• A People Betrayed

  • A History of Corruption, Political Incompetence and Social Division in Modern Spain
  • By: Paul Preston
  • Narrated by: Peter Noble
  • Length: 29 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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A People Betrayed

By: Paul Preston
Narrated by: Peter Noble
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Publisher's Summary

Whereas so many 20th-century Spanish histories begin with Franco and the devastating Civil War, Paul Preston's magisterial work begins in the late 19th 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 21st century, as economic crises, Catalan independence struggles, and financial scandals persist in dividing the country.

©2020 Paul Preston (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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“However….”

Lots of details of Spain’s tortured modern political experience are explained and explored about as thoroughly as a book covering the span of time it does. It is an engaging tale up until about the time the Chevy Chase updates on SNL would have been airing.

The performance is lovely although some pronunciations are somewhat British (think of the way Lord Byron would have pronounced “Juan”) though not consistently so. That’s annoying at times. It’s not as annoying as the ubiquitousness of the word “however”.

The history here seems to constantly happen despite whatever contemporaneous indications would seem to predict. The national anthem of Spain as presented here ought to be “On the Other Hand”. If listeners to the performance were to engage in taking a shot of liquor every time “however” is pronounced then they would run through a case of booze well before the end of the performance. Talk about needing a siesta! Geez!

3 people found this helpful