"More political than cultural in its emphasis, this enormously detailed, scholarly yet thoroughly readable book about modern Spain under Franco should fascinate any reader curious to know what changes have been wrought in that country in the past 30 years. Professor Herr (UCLA and Berkeley) has researched painstakingly and drawn a clear, authentic and meaningful portrait of Spain today as it is rapidly being transformed from an agrarian society to one now predominantly industrial."--Publishers Weekly "Professor Herr is also seeking the origins of modern Spain; his history is Aristotelian in that the end dominates the process. He seeks these origins in the later eighteenth century when the traditional order was perceived to be a bar to progress. A group of civil servants influenced by the European Enlightenment sought to bring Spain into Europe believing that industrial progress, education and agrarian reform would do the trick; but all their reforms were opposed by Catholic traditionalists. Hence the division into the 'two Spains.' Yet it is not the old crude version of two Spains, so often served up to explain everything from the failure of university reform to the Civil War, that Professor Herr plumps for. He sees the course of Spanish history explained by the rise and modification of the Moderado oligarchy. . . . he does throw out a lifeline in a sea of complexities and gives us the best short account of Franco Spain."--Spectator "This is a work of substantial interest and value which must be recommended as a well-balanced, readable, and scholarly introduction to a subject which has never ceased to be controversial and is still in the process of reinterpretation. . . .commands a high place among the general histories of Spain."--Journal of Modern History
Richard Herr is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley.