Approaches to the History of Spain
is a very short introduction to
Spanish history from prehistory to the civil war. Rather than a
continuous narrative it is a collection of short essays on general
topics. Vives, in the tradition of the Annales, covers social and
economic trends as well as political events.
Approaches is a frustrating book in a way, since it goes into just
enough detail about people and events to make you want to know more.
But it is a decent introduction to its subject, with footnotes by the
translator helping to fill in some of the background knowledge non-Spanish
readers may lack. The only major problem is that the maps provided don't
cover all the places mentioned in the text, forcing readers unfamiliar
with Spanish geography to consult an atlas.
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