Spain and Portugal
Paperback ISBN: 0674060334
[Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html)([Part I](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html) and [Part II](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/elephants-of-rome-interview-with-mary.html)) The Alhambra has long been a byword for exotic and melancholy beauty. In his absorbing new book, Robert Irwin, Arabist and novelist, examines its history and allure. The Alhambra is the only Muslim palace to have survived since the Middle Ages. Built by a threatened dynasty of Muslim Spain, it was preserved as a monument to the triumph of Christianity. Every day thousands of tourists enter this magnificent site to be awestruck by its towers and courts, its fountained gardens, its honeycombed ceilings and intricate tile work. It is a complex full of mysteries--even its purpose is unclear. Its sophisticated ornamentation is not indiscriminate but full of hidden meaning. Its most impressive buildings were designed not by architects, but by philosophers and poets. The Alhambra, which resembles a fairy-tale palace, was constructed by slave labor in an era of economic decline, plague, and political violence. Its sumptuously appointed halls have lain witness to murder and mayhem. Yet its influence on art and on literature--including Orientalist painting and the architecture of cinemas, Washington Irving and Jorge Luis Borges--has been lasting and significant. As our guide to this architectural masterpiece, Robert Irwin allows us to fully understand the impact of the Alhambra.
Pearls and the Nature of Empire, 1492-1700
Hardcover ISBN: 1469638975
Pearls have enthralled global consumers since antiquity, and the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella explicitly charged Columbus with finding pearls, as well as gold and silver, when he sailed westward in 1492. American Baroquecharts Spain's exploitation of Caribbean pearl fisheries to trace the genesis of its maritime empire. In the 1500s, licit and illicit trade in the jewel gave rise to global networks, connecting the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean to the pearl-producing regions of the Chesapeake and northern Europe. Pearls—a unique source of wealth because of their renewable, fungible, and portable nature—defied easy categorization. Their value was highly subjective and determined more by the individuals, free and enslaved, who produced, carried, traded, wore, and painted them than by imperial decrees and tax-related assessments. The irregular baroque pearl, often transformed by the imagination of a skilled artisan into a fantastical jewel, embodied this subjective appeal. Warsh blends environmental, social, and cultural history to construct microhistories of peoples' wide-ranging engagement with this deceptively simple jewel. Pearls facilitated imperial fantasy and personal ambition, adorned the wardrobes of monarchs and financed their wars, and played a crucial part in the survival strategies of diverse people of humble means. These stories, taken together, uncover early modern conceptions of wealth, from the hardscrabble shores of Caribbean islands to the lavish rooms of Mediterranean palaces.
Anatomía de un instante / Anatomy of a Moment
Spanish Hardcover ISBN: 8439722133
Un relato vibrante, tenso y pormenorizado que empieza leyéndose como una novela policíaca y acaba leyéndose como una novela de terror. «Este libro es un ensayo en forma de crónica o una crónica en forma de ensayo. Este libro no es una ficción. Este libro es la anatomía de un instante: el instante en que Adolfo Suárez permaneció sentado en la tarde del 23 de febrero de 1981, mientras las balas de los golpistas zumbaban a su alrededor en el hemiciclo del Congreso de los Diputados y todos los demás parlamentarios -todos menos dos: el general Gutiérrez Mellado y Santiago Carrillo- buscaban refugio bajo sus escaños. Este libro es la crónica de ese gesto y la crónica de un golpe de estado y la crónica de unos años decisivos en la historia de España. Este libro es un libro inclasificable. Un libro único.» Javier Cercas
The Arab Conquest of Spain 710-797
Paperback ISBN: 0631194053
This book, now available in paperback, is a challenging and controversial account of the history of Spain in the eighth century. In it Roger Collins assesses the political and cultural impact on Spain of the first hundred years of Arab rule, focusing upon aspects of continuity and discontinuity with Visigoth Spain.
An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades
Momoirs of Usamah Ibn-Munqidh
Paperback ISBN: 0231121253
The life of Usâmah ibn-Munqidh epitomized the height of Arab civilization as it flourished in the period of the early Crusades. His memoirs present an uncommon non-European perspective and understanding of the military and cultural contact between East and West, Muslim and Christian. His writing is remarkable for its narrative clarity, its humanity, and its wealth of perceptive details.
The Archaeology of Bronze Age Iberia
Hardcover ISBN: 1138821330
"After more than a century of research, an enormous body of scientific literature in the field of El Argar studies has been generated, comprising some 700 bibliographic items. No fully-updated synthesis of the literature is available at the moment; recent works deal only with specific characteristics of Argaric societies or some of the regions where their influence spread. The Archaeology of Bronze Age Iberia offers a much-needed, comprehensive overview of Argaric Bronze Age societies, based on state-of-the-art research. In addition to expounding on recent insights in such areas as Argaric origin and expansion, social practices, and socio-politics, the book offers reflections on current issues in the field, from questions concerning the genealogy of discourses on the subject, to matters related to professional practices. The book discusses the values and interests guiding the evolution of El Argar studies, while critically reexamining its history. Scholars and researchers in the fields of Prehistory and Archaeology will find this volume highly useful"--