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A People Betrayed

Nonfiction: History
Unabridged   29.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 10/27/2020

A People Betrayed

A History of Corruption, Political Incompetence and Social Division in Modern Spain

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696602020


Nowhere does the ceaseless struggle to maintain democracy in the face of political corruption come more alive than in Paul Preston's magisterial history of modern Spain.

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Product Description

Whereas so many twentieth-century Spanish histories begin with Franco and the devastating Civil War, Paul Preston's magisterial work begins in the late nineteenth century with Spain's collapse as a global power, especially reflected in its humiliating defeat in 1898 at the hands of the United States and its loss of colonial territory.

With astonishing detail, Preston later describes the ravages that rent Spain in half between 1936 and 1939. Tracing the frightening rise of Francisco Franco, Preston recounts how Franco grew into Spain's most powerful military leader during the Civil War and how, after the war, he became a fascistic dictator who not only terrorized the Spanish population through systematic oppression and murder but also enriched corrupt officials who profited from severe economic plunder of Spain's working class.

The dictatorship lasted through World War II—during which Spain sided with Mussolini and Hitler—and only ended decades later, in 1975, when Franco's death was followed by a painful yet bloodless transition to republican democracy. Yet, as Preston reveals, corruption and political incompetence continued to have a corrosive effect on social cohesion into the twenty-first century, as economic crises, Catalan independence struggles, and financial scandals persist in dividing the country.


"Preston brings this complex story alive with brisk, lucid prose and colorful character sketches, and treats Spain’s rancorous political antagonisms judiciously. This vigorous narrative history delivers sharp insight into Spain’s chaotic past." -Publishers Weekly

Author Bio

Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War, Franco, Juan Carlos, and The Spanish Holocaust, is the world's foremost historian on twentieth-century Spain. A professor at the London School of Economics, he lives in London.