The History of Spain

The Spanish tourist industry hopes Britons do not abandon their traditional summer holiday after Brexit. The Spanish economy is hugely dependent on Northern European visitors, especially the British. 2017 may see up to 15 million Brits ( (3 times the entire population of Scotland) get their annual dose of sun there. It may be that you’ve already laid plans to get on that jet plane for the Iberian peninsula. Two weeks roasting on the sand at Torremolinos makes the other dismal 50 weeks endurable, right?


Whereas the cocktail of blistering sunshine, sex, Vino Collapso, and cigarettes on the beach is alluring enough in itself, Spain is also a fascinating country with a rich and complex history. To get a sense of the country beyond the 18-30 foam parties, cheap tat, and compulsory conking out with heat and booze, turn to Peter Pierson. Emphasizing people rather than abstract developments, Pierson’s narrative makes Spanish history readable and engaging. Based on the most recent scholarship, it examines the politics, society, economy, and culture of Spain chronologically, focusing on the last two centuries. A noted authority on Spanish history, he traces Spain’s foundations in the Roman empire and Muslim conquest to its golden age in the late Middle Ages. The author then describes its subsequent decline, and its struggle to build a democratic government and modern economy following the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. The work provides a timeline of events in Spanish history, brief biographies of key figures, and a bibliographic essay of interest to students and general readers. At an economical 290 pages, this is your best one volume introduction to your favourite destination.


Peter Pierson is Lee and Seymour Graff Professor of History at Santa Clara University ( The history of Spain is his main interest and he regularly undertakes research trips to the country. A former Fulbright fellow in Spain, he is a member of the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies and author of “Philip II of Spain” (1975) and “Commander of the Armada” (1989) and numerous articles and book chapters on early modern Spanish history.


Check if this useful book is in stock by consulting the online catalogue at



290 pages in Greenwood

First published 1999

ISBN 978-0313302725

Scroll to Top