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Whether the term "globalization" is defined as the global imposition of a hegemonic culture or as a more creative dynamic of global interactivity, it's nothing new-it can be traced at least as far back as the Spanish Empire of the 16th and 17th centuries. Kamen (The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision) depicts this golden age globalization on a suitably grand canvas, tracing the surprisingly hesitant and serendipitous spread of empire from Naples to Manila. He demonstrates to superb effect that this empire was in its very origins a truly multinational enterprise in which the Spanish element was one among many. This element, he suggests, was wholly-if understandably-distorted by contemporary propagandists. In reality, without Genoese bankers, expansionism into the Canary Islands (and Italy itself) would have been unworkable; without Muslim agency, Granada would not have fallen, nor Tenochtitlan without indigenous collaboration; there were Greeks, Netherlanders and at least two blacks in the party that conquered the Aztec capital. Like David Northrup in his recent study, Africa's Discovery of Europe, Kamen restores agency to those who have been relegated to victim status: the black people who helped forge colonial society, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. While he recognizes that empire catalyzed Spanish patriotism, not least a regressive nostalgia among settlers in the New World, he observes that among those who cried out "Espa¤a!" at the battle of Muhlberg (1547) were crack Hungarian cavalry. While memories of empire (not quite so dead as Kamen claims) continue to shape Spanish culture, and as new forms of global imperialism develop, this sophisticated and broad-minded book could not be more timely. 16 pages of color illus., 11 b&w photos.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Kamen's rich, lengthy narrative is for serious students of European history, who will be rewarded with an impressive reinterpretation of the nature of the empire Spain built not only in Europe but also in the Americas and Asia. Focusing on, as the book's subtitle indicates, the three centuries of Spain's hegemony over its European sister-states while it stood as the world's "superpower," the author argues that Spain did not wield its empire based simply on its own resources but had to marshal the resources of the regions it controlled, including the Netherlands, much of Italy, and territories in America. In other words, the forging and maintenance of such a vast enterprise cannot be viewed as a "unique achievement" of Spain but as a collaborative effort, for "in war as in peace," so Kamen avers, the "power of Spain depended on its allies." Beginning with Ferdinand and Isabella, the great "Catholic Monarchs," the trends and tendencies that welded Castile to Aragon and spurred expansion of Spanish rule from Manila to Havana are tracked in dynamic detail. Brad Hooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This generally excellent work presents a detailed revisionist view of the Spanish Empire with tremendous detail about its internationalist origins and with detailed descriptions... Read morePublished on April 1, 2011 by RYoast
This book was not exactly what I was looking for, and not what I expected after reading about it on Amazon. Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by R. Boland
Very disappointing; Mr. Kamen is another undercover Anglophile propagating Anti-Spanish and Anti-Catholic views fabricated by the English and other Protestant Europeans since the... Read morePublished on June 1, 2010 by Chris DeVaas
Taking into consideration this book and Kamen's following work, Disinherited, the Greco-Persian Wars come to mind. Read morePublished on February 18, 2010 by A. Rodriguez
This book has been a disappointment to me. I expected a well balanced revisionist work. What I found is an attempt to re-write history for political motivations. Read morePublished on January 30, 2010 by Martul
Henry Kamen's prejudices against his main subject of study- Spain- are well known. What is really surprising is that he is still considered to be a serious historian at all. Read morePublished on November 26, 2008 by Aranda
I agree that this book suffers from poor organization and an overwhelming avalanche of detail. Kamen often shifts from one continent to another with no transition at all, only an... Read morePublished on October 10, 2007 by Heather L. Edwards