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The New Spaniards

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  492 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
A fully revised, expanded and updated edition of this masterly portrayal of contemporary Spain.

The restoration of democracy in 1977 heralded a period of intense change that continues today. Spain has become a land of extraordinary paradoxes in which traditional attitudes and contemporary preoccupations exist side by side. Focussing on issues which affect ordinary Spaniards
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Paperback, Second Edition, 480 pages
Published October 26th 2006 by Penguin (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,173)
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David
Mar 31, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
If you’re interested in Spain, and it’s a country that certainly deserves your interest, then there are several books I’d recommend. This is the first of several inter-related reviews for the books listed below:

1. The New Spaniards by John Hooper, 2nd edition, 2006.
2. Ghosts of Spain : Travels through Spain and its Silent Past by Giles Tremlett, 2006.
3. The Ornament of the World : How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal, 2002.
4. Sp
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Lotz
Sep 08, 2016 Lotz rated it really liked it
Shelves: eurotrip
Here is just one of the many examples of how rewarding a place Goodreads can be. While looking for a list of good books on Spain, and being rather disappointed in what I found, I came across a book review by David, which contains—aside from his great review—a list of reading materials on Spain. Immediately convinced, I followed his suggestions; and I’m happy to report no disappointment. Thanks, David!

The New Spaniards is an updated and revised edition of The Spaniards, which was originally publi
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Jose lana
Sep 08, 2016 Jose lana rated it really liked it
Shelves: essay, spain
I as spaniard am in wholly agreement with the Spain and spaniards image that the author gives in the book.
The author knows deeply Spain,its inhabitants and is very well informed about all subjects concerning the country,i think he gives a realistic vission of my country.He makes clear that Spain is a very diverse country with strong differences between the north and the south and also makes clear that to day Spain is a country very very far of the tipical concept that foreigners had of a land of
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Jay
May 27, 2011 Jay rated it liked it
I have had a love affair with Spain since the early 1960s when I spent a year in Madrid studying both Castilian and the history of the peoples of the Peninsula. From that first year-long stay through 1976, I twice returned to Spain as a graduate student and once, the last, in order to complete a post-doctoral study.

Those extended visits took place during the latter years of the Franco dictatorship and the time after Franco’s death and before the 1976 general elections. Since1977, my encounters w
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Tuck
Jan 24, 2014 Tuck rated it really liked it
Shelves: spain, basque, ill
a good, comprehensive history of spain from civil war through franco to about 2006. you can find similar chronicles of a general geopolitical nature, with some deep history thrown in and some culture in these here, and all would be a good start for learning about spain pre-21st century Franco's Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936 The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain Spain: A Unique History They Shall Not Pass: The British Battalion at Jarama - ...more
Cheryl
Sep 18, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I can't imagine someone writing a more thorough and detailed portrait of Spain since the end of Franco. This book was a great read; I learned more about Spain than I could have hoped and it brought to mind many more questions that I hope to pursue in other books. I wish Hooper maintained a blog that would include his reporting and thoughts on Spain since the financial crisis, his many years of reporting and understanding of the country, it's history and culture would be a great contribution. (as ...more
Linda Abhors the New GR Design
Not as dry as the edition I read in 2005, but will have to re- read again in future, so 4 instead of 3. The little anecdotes at the beginning of each chapter give you hope, but still dry. Mostly impartial, and research is there. Wonder what he thinks of recent events involving the monarchy....
Igor Razvodovsky
Dec 23, 2013 Igor Razvodovsky rated it it was ok
500-page wikipedia article
Paul Haspel
Jun 02, 2012 Paul Haspel rated it really liked it
"Now that Franco is dead..." A great many sentences in John Hooper's The New Spaniards could begin with some variation on that phrase, and indeed quite a few do. At this distance in time from the year 1975, it is easy to forget what a sea change the nation of Spain went through when Generalissimo Francisco Franco died and his 39-year dictatorship ended. The New Spaniards does well to remind us how dramatic those changes have been.

Hooper, a veteran journalist who lived and worked in Spain for al
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Brittany Erwin
Jun 12, 2016 Brittany Erwin rated it liked it
I chose this book because I thought it would provide an interesting cultural perspective of Spain. As the cover's reviews suggest, Spain is a nation that has changed significantly over the past few decades across many spheres. I certainly came out of reading this book with a greater knowledge of contemporary Spanish society. The book was divided into distinct chapters, allowing the author to cover a vast array of topics. Across the book's six sections, Hooper discusses political developments thr ...more
David
Mar 29, 2015 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, history
The New Spaniards is an overall explanation of every aspect of Spanish history, with a focus on current history after Franco. That is a huge topic, and Hooper was fairly thorough, but the dryness of the writing made it hard to get into. Potentially, it also made it hard to retain a whole lot. Reading it felt like a chore, and since it was so broad, I don't feel like I got as much out of it as I might have.
Radiantflux
Feb 12, 2016 Radiantflux rated it it was ok
Eighth book for 2016.

Two words to describe this book: Comprehensive and outdated.

The author, a British journalist who lived for decades in Spain, clearly has a deep love and understanding of Spain and its peoples.

It is no exaggeration to say that the book is comprehensive. There are chapters devoted to the royal family, to the army, to tax, to flamenco, to the Basques, to machismo etc etc. Some of these chapters are very interesting, and some are just a bit tedious (the last part of the book c
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José
Jul 28, 2011 José rated it it was amazing
If you are planning on visiting Spain, I would strongly recommend reading this book. It's very engaging and, therefore, a very quick read. It covers all key facets of the modern Spanish state. Politics, religion, cinema, bullfighting, flamenco, the legacy of the Civil War, the regional issues, just to name a few topics.
Paul
Sep 04, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing
Covering Spain’s most recent history and the breakneck pace at which it has, and continues to change, Hooper’s depth of knowledge and research is immense, yet the book flows along and is never bogged down by facts and figures, and through it you get a clearer picture of a country that must barely recognise itself sometimes.

From post Franco politics, the waning influence of the church, the strengths of the family and regional identity, royalty and the army to welfare, education, an absolute lack
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Wesley  Gerrard
This is a well-written detailed study of Spain and the Spanish and in particular covers the period of change from Franco's dictatorship into the modern Spanish democracy. The idiosyncrasies of Spain are examined in contrast with the rest of the EU and world. What makes Spain and its people tick? The history and culture are examined and I in particular enjoyed the accounts of the Basque region's history. There is a lot of political detail, perhaps a bit too much, but it is all explained and leads ...more
McKenzie
Aug 04, 2013 McKenzie rated it really liked it
Though I didn't finish The New Spaniards before my trip to Spain as I had intended, Hooper's comprehensive overview of the history, culture, economy, politics, and social customs of Spain was illuminating both while I was there and in retrospect. He aims to explore Spain after Franco's regime, looking at how the country embraced democracy, how the various regions gave up or fought for autonomy in the new government, and overall how the people have changed along with their government.

Prior to re
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Miquixote
Aug 01, 2016 Miquixote rated it it was ok
Spain as a new Sweden? The most under-40 temporary workers in Europe, a 22% unemployment rate? That does not sound like the Sweden that Hooper likens Spain to. The social democracy that was planned is being taken apart piece by piece. Don't blame Hooper for that though. The riches that Hooper speaks of in Spain were fake, based on a mortgage bubble and the recently collapsed construction industry. Spain has the second largest private debt ratio in the developed world (next to the USA). There is ...more
Mark Colenutt
Aug 23, 2013 Mark Colenutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book on modern Spain. The unofficial bible to the modern land and the one all newly arrives get a hold of either before arriving or shortly afterwards.

It is a breath-taking achievement. The author was supplied a small army of reporters and an office at his old paper El Mundo to assist in the compilation of this magnum opus. It takes quite some beating to offer such an amount of well-researched and relevant information. His section on radio, for example, was a complete education for m
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Jacob
Aug 08, 2011 Jacob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Of the half dozen or so books I've read about Spain this takes the cake as the most well researched and informative. Actually, of the several dozen books I've read about people and places, this takes the cake as the most well researched and informative. This focuses on the post-Franco period and the society that has developed, and really gets into tremendous depth on a tremendous number of issues. The only complaint is that it comes across a bit from the viewpoint of Madrid over those of the

Whi
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Rachel
May 30, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This is an EXCELLENT overview of Spain. It's also formatted so you can skip around a bit if you're more interested in arts than history or family structure than politics (or vice-versa). I read it all (I can't bring myself to not read a book front to back cover), but it was all worthwhile.

Not only do I feel much more informed on the basics of Spain's history and transition to democracy but I also loved learning what's behind things I see everyday, like the ONCE stands--which sell lottery ticket
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Alexander
Jan 08, 2016 Alexander rated it really liked it
Very interesting reading to understand last century changes in Spain's society. A lot of useful facts and information about rapid change from dictatoship to democracy and current state of the country (culture, economy, politics, people behaviour, etc.)
Jennika
Aug 16, 2016 Jennika rated it liked it
This book was a requirement for a Contemporary Hispanic Culture class that I took over the summer. I decided skip through Chapters 3-7 and 14-20 out of 31, but the rest of the material that I did read was very informative and interesting to learn about. I guess you could say I only read the "good stuff," concerning social challenges and family life. I'm not a huge politics fan, so it was difficult for me to read through the governmental changes that Spain had gone through.

Overall, I thought it w
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Eduardo
Nov 06, 2014 Eduardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fresh, entertaining and insightful account of Spain after Franco from a British perspective. I have not read the second edition, which, if updated, should be even better.
Sarah
Feb 03, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-history
"The New Spaniards" is an updated version of John Hooper's previous book by the same name. For me, this book was crucial in putting together the pieces of Spain after Franco, the transition, King Juan Carlos, and the new Constitution. It isn't just a book about politics, however; there is a lot of good information about social change and culture during this time as well. I think it is sometimes difficult to really appreciate recent history as part of a larger whole, which is why prior to reading ...more
Alison
miserably dull opening chapter (on the development of govt from late 19th century onward) but otherwise great read on changes to culture, economy, etc that have taken place in Spain in the last 100 or so years
Alicia
Feb 16, 2014 Alicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-spain
A bit tedious at times, but full of fascinating tidbits about Spain. Definitely required reading for anyone visiting the country.
Chris
May 07, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
A great overview of the drastic changes in Spanish society in the first three decades after Franco's death. It's definitely interesting, but in some ways it lacks the rigor of a work done by a historian, since it was done by a reporter (especially with regards to the Transición. More importantly, Spanish society has continued changing so rapidly, especially as a result of the Economic Crisis, that a new edition is needed almost every 5 years or so. Or, more likely, Spanish society isn't necessar ...more
Josh
Jun 20, 2015 Josh rated it liked it
Great survey of Spanish history, politics, current mores. A little dry at times but the chapters are segmented if you wanted to just read the topics of interest.
Marina
Apr 28, 2013 Marina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Everything you wanted to know about contemporary Spain and the Spanish: history, politics, society, culture. A comprehensive and well-written account of all aspects of life in Spain with particular emphasis on how the country transitioned from the long years of Franco's dictatorship to democracy and the legacy of those years.

This second edition was updated in 2006. Chapters can be read individually and cover such diverse topics as the monarchy, the church, the separate nations within the country
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Nota38
Feb 13, 2015 Nota38 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting insight into the evolution of the Spanish after Franco.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Hooper is currently the Rome correspondent for the Economist and the Guardian. Born in 1950, Hooper was educated at St Benedict’s Abbey in London and St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. At the age of eighteen, he travelled to Biafra during the Nigerian civil war to make a television documentary. Since then,
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More about John Hooper...

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“I don’t know about you, but the reason I left my parents was because I wanted the freedom to sleep with girls. My sons have that – and they still have their mother to wash their clothes and cook their meals. No wonder they don’t want to go!” 0 likes
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