In 1898 Spain went to war with the United States and lost the scattered remnants of her old empire. This book is the first comprehensive analysis of Spain's 'disaster' and the ensuing political and social crisis, stretching from the end of the Empire to the military coup of 1923. Sebastian Balfour weaves together political, economic, and social history in his study of the reaction to war and crisis by a wide range of participants, from rioters to rulers. He
examines the rise of Catalan nationalism, the fruitless efforts of politicians and intellectuals to regenerate Spain from above, the disintegration of Spain's political system before 1923, and the creation of an imperial myth in the subsequent dictatorship of Primo de Rivera and Franco. This is essential
reading for anyone wishing to understand the roots of the Spanish crisis in the first part of the twentieth century.
`A full detailed and readable account of Spain's disastrous was of 1898 ... and of the political and social crisis that followed.'
British Bulletin of Publications.
`These long-term political, social and economic reverberations of the Spanish loss of empire are the subject of Sebastian Balfour's stylish and sophisticated book...it begins with a superbly wide-ranging account of the war of 1898 and its origins.'
Times Literary Supplement
`Not a mere compilation of secondary opinions but rather a well-researched interpretative piece. Balfour provides an insightful and detailed analysis of what he considers were the main 'centrifugal impulses' that contributed to the disintegration of the Restoration... Balfour has written a remarkable analytical book that will become a basic reference for those interested in the history of Spain and Europe in the first third of the twentieth century.'
Jesus Cruz, Journal of Modern History, Vol.71 No.4
`elegantly written study ... Based on a wealth of primary sources, this is a splendid - as well as beautifully produced - study.'
Paul Heywood, University of Nottingham, LSE Magazine, Summer 1997
`a compelling, readable and scholarly account of what was simply called The Disaster ... A must for historians of Spain and students of imperialism.'