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The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  20 reviews
12 hours 4 mins

Spain has played a unique and essential role in Western civilization. To understand the unfolding of Spain's epic history is to come to terms with one of the West's great cultures, and to grasp its enduring presence and impact on the world stage.

In these 24 accessible lectures, Professor Salisbury presents a broad and enthralling panorama of Spanish history,
Audible Audio, 13 pages
Published July 21st 2017 by The Great Courses
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Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is a well-researched and well-structured series of lectures. However, I do not quite agree with Professor Salisbury's holistic approach to Spain. She treats the country as if it existed since before time, and while I understand why she made the choice to use such an approach, frequently it works against her, especially in the final lectures. Professor Salisbury is a medievalist, and the lectures on the Ancient and Medieval periods are the most well-researched and interesting. When talking ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this complete history of Spain. It was a great introduction to the region's history up until 2017 if I am not mistaken.
Andrei Ryumin
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Exactly what I was looking for: a concise but short history of Spain from ancient times till modern day. Enough to get an overall understanding before a trip around the country.
Carolyn Harris
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am teaching my Imperial Spain course again this Spring and listened to this lecture series to learn more about how other university instructors approach the subject. The lecturer's focus is the medieval period and she also devotes lots of attention to the history of Spanish, religion, art and culture. Her passion and knowledge for Spain is clear throughout the course and she does a great job of presenting an introduction to Spanish history to students unfamiliar with the subject. This Great ...more
Maurício Linhares
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The crossroads of Europe! Spain's rich history, with all the populations that lived there and how these populations affected the place and all surrounding countries (so you think bagpipes are Scottish? think again, they came from the Arabs that took the Iberic peninsula). Since the Greek and Roman times the land that would eventually become Spain was an incredibly important crossroad for commerce with Northern Africa and would be home for the discovery of the Americas and the birth of the global ...more
An interesting and informative lecture series that reminded me that there is probably a good deal of European history that is worth studying, spreads of time and geography of which I know relatively little. I did find the lecturer's pronunciation of some words (e.g., Galicia, Cadiz, Barcelona) a bit distracting at first; at first it seemed like a lisp, but I realized eventually that it must be a Spanish pronunciation where primarily 's' sounds are replaced with something like an English 'th' ...more
I think that “The History of Spain: Land on a Crossroad” is an informative and well-researched course. The professor is knowledgeable of and demonstrably passionate about her subject. The only downside is her overuse of Spanish-language phonology for geographic locations and certain cultural or historical events. This makes the course borderline unlistenable. When lecturing in English to an Anglophone audience, there is no need to pronounce “Barcelona” like “Barthelona” or “Cadiz” like “Cadith.” ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I've been watching a number of Spanish TV series lately, which naturally led to an interest in Spain, a country I didn't know much about. This wasn't my favorite Great Courses audiobook but I agree with others that it's incredibly well-researched and well-structured. My main complaint is that some areas felt rushed. It seemed like we jumped from the Renaissance to the 19th century to the Spanish Civil War very quickly. It's difficult to squeeze the entire history of one country into a 12-hour ...more
Fate's Lady
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent overview of the land we now call Spain, from the earliest stone age settlers forward to the modern day. Obviously this can't go into deep deep detail, but the overview is excellent, and I had no idea how progressive and tolerant the country was before the Christian god took over and turned it into a dark, intolerant Netscape for a few hundred years. They've since returned to progressive and inclusive policies, and were among the first countries to legalize gay marriage. It seems like a ...more
Graham Bradley
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's better than a simple primer and goes into a lot of detail for each unit. One or two of them lost my interest based solely on the fact that I've already ready books that covered the material, but largely this was an excellent series of lectures (and an accompanying book) by Prof. Salisbury. Really took me back to my Spain years.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We're going to Spain in the near future, and this was a great overview to familiarize ourselves with the history of Spain, the culture, etc. I listened to the audiobook during my morning walks and it was a lot of fun learning about the history. I felt like it was just the right amount of detail to get a really good overview on Spain.
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting, broad strokes overview of Spanish history (though I found my attention waning in the second half). You must get some sort of prize if you can count how many times the professor says "crossroads" throughout the course.
Ewa Gajer
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Prof. Salisbury has a rare ability to summarize big historical events in a few sentences and focus instead on their social and cultural implications. It is a sweeping and captivating historical account.
Lucky Bradley
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not a bad set of lectures. I felt like there wasn’t enough focus on more recent events, since it stuck mostly with the middle ages/renaissance time period.

Definitely a good look though over Spain. If you have the time for the lectures, you should listen to it.
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fiecare lectie vorbeste despre o etapa importanta in istoria Spaniei . O prezentare clara si foarte interesanta. Mi-a facut mare placere sa o citesc. In paralel am ascultat si versiunea audio, o versiune mai extinsa si plina de detalii si note personale.
Mark Halse
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I gather that Spain acted as a crossroad and that Barthelona was named by a homosexual duck.

Daniel L
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. The was the best Great Courses book I have listened to. I loved the analysis of trends as well.

Voice was a bit grating on my ears at first.

I'd highly recommend it!
Gregor Schafroth
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very great book that covers the Spain history broadly. Imho would benefit from some more maps and data in the PDF, but overall it is great :>
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great insight on a fascinating and important country in the development of western civilization.
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this dive into the history of Spain. In a set of 24 lectures Dr. Salisbury examines all the different peoples Celts, Romans, Visigoths and more who came through Spain. She also looks at religion, music, royalty and many more aspects that makes Spain what it is today. It definitely gave me some background that will make my continued reading more approachable.

Note - I reread in 2019 since a trip planned for Spain in 2018 had been postponed. Loved it just as much the second
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Professor Emerita of Humanistic Studies (History)University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.