SPAIN by Robert Goldston
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As the first juvenile geography series to recognize the complexity of economic, social and political reality, this has been a valuable addition to teen-age collections; adults would be equally interested in Robert Goldston's perceptive handling of contemporary Spain. Here, for example, is his analysis (preceded by background) of the Basque and Catalonian ferment: ""The independence movements...are reflections of a failure by the central government to meet local needs and to create an over-all national economy within which the trade and industry of Bilbao and Barcelona can prosper."" Paradoxes provide a challenge for the future as well as an explanation of the past: fertile fallow land awaits irrigation from inaccessible rivers; the proud, reserved Spanish temper is ""an evil in a machine age based on social cooperation"" but it has values worth preserving. Mr. Goldston explores three cities to explore the problems of sudden growth; he follows the relevant fortunes of history since 1492, treats the Spanish Civil War (subject of his fine full study) in its relation to political fragmentation and later apathy; characterizes in some depth the work of leading artists and writers, first in the Golden Age of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, later in the lesser-known early twentieth (some of the philosophy may be beyond most youngsters). In the concluding chapters, he sees the economic progress and rising expectations spurred by American aid (and presence) as undermining authoritarianism, and speculates on the uncertain future. An intelligent, engrossing study.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Macmillan