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The Duke of Alba

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  26 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
An engrossing biography that attempts to fathom the motivations of an infamous sixteenth-century Spanish general. Ferdinand Alvarez de Toledo, the third duke of Alba (1507-82), is known to history as "the butcher of Flanders." The general who carried out Philip ll's repressive policies in the Netherlands, he was responsible for the massacre of thousands of men, women, and ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 11th 2004 by Yale University Press (first published 2004)
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William Young
Kamen is a great historian of sixteenth and seventeenth century Spain. In this work the author provides a brief study, compared to William Maltby's work, on the Duke of Alba. I was especially interested in Kamen's coverage of Alba as a military commander under Emperor Charles V and later Philip II of Spain. Solid study, and recommended to students seeking to know more about Alba's role in the Dutch Revolt.
Walt
Aug 18, 2011 Walt rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-europe
I always approach a book from an academic press with some trepidation because I expect an overabundance of analysis and detail. Readers can quickly lose interest, not to mention the main points of the book, through getting lost in citations. However, Kamen blatantly writes for a general audience and keeps things fairly simple and close to the main character. This short book is an excellent overview of the duke and his role in the Dutch Revolt.

Historians may have some familiarity with the famous
...more
Jesse Weinberger
Feb 14, 2017 Jesse Weinberger rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge genealogy nerd and came across this book while researching one particular branch of my own family which looks like it might be connected to the Dukes of Alba.

Well written with mountains of excellent information.
Glenn Robinson
May 18, 2014 Glenn Robinson rated it liked it
The butcher of the Belgiums. the late 1500's was a brutal time to live in Europe. This bio gave insight into one of the Spanish leaders that made sure that all followed the line of proper Catholicism. While he did not organize the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre of 20,000+ Protestants, he certainly thought it was a prudent effort. He harsh treatment of the leaders and citizens of the Netherlands, almong with the murderous activities of his son (the son led the throat slitting of towns across the Na ...more
Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Ferdinand Alvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba: conscientious and devoted civil servant, or psychotic and violent minion of Satan,(or both--hey, it WAS the 16th century!)? The answer, despite Kamen's thorough and even-handed analysis, really depends on whether you are Dutch.
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