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Special issue - Modern Spain

The Circulation of Penicillin in Spain: Health, Wealth and Authority / María Jesús Santesmases

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Review Date: 28 November 2019

In the summer of 1948 Alexander Fleming, known around the world as the discoverer of penicillin, visited Spain. Fleming had published his famous paper on the antimicrobial effect of the Penicillium notatum mould in 1929. During the 1930s researchers worked on methods to extract therapeutic agents from the mould, and by 1942 drug companies in the US had developed efficient methods of mass production.


Colonial al-Andalus : Spain and the making of modern Moroccan culture / Eric Calderwood

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Review Date: 02 May 2019

In Colonial Al-Andalus, Professor Eric Calderwood explores the origin of a claim widely promoted in Moroccan tourism, arts, and literature and finds its roots in Spain’s colonial rhetoric.


Democracy, Deeds and Dilemmas: Support for the Spanish Republic Within British Civil Society, 1936-1939 / Emily Mason

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Review Date: 17 May 2018

The Spanish Civil War began in July 1936 when a group of right-wing military officers launched a coup against the democratically-elected and progressive Popular Front government. The plight of the besieged Spanish Republic prompted an international outpouring of political and humanitarian activism. However, the National Government in Britain adopted the official policy of non-intervention in an effort to quarantine the conflict.


Goals and Means: Anarchism, Syndicalism, and Internationalism in the Origins of the Federación Anarquista Ibérica / Jason Garner

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Review Date: 22 September 2016

Jason Garner's monograph on the origins of the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) is an illuminating and much-welcomed addition to the inchoate body of English-language scholarship dealing specifically with pre-Civil War Spanish anarchism.


Franco: A Personal and Political Biography / Jesús Palacios Tapias, Stanley G. Payne

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Review Date: 08 August 2015

Stanley G. Payne needs no introduction. He has a well-deserved reputation as an excellent historian who has produced, among other publications, perhaps the best guide to the study of European Fascism (A History of Fascism, 1914–45). He is also the author of numerous books on Spain, some of them real landmarks in our knowledge of that country’s modern history.


The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain / Paul Preston

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Review Date: 08 November 2012

Paul Preston is a renowned historian, and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on 20th-century Spanish history. His book on the genocidal actions taken against Spanish civilians between 1936 and 1945 is an important resource that has changed historiography on the period.


Spanish Identity in the Age of Nations / Jose Álvarez-Junco

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Review Date: 31 May 2012

Perhaps the central theme in the history of Spain has been whether it can be considered a European country, or whether its unique historical trajectory qualifies it for a status as a marginal case, a fringe member of the continental club.


Ashes and Granite. Destruction and Reconstruction in the Spanish Civil War and its Aftermath / Olivia Muñoz-Rojas

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Review Date: 10 May 2012

At least three factors go towards explaining why the destruction of Spanish cities during the Civil War (1936–9) and the subsequent reconstruction efforts have long been overlooked and under-studied. First, the monstrous scale of destruction wrought by the Second World War on European cities pulled horrified gazes away from Spain and made the violence suffered there seem to shrink to insignificant proportions by comparison.


The Birth of Modern Politics in Spain: Democracy, Association and Revolution, 1854-1875 / Guy Thomson

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Review Date: 01 September 2010

Guy Thomson has distinguished himself through his extensive publications on regional history and liberalism and nation-building in 19th-century Spain and Mexico. 19th-century Spain has recently been subject to growing interest from British academics, and Thomson’s latest contribution does not disappoint. The Birth of Modern Politics in Spain: Democracy, Association and Revolution, 1854–1875 is an innovative and much-needed contribution to our understanding of the field.


Fear and Progress: Ordinary Lives in Franco’s Spain, 1939-1975 / Antonio Cazorla Sánchez

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Review Date: 01 July 2010

In Fear and Progress, Antonio Cazorla Sánchez has produced a first-class survey of life in the years of the Franco regime (1939–75). His compelling narrative is supported by insightful analysis into the nature of the regime and a welcome abundance of source material including oral history interviews and government documents.


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The histories of modern Spain covered by ‘Reviews in History’ reflect a strong focus on the crucial periods of the Second Spanish Republic and the Civil War. However, they do range earlier, into pre-Civil War anarchist movements; the Peninsular War; and claims of the emergence of modern Spanish politics in 19th century Andalucía. Other works reviewed look beyond Spain’s borders, at cultural as well as political and military impacts of Spain on Morocco; at Spain’s place in an ‘Age of Nations’ Europe; and at British support for Franco.  Image: 'Still Life With a Guitar' by Juan Gris © Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998/WikiCommons

Special issues

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