"These books will prove to be immediately useful to anyone interested in Spanish history and culture."—Virginia Quarterly ReviewWhile the Civil War of 1936-39 dominated Spain's twentieth-century history, the country's fateful and bloody division into left and right had its roots in the events of the Napoleonic era. In Modern Spain: A Documentary History, the first broad-ranging collection in English of writings from this entire period, Jon Cowans presents 76 documents to trace the history of Spain as it struggled for political and social stability and justice through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Beginning with Napoleon's occupation of Spain in 1808, the selections include decrees of the liberal Cádiz Cortes of 1810-14, an 1841 plea for the revival of the Catalan culture and language, an 1873 anarchist manifesto, an 1892 argument for the education of women, a Basque nationalist's 1895 diatribe against Spaniards, José Ortega y Gasset's Invertebrate Spain, General Francisco Franco's 1936 manifesto and his 1940 letter to Hitler, the Spanish bishops' 1950 press release on immorality and indecency in the mass media, King Juan Carlos's speech on the attempted coup d'état of 1981, and a 1999 report by SOS Racismo on immigration and xenophobia in contemporary Spain.
Covering political, cultural, social, and economic history, Modern Spain: A Documentary History provides a valuable opportunity to explore the history of Spain through primary sources from the Second Republic, the Civil War, and the Franco dictatorship, as well as from the period of Spain's profound transformation following the ascension of King Juan Carlos in 1975.
Jon Cowans is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University, Newark. He is the editor of the companion volume Early Modern Spain: A Documentary History, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.