‘Short history of Spain’, a multi-generational book

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Fernando García de Cortázar’s great book, which has become a bestseller since its publication in 1993, changed national historiography

«History of Spain or History of the Spaniards? It is not easy for the end-century historian, freed from the temptations of nineteenth-century ‘uniformity’, to choose an appropriate term for the last three thousand years of the Peninsular Chronicles». Thus begins ‘A Brief History of Spain’, the great book by Fernando García de Cortázar, who is about to turn 30, and arguably the greatest bestseller in contemporary Spanish historiography.

García de Cortázar, written in collaboration with José Manuel González Vesga and published in 1993 in Alianza Editorial, offered an original approach to the history of Spain. “History is not only that of kings and heroes, but also that of the plow and the sheep, sea voyages and bureaucracy, laws and books, and above all a memory of those who have endured the blows of exploitation and pain.” explained the author.

The great success of ‘Short History of Spain’ was to reconcile the Spaniards with their past. From the black legend to the Franco regime, the successes in Spain’s history were overshadowed by its failures. But García de Cortázar managed to turn that perception around. “Spain’s history has so often been unknown because they told us the wrong thing or simply because they didn’t tell us,” the historian said. In 3000 years there were hesitations and crises, but also economic achievements and hopes for improvement. “Machado, Lorca and Velázquez are the history of Spain,” García de Cortázar claimed. Not everything was bad, quite the contrary. “To challenge Francoism, we Spaniards have been left without a nation,” the historian said in an interview with this newspaper.

Republished without stopping to this day (in the last update it contained up to the war in Ukraine), ‘Short History of Spain’ is the history book of several generations of Spaniards, which García de Cortázar was proud of, whom he was only a month signed copies of his work at the Madrid Book Fair.

Source: La Verdad

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