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Histories of the Two Spains

Santos Juliá

"The two Spains, gentlemen, are embroiled in a never-ending battle," said Ortega once, summing up centuries of history with his typical aplomb. These two Spains are, more than the result of an analysis, the grand story of a past aimed at opening up the future: "a dead, hollow, worm-eaten Spain and a new, eager, ambitious Spain that tends toward life." Santos Juliá's brilliant book deals with this cultural creation and those who invented it and got it started. He covers everything from the first public writers, witnesses to the liberal revolution of the 19th century, through young intellectuals in the mid-20th century who challenged the grand story of the two Spains. In between, the generation of 98, which left Spain for dead; the Catalans, who revived their nation to incrust it in an Espanya gran; the people of the 14th, who spoke of a living Spain; the youth of the Republic, who ended up crying for its loss; the Catholics, who mobilized to re-conquer it; and the fascists, who dreamed of a united, imperial Spain on the banks of the Arlanzón. As a whole, it is a choral history of the successive, contradictory and conflicting histories of the two Spains.

Translated by Robert Dewey

Book Details

Historias de las dos Españas (2004)
Santos Juliá
Histories of the Two Spains
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Santos Juliá

Santos Juliá

(Ferrol, Spain, 1940). He studied in Seville, at the San Isidoro Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Complutense University of Madrid and has held research grants at Stanford and Oxford. He joined the Spanish National University for Distance Learning in 1979 as an assistant professor, became the Social History and Political Thought Department Chair in 1989 and stayed on as Professor Emeritus after retiring. From 1992 to 1995, he was Dean of the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology. He has worked as a visiting professor and has given conferences at a number of universities and centers of higher education in Europe and America.

 He has been publishing works on political and social history in Spain in the 20th century since 1977, mainly focusing on Spanish socialism, unionism and republicanism, the Popular Front, the city of Madrid, the Republic, the dictatorship and the transition to democracy. He has devoted special attention to Manuel Azaña, whose Obras Completas [Complete Works] he edited in seven volumes (Madrid, Center for Political and Constitutional Studies, 2007). He has also written about historical theory and, in recent years, has concerned himself with the history of intellectuals, publishing Historias de las dos Españas[Histories of the two Spains] (Madrid, Taurus, 2004), which received the National Award for History in 2005. In this work he analyzes various generations of intellectuals, from the instigators of the liberal revolution in the first third of the 19th century through young writers and university students in the mid-20th century.

He has written a column on national politics in El Paísn since 1994, and is the author and coordinator of a number of collections on political violence, victims of the civil war, memory and the Republic. After publishing Vida y tiempo de Manuel Azaña[The life and times of Manuel Azaña] (Madrid, Taurus, 2008), his latest work is a collection of articles entitled Hoy no es ayer. Ensayos sobre la España del siglo XX [Today isn't yesterday. Essays on 20th century Spain], (Barcelona, RBA, 2010).

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In Support of the Autonomy of History

Using a simile from business language ("The value of memory is on the rise"), Santos Juliá reflects on the consequences that the current crisis of social history, stemming from Structuralism and Marxism, is having on today's historians. Admitting that there is no way of representing, unless that very representation is an invention created by the subject, and for that invention to be historical it has to be endorsed by events that have been researched and documented, that is...



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