Spain: The Trials and Triumphs of a Modern European Country (Hardcover)

Spain: The Trials and Triumphs of a Modern European Country By Michael Reid Cover Image

Spain: The Trials and Triumphs of a Modern European Country (Hardcover)


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An incisive account of modern Spain, from the death of Franco to the Catalan referendum and beyond
“Comprehensive and engaging.”—Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Spain’s transition to democracy after Franco’s long dictatorship was widely hailed as a success, ushering in three decades of unprecedented progress and prosperity. Yet over the past decade its political consensus has been under severe strain. A stable two-party system has splintered, with disruptive new parties on the far left and far right. No government has had a majority since 2015.
Michael Reid overturns the stereotypical view of Spain as a country haunted by its Francoist past. From Catalan separatism and the indignados movement to the Spanish economy’s overdependence on tourism and small business, Spain’s challenges can often seem unique. But Reid is careful to emphasize the many pressures it faces in common with its European neighbors—such as austerity, populism, and increasing polarization. The result is a penetrating yet rounded portrait of a vibrant country—one that is more often visited than understood.
Michael Reid is a senior editor at The Economist. He was the magazine’s Spain correspondent between 2016 and 2021. He is the author of Brazil: The Troubled Rise of a Global Power and Forgotten Continent. He lives in Madrid.

Product Details ISBN: 9780300260397
ISBN-10: 0300260393
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: April 18th, 2023
Pages: 336
Language: English
“Reid has a gift for making the abstruse accessible, and he maintains a superb narrative evenhandedness that is invaluable in any account of a society as ideologically riven as Spain’s.”—Tunku Varadarajan, Wall Street Journal

“Comprehensive and engaging.”—Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

“A lively, highly informative and nuanced portrait of contemporary Spain. It fills a huge void in English-language books on the country; future writers will be much indebted to it.”—The Economist

“The power of this book lies in its lucid analysis of a country that thrived in a second Spanish golden age after the return of democracy five decades ago, but now, under the strains of regional nationalism, outrage at corruption and the disenchantment of younger generations, risks failing to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.”—William Schomberg, Times Literary Supplement

“The best and most complete book I have read about Spain today and the historical roots of the present.”—Antonio Muñoz Molina, prize-winning novelist

“Scrupulous, masterly, gentle and fair. I had thought the task impossible—but at last! A clear, careful unpicking of the knot of Catalan identity and separatism.”—Matthew Parris, author of A Castle in Spain

“This is a thoroughly up-to-date, astute account of contemporary Spain. Reid situates the country’s recent political turbulence in its Western European context, yet also concisely explains the history behind it. . . . An engaging read for those new to and already familiar with Spain alike.”—Caroline Gray, author of Territorial Politics and the Party System in Spain

“A lucid and engaging account of 21st century Spain enriched, not just by Reid’s sharp-eyed reporting for The Economist, but also by his deep understanding of the country’s past. He is particularly adept at sorting historical fact from separatist myth.”—John Hooper, author of The New Spaniards

“Michael Reid offers a comprehensive and witty assessment of contemporary Spain. Balancing his personal experiences with the incisive, analytical reflections of a journalist, Reid has produced a text that is accessible, yet original.”—Ana Palacio, former Foreign Minister of Spain