets out to shatter all existing preconceptions about late medieval society in Spain.”—Henry Kamen, Journal of Ecclesiastical History
“Scholarly, detailed, researched, and innovative. . . . As the result of Roth’s writing, we shall need to rethink our knowledge and understanding of this period.”—Murray Levine, Jewish Spectator
“The fruit of many years of study, investigation, and reflection, guaranteed by the solid intellectual trajectory of its author, an expert in Jewish studies. . . . A contribution that will be particularly valuable for the study of Spanish medievalism.”—Miguel Angel Motis Dolader, Annuario de Estudios Medievales
“One of Orwell’s very best books and perhaps the best book that exists on the Spanish Civil War.”—The New Yorker
In 1936, originally intending merely to report on the Spanish Civil War as a journalist, George Orwell found himself embroiled as a participant—as a member of the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unity. Fighting against the Fascists, he described in painfully vivid and occasionally comic detail life in the trenches—with a “democratic army” composed of men with no ranks, no titles, and often no weapons—and his near fatal wounding. As the politics became tangled, Orwell was pulled into a heartbreaking conflict between his own personal ideals and the complicated realities of political power struggles.
Considered one of the finest works by a man V. S. Pritchett called “the wintry conscience of a generation,” Homage to Catalonia is both Orwell’s memoir of his experiences at the front and his tribute to those who died in what he called a fight for common decency. This edition features a new foreword by Adam Hochschild placing the war in greater context and discussing the evolution of Orwell’s views on the Spanish Civil War.
“No one except George Orwell . . . made the violence and self-dramatization of Spain so burning and terrible.”— Alfred Kazin, New York Times
“A wise book, one that once read will never be forgotten.”—Chicago Sunday Tribune
O'Callaghan divides his story into five compact historical periods and discusses political, social, economic, and cultural developments in each period. By treating states together, he is able to put into proper perspective the relationships among them, their similarities and differences, and the continuity of development from one period to the next. He gives proper attention to Spain's contacts with the rest of the medieval world, but his main concern is with the events and institutions on the peninsula itself. Illustrations, genealogical charts, maps, and an extensive bibliography round out a book that will be welcomed by scholars and student of Spanish and Portuguese history and literature, as well as by medievalists, as the fullest account to date of Spanish history in the Middle Ages.
On a bright Sunday morning in June 1934, Laurie Lee left the village home so lovingly portrayed in his bestselling memoir, Cider with Rosie. His plan was to walk the hundred miles from Slad to London, with a detour of an extra hundred miles to see the sea for the first time. He was nineteen years old and brought with him only what he could carry on his back: a tent, a change of clothes, his violin, a tin of biscuits, and some cheese. He spent the first night in a ditch, wide awake and soaking wet.
From those unlikely beginnings, Laurie Lee fashioned not just the adventure of a lifetime, but one of the finest travel narratives of the twentieth century. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, written more than thirty years after the events it describes, is an elegant and irresistibly charming portrait of life on the road—first in England, where the familiar landscapes and people somehow made Lee feel far from home, and then in Spain, whose utter foreignness afforded a new kind of comfort.
In that brief period of peace, a young man was free to go wherever he wanted to in Europe. Lee picked Spain because he knew enough Spanish to ask for a glass of water. What he did not know, and what would become clear only after a year spent tramping across the beautiful and rugged countryside—from the Galician port city of Vigo, over the Sierra de Guadarrama and into Madrid, and along the Costa del Sol—was that the Spanish Republic would soon need idealistic young men like Lee as badly as he needed it.
In these pages, Robert Hughes scrolls through Barcelona's often violent history; tells the stories of its kings, poets, magnates, and revolutionaries; and ushers readers through municipal landmarks that range from Antoni Gaudi's sublimely surreal cathedral to a postmodern restaurant with a glass-walled urinal. The result is a work filled with the attributes of Barcelona itself: proportion, humor, and seny—the Catalan word for triumphant common sense.
Ringing with the fury of two great empires locked in an epic battle, Conquest captures in extraordinary detail the Mexican and Spanish civilizations and offers unprecedented in-depth portraits of the legendary opponents, Montezuma and Cortés. Conquest is an essential work of history from one of our most gifted historians.
In 1494, award-winning author Stephen R. Bown tells the untold story of the explosive feud between monarchs, clergy, and explorers that split the globe between Spain and Portugal and made the world's oceans a battleground.
When Columbus triumphantly returned from America to Spain in 1493, his discoveries inflamed an already-smouldering conflict between Spain's renowned monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and Portugal's João II. Which nation was to control the world's oceans? To quell the argument, Pope Alexander VI—the notorious Rodrigo Borgia—issued a proclamation laying the foundation for the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, an edict that created an imaginary line in the Atlantic Ocean dividing the entire known (and unknown) world between Spain and Portugal.
Just as the world's oceans were about to be opened by Columbus's epochal voyage, the treaty sought to limit the seas to these two favored Catholic nations. The edict was to have a profound influence on world history: it propelled Spain and Portugal to superpower status, steered many other European nations on a collision course, and became the central grievance in two centuries of international espionage, piracy, and warfare.
The treaty also began the fight for "the freedom of the seas"—the epic struggle to determine whether the world's oceans, and thus global commerce, would be controlled by the decree of an autocrat or be open to the ships of any nation—a distinctly modern notion, championed in the early seventeenth century by the Dutch legal theorist Hugo Grotius, whose arguments became the foundation of international law.
At the heart of one of the greatest international diplomatic and political agreements of the last five centuries were the strained relationships and passions of a handful of powerful individuals. They were linked by a shared history, mutual animosity, and personal obligations—quarrels, rivalries, and hatreds that dated back decades. Yet the struggle ultimately stemmed from a young woman's determination to defy tradition and the king, and to choose her own husband.
No modern conflict has inflamed the passions of both civilians and intellectuals as much as the Spanish Civil War of 1936–39. Burned into our collective historical consciousness, it not only prefigured the imminent Second World War but also ushered in a new and horrific form of warfare that would come to define the twentieth century. At the same time it echoed the revolutionary aspirations of millions of Europeans and Americans after the painful years of the Great Depression.
In this authoritative history, Paul Preston vividly recounts the political ideals and military horrors of the Spanish Civil War – including the controversial bombing of Guernica – and tracks the emergence of General Franco’s brutal but extraordinarily durable fascist dictatorship.
General Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar—because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.
But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slave—who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution—until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.
The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.
The Golden Empire also presents the legendary men whom King Charles V sent on perilous and unprecedented expeditions: Hernán Cortés, who ruled the “New Spain” of Mexico as an absolute monarch—and whose rebuilding of its capital, Tenochtitlan, was Spain’s greatest achievement in the sixteenth century; Francisco Pizarro, who set out with fewer than two hundred men for Peru, infamously executed the last independent Inca ruler, Atahualpa, and was finally murdered amid intrigue; and Hernando de Soto, whose glittering journey to settle land between Rio de la Palmas in Mexico and the southernmost keys of Florida ended in disappointment and death. Hugh Thomas reveals as never before their torturous journeys through jungles, their brutal sea voyages amid appalling storms and pirate attacks, and how a cash-hungry Charles backed them with loans—and bribes—obtained from his German banking friends.
A sweeping, compulsively readable saga of kings and conquests, armies and armadas, dominance and power, The Golden Empire is a crowning achievement of the Spanish world’s foremost historian.
From the Hardcover edition.
Picking up at the end of his earlier classic study, Islamic Spain, 1250 to 1500— which described the courageous efforts of the followers of Islam to preserve their secular, as well as sacred, culture in late medieval Spain—L. P. Harvey chronicles here the struggles of the Moriscos. These forced converts to Christianity lived clandestinely in the sixteenth century as Muslims, communicating in aljamiado— Spanish written in Arabic characters. More broadly, Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614, tells the story of an early modern nation struggling to deal with diversity and multiculturalism while torn by the fanaticism of the Counter-Reformation on one side and the threat of Ottoman expansion on the other. Harvey recounts how a century of tolerance degenerated into a vicious cycle of repression and rebellion until the final expulsion in 1614 of all Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula.
Retold in all its complexity and poignancy, this tale of religious intolerance, political maneuvering, and ethnic cleansing resonates with many modern concerns. Eagerly awaited by Islamist and Hispanist scholars since Harvey's first volume appeared in 1990, Muslims in Spain, 1500 to 1614, will be compulsory reading for student and specialist alike.
“The year’s most rewarding historical work is L. P. Harvey’s Muslims in Spain 1500 to 1614, a sobering account of the various ways in which a venerable Islamic culture fell victim to Christian bigotry. Harvey never urges the topicality of his subject on us, but this aspect inevitably sharpens an already compelling book.”—Jonathan Keats, Times Literary Supplement
After a brief overview of Spanish film before Franco, the author proceeds to a discussion of censorship as practiced by the Franco regime. The response of directors to censorship—the “franquista aesthetic,” or “aesthetic of repression,” with its highly metaphorical, oblique style—is explored in the works of Luis Buñuel, Carlos Saura, Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis García Berlanga, and other important directors.
Virginia Higginbotham combines historical perspective with detailed critical analysis and interpretation of many famous Franco-era films. She shows how directors managed to evade the censors and raise public awareness of issues relating to the Spanish Civil War and the repressions of the Franco regime.
Film has always performed an educational function in Spain, reaching masses of poor and uneducated citizens. And sometimes, as this study also reveals, Spanish film has been ignored when the questions it raised became too painful or demanding.
The author concludes with a look at post-Franco cinema and the directions it has taken. For anyone interested in modern Spanish film, this book will be essential reading.
In the tradition of Antony Beevor's Stalingrad, Nelson's Trafalgar presents the definitive blow-by-blow account of the world's most famous naval battle, when the British Royal Navy under Lord Horatio Nelson dealt a decisive blow to the forces of Napoleon. The Battle of Trafalgar comes boldly to life in this definitive work that re-creates those five momentous, earsplitting hours with unrivaled detail and intensity.
Franco joined the Spanish Army when he was barely fifteen years old. In 1926 he became the youngest general in Europe and, driven by an astonishing sense of his own greatness, was recognized as sole military commander of the Nationalist zone during the Spanish Civil War. His ambition was always to hold on to the power that he had secured. In practice, this meant winning the Spanish Civil War and surviving the fall of the fascist regimes of Hitler and Mussolini and the international isolation that followed their defeat.
But behind the military heroics and dexterous political footwork lay an insecure and vengeful man, wracked by contradictory impulses. Although fueled by a single-minded determination to succeed, he was full of self-doubt. A bold and sometimes inspirational soldier in Africa, he became an indecisive, hesitant military commander during the Civil War. Filled with a burning conviction that his destiny was bound up with the medieval kings of Spain and God Himself, he appeared shy, withdrawn, and humble. Ruthlessly intent on wiping out all political opposition, he denied heatedly that he was a dictator. A stubborn man, he could be remarkably flexible when it came to safeguarding his power.
Gabrielle Ashford Hodges' psychological biography considers Franco's mental state, as well as his political motivation. In doing so, it succeeds admirably in getting under the skin of Europe's most enduring dictator.
Beevor's Ardennes 1944: The Battle of the Bulge is now available from Viking Books
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War's outbreak, Antony Beevor has written a completely updated and revised account of one of the most bitter and hard-fought wars of the twentieth century. With new material gleaned from the Russian archives and numerous other sources, this brisk and accessible book (Spain's #1 bestseller for twelve weeks), provides a balanced and penetrating perspective, explaining the tensions that led to this terrible overture to World War II and affording new insights into the war-its causes, course, and consequences.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
What began as Portugal's mission to discover an unknown world soon became a quest to find Prester John, the legendary Christian priest/king presumed to be living on the far side of Islam. In an attempt to form a Christian military alliance, the search was both concluded and, in a manner, initiated by explorer P ro da Covilh in 1493 with his overland journey to the Highland court of Emperor Eskendar. This was instrumental in setting up a string of ties between the two nations - diplomatic, military, religious, cultural and (most long-lasting of all) architectural - almost three decades before Portugal's diplomatic mission of 1520.
The fascinating story contained in the stones can yet be seen in the Portuguese and "Gondarine" ruins that dot the Gojjam and Lake Tana regions; they continue to influence today's Highland architectural design. Hespeler-Boultbee examines over thirty different sites, many of which are remote and rarely visited. Fully illustrated with colour photos and drawings.
About the Author
J.J. Hespeler-Boultbee is an Art & Architectural Historian and Associate of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University. He lived for twenty-five years in Portugal, during that time making several forays into the Ethiopian Highlands on behalf of the Department of History and CIDEHUS (Centro de Investiga o e Desenvolvimento em Ci ncias Humanas e Sociais), the research and development institute at the University of vora. For the two year period, 2007-2009, he lived in and conducted research from Bahir Dar on Lake Tana, Ethiopia, during which time he found his historical conclusions were at considerable variance with colleagues in the History Department at Bahir Dar University - disagreements which have prompted the revisions leading to this current updated and revised edition of "A Story in Stones."
This magnificent reconstruction of Napoleon’s life and legend is written by a distinguished Oxford scholar. It is based on newly discovered documents—including the personal letters of Marie-Louise and the decoded diaries of General Bertrand, who accompanied Napoleon to his final exile on St. Helena. It has been hailed as the most important single-volume work in Napoleonic literature.
“Mr. Markham’s book is notable...a well-balanced study of a man vastly bigger than his 5 feet 6 inches, who has been for generations one of the most fascinating of subjects for biography.”—Mark S. Watson, Baltimore Evening Sun
“A surprisingly sympathetic biography of one of the most fascinating men who ever strutted across the stage of history.”—Dolph Honicker, Nashville Tennesseean
“A remarkable achievement. The story moves as fast as one of Bonaparte’s campaigns and is told with the clarity of his dispatches.”—The Economist
“A definitive contribution to Napoleonic literature.”—Jose Sanchez, St. Louis Globe Democrat
“The university lecturer in History at Oxford has approached the impossible; he has written a new life of one of the most written-about figures in modern history with freshness, vivacity, fine scholarship and penetration.”—James H. Powers, Boston Globe
“Markham has achieved a startlingly vivid and coherent picture of Napoleon’s career, of the social and intellectual influences that molded it, and of the men and forces that opposed it. The military events, the political movements, the personal intrigues—all appear, each in its proper place and perspective.”—E. Nelson Hayes, Los Angeles Times
“Markham’s erudition is extensive; he makes full use of recent discoveries of manuscript material, and he writes with admirable judgment about a character who has been misjudged consistently by historians.”—J. H. Plumb, The Saturday Review
Russia's expulsion of Napoleon's Grande Armée in 1812 is considered one of the most dramatic events in European history. However, Tolstoyan myth and an imbalance of British and French interpretations have clouded most Westerners' understanding of Russia's role in the defeat of Napoleon.
Based on a fresh examination of Russian military archives, Russia Against Napoleon provides the first-ever history of the period told from the Russian perspective. In Dominic Lieven's account, Russia's victory in 1812 was just the beginning of what would be the longest military campaign in European history, marked by Russia's epic efforts to feed and supply half a million troops as they crossed an entire continent.
Moving from the 1807 treaty signed by Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I through the Russian army's improbable entry into Paris in 1814, Lieven provides suspenseful accounts of events, such as the burning of Moscow and the great battles of Leipzig and Borodino, as well as astute analyses of the great military strategists of the time. The result is a magisterial work sure to be eagerly anticipated by military and history buffs alike.
Born into a military family in 1892, Francisco Franco first made a name for himself leading attacks against rebellious Moroccan warlords and tribesmen and by 1926 was promoted to brigadier general. His role in the ruthless suppression of the 1934 revolution by coal miners in Asturias sealed his reputation for brutality, although Franco saw it as simply carrying out an order in the most efficient manner possible. In 1936, as head of Spain's formidable Army of Africa, Franco joined a military revolt against the Popular Front government of the republic. He quickly secured the support of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, touching off more than two years of bloody civil war. Within months of the wars outbreak he became generalissimo and head of state of the rebel camp, and in 1939 Britain and France recognized him as the legitimate ruler of Spain.
He then outlasted fellow dictators Hitler and Stalin by decades, dying in 1975 at the helm of the same regime he had established in Spain before the Second World War. In this engaging and concise introduction to the generalissimoâ€™s life on and off the battlefield, Geoffrey Jensen makes clear how Francoâ€™s military experiences helped shape the character of his dictatorship and its repressive policies.
In this fascinating study, Katrina B. Olds explores the history, author, and legacy of one of the world’s most compelling and consequential frauds. The book examines how a relatively obscure Jesuit priest so successfully fabricated a set of supposedly historical documents that they were accepted as authentic for generation after generation. The chronicles’ influence was so powerful, in fact, that they continued to shape scholarly discourse, religious practice, and local heritage throughout Spain well into the twentieth century, despite having been debunked as forgeries in the eighteenth. Olds’s fascinating analysis brings together intellectual, cultural, religious, and political history while reinvigorating an ongoing debate on the uses and abuses of history and the nature of historical and religious truth.
The Spanish Nationalists are exceptional among counter-revolutionary movements of the twentieth century, Michael Seidman demonstrates, because they avoided the inflation and shortages of food and military supplies that stymied not only their Republican adversaries but also their counter-revolutionary counterparts—the Russian Whites and Chinese Nationalists. He documents how Franco’s highly repressive and tightly controlled regime produced food for troops and civilians; regular pay for soldiers, farmers, and factory workers; and protection of property rights for both large and small landowners. These factors, combined with the Nationalists’ pro-Catholic and anti-Jewish propaganda, reinforced solidarity in the Nationalist zone.
Seidman concludes that, unlike the victorious Spanish Nationalists, the Russian and Chinese bourgeoisie were weakened by the economic and social upheaval of the two world wars and succumbed in each case to the surging revolutionary left.
The Mixtec region has been the focus of much recent archaeological and ethnohistorical activity. In this volume, Spores and Balkansky incorporate the latest available research to show that the Mixtecs, along with their neighbors the Valley and Sierra Zapotec, constitute one of the world’s most impressive civilizations, antecedent to—and equivalent to—those of the better-known Maya and Aztec. Employing what they refer to as a “convergent methodology,” the authors combine techniques and results of archaeology, ethnohistory, linguistics, biological anthropology, ethnology, and participant observation to offer abundant new insights on the Mixtecs’ multiple transformations over three millennia.
With the most positive expectations for the campaign, the lumbering Prussian army, led by veterans in their sixties, seventies and even eighties, groped to find Napoleon and his much faster moving corps d’armée. Napoleon’s Marshals and generals were mostly, apart from a few notable exceptions, one bordering on treason, at the top of their professional competency. Few if any however would have expected the campaign to unfold as it did, as Napoleon actively searched for the main Prussian army, he found and destroyed a significant portion of the army at Jena, a single of his corps, under Davout, faced and defeated the majority at Auerstädt. What followed thereafter was the most relentless pursuit of the Napoleonic Wars, combined with a number of capitulations which did not honour to Prussian arms.
Prussia was defeated completely, with a scant regard to future relations with this state, Napoleon dismembered the state, imposed war reparations that would have made the French at Compiegne, a century, later blush, allowed his soldiers to pillage on an unheard of scale. Not that he himself was immune to the tendency to take what might allowed, he took amongst other trophies, Frederick the Great’s own sword. Reduced to a second rate power Prussia, occupied by French soldiers, would look to the crumbs that Napoleon might hand out and hope that other powers might topple the mighty Napoleon.
As with all of Petre’s books on the Napoleonic period, his work is well written, scrupulously researched and balanced.
We have taken the liberty as diacritics appear in Petre’s book to change Blucher to Blücher.
Author – Francis Lorraine Petre OBE - (1852–1925)
Plans – ALL included – 7 total
Portraits and Illustrations – ALL included - 19 total
A fascinating look at the history and grandeur of bullfighting, Death in the Afternoon is also a deeper contemplation of the nature of cowardice and bravery, sport and tragedy, and is enlivened throughout by Hemingway's sharp commentary on life and literature.
The book takes us on a journey through some of the extraordinary characters, classic matches, and brutal controversies that have defined Spanish football from the early days when a few enthusiasts developed their talent kicking a ball on a piece of industrial waste ground, to the emergence of rival giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid- the most powerful and successful football clubs in the world- to the Franco regime (that propped up the Madrid team) and democracy (where Barca has ruled), to and a national team that, encompassing all, became the world's champion.
A bravura new interpretation of the course, causes and characters of the Spanish Civil War, still the twentieth century’s bloodiest internal conflict. Analysis of the Civil War has always focused on victors and vanquished, but what of those who eschewed the struggle, those who stood apart from the carnage and chaos? Was there a Third Way? Starting at the extreme right of the political spectrum and moving across it to the extreme left, using the emblematic lives of ten key individuals, Preston builds up an astonishingly vivid picture of how the War came to pass, and how those who started, suffered and stopped it were coloured by the experience. Here are brilliant psychological profiles of the communist firebrand La Pasionaria, of the canny falangist Primo de Rivera, of the aloof intellectual non-participant Salvador Madariaga, and of the enigma himself, Generalissimo Franco.
‘Comrades presents us with fascinating portraits, case studies that illustrate variously nobility, arrogance, self-delusion and evil. It remains difficult to comprhend the passions that lead to civil war; but this book helps us to understand.’ Michael Portillo, Sunday Telegraph
The Historical Dictionary of the Catalans deals not only with the people who live in Catalonia, but with the language and culture of the Catalan countries as well. This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and over 600 cross-referenced dictionary entries on significant persons, places, events, institutions, and aspects of culture, society, economy, and politics.
After the fall of Napoleon, European diplomats gathered in a festive Vienna with the task of restoring stability following the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. The central figures at the Congress of Vienna were the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, Viscount Castlereagh and the Foreign Minister of Austria Klemens Wenzel von Mettern Metternich. Castlereagh was primarily concerned with maintaining balanced powers, while Metternich based his diplomacy on the idea of legitimacy—that is, establishing and working with governments that citizens accept without force. The peace they brokered lasted until the outbreak of World War I.
Through trenchant analysis of the history and forces that create stability, A World Restored gives insight into how to create long-lasting geopolitical peace-lessons that Kissinger saw as applicable to the period immediately following World War II, when he was writing this book.
But the lessons don’t stop there. Like all good insights, the book’s wisdom transcends any single political period. Kissinger’s understanding of coalitions and balance of power can be applied to personal and professional situations, such as dealing with a tyrannical boss or co-worker or formulating business or organizational tactics.
Regardless of his ideology, Henry Kissinger has had an important impact on modern politics and few would dispute his brilliance as a strategist. For anyone interested in Western history, the tactics of diplomacy, or political strategy, this volume will provide deep understanding of a pivotal time.
This novel and authoritative work will interest not only those working on Spain, but all scholars and students of comparative history.
One of Harris’ first memoires of his time in the army is the devastating spectacle of a firing squad for a court-martial of one of the rank and file and of the court-martial of the bungling General Whitelock whose mishandled expedition to Buenos Ayres. The man from the rank and file was shot, but General Whitelock was merely cashiered, a difference of class and the times unintentionally brought to light. Whitelock’s court-martial provides the first appearance of General (at the time Colonel) Craufurd, who went on the expedition with Whitelock and want to have his former commander shot for his ineptitude!, and under whom Harris would spend a great deal of his soldiering career.
Harris takes a small part in another expedition to Denmark, but the only sort of action he is involved in is defending a Danish family from the depredations of fellow soldiers. It is however with his entrance into Portugal in 1808, that his adventures really begin to take shape; as his fellow soldiers fall around him at the battles of Roliça and Vimiero he describes the horrific injuries sustained, the plundering of the dead that took place (which he was not above joining in) and the task of the surgeons to try and stitch up the wounded. A large part of the narrative is taken by the retreat of Sir John Moore’s army to Coruña, and the Light Brigade’s to Vigo. His tales of the retreat are vividly described; from the capture of the French general Lefebvre-Desnouettes at Benavente, the privation, the wifes of the soldiers and their struggle to stay with the column, to the iron resolve of General Craufurd to keep going. Eventually and in a pitiable state Harris reaches Vigo and embarks for England. It was not enemy action that ended Harris’ career in the army but diseases contracted during the pestilent 1809 Walcheren campaign, the lingering sickness forced Harris to leave the army and take up trade as a cobbler.
A valuable and excellent read.
Not all pioneers went west.
In The Greater Journey, David McCullough tells the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, and others who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, hungry to learn and to excel in their work. What they achieved would profoundly alter American history.
Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in America, was one of this intrepid band. Another was Charles Sumner, whose encounters with black students at the Sorbonne inspired him to become the most powerful voice for abolition in the US Senate. Friends James Fenimore Cooper and Samuel F. B. Morse worked unrelentingly every day in Paris, Morse not only painting what would be his masterpiece, but also bringing home his momentous idea for the telegraph. Harriet Beecher Stowe traveled to Paris to escape the controversy generated by her book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Three of the greatest American artists ever—sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, painters Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent—flourished in Paris, inspired by French masters.
Almost forgotten today, the heroic American ambassador Elihu Washburne bravely remained at his post through the Franco-Prussian War, the long Siege of Paris, and the nightmare of the Commune. His vivid diary account of the starvation and suffering endured by the people of Paris is published here for the first time.
Telling their stories with power and intimacy, McCullough brings us into the lives of remarkable men and women who, in Saint-Gaudens’ phrase, longed “to soar into the blue.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
By the 1700s, England, eager to expand its realm of trade, promoted exploration of all the unclaimed regions of the world. The eighteenth century, the age of reason and enlightenment, required a new kind of explorer: not a rover or a plunderer or a seeker of adventure for its own sake, but a master of navigation and seamanship. Captain James Cook filled the bill.
No one ever surpassed Cook's record. From South America to Australia, from the ice islands of the South Pacific to the fogbound Bering Strait, lay thousands of miles of islands, atolls, and ocean that Cook charted.
Decades later, Eunice Lipton stumbles upon clues for this silence, uncovering details of Dave’s exhilarating political life in New York, his shuttered romantic life, and his deep friendship with another volunteer. A Distant Heartbeat tells a tale of passion and heroism, centered on a fierce competition between brothers, a packet of missing letters, and the unforeseen results of family betrayal.
Fifteen years after the events described in his acclaimed autobiographies, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War, Laurie Lee returned to Spain, the land of his youth and experience. He found a country bowed but not broken, where the heavy gloom of the recent past was shot through with the vibrant rays of tradition: the exquisite ecstasy of the flamenco, the pomp and circumstance of the bullfight, the eternal glory of Christ and church.
From the smuggler’s paradise of Algeciras to the Moorish majesty of Granada, Lee paints the wonders of Spain with a poet’s brush. To read A Rose for Winter is to be transported to one of the most enchanted places on earth.
Award-winning author Jay Williams sheds new light on the traditional picture. Although the English were superior sailors, the two fleets were evenly matched. Moreover, the battle emerges as the high point of a four-year cold war between England and Spain. Only when set in the context of a Europe bitterly divided between Catholics and Protestants can the contest be fully understood. The personalities of Queen Elizabeth I of England and King Philip II of Spain and their commanders - especially Francis Drake - are also key to this dramatic story.
For three crucial years in the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world, as volunteers flooded to Spain to help its democratic government fight off a fascist uprising led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. Today we're accustomed to remembering the war through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Robert Capa’s photographs. But Adam Hochschild has discovered some less familiar yet far more compelling characters who reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war: a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman who went to wartime Spain on her honeymoon, a Swarthmore College senior who was the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid, a pair of fiercely partisan, rivalrous New York Times reporters who covered the war from opposites sides, and a swashbuckling Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies who sold Franco almost all his oil — at reduced prices, and on credit.
It was in many ways the opening battle of World War II, and we still have much to learn from it. Spain in Our Hearts is Adam Hochschild at his very best.
Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade.
The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told.
Praise for Conquerors
“Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly
“Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph
“Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times
“A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today
From the Hardcover edition.