Thursday, May 1, 2014

El Rey de un pueblo

Today I've finished reading another book in Spanish - "Juan Carlos. El Rey de un pueblo" by Paul Preston. During my last holiday in Spain, after visiing the Royal Palace in Madrid, the book caught my eye in the palace's little shop. I thought it would be good to learn more about one of the most widely known crowned head in Europe.

Spanish journal of cultural news "El Cutural" recommends this book in such words: "Without doubt, a required reading for all those who are interested for our most recent history". These words are definitely true. Paul Preson is a very respected historian, who wrote many works about the contemporary history of Spain.

Preston analyzes historical, familiar, psychological and moral circumstances which formed the character and attitudes of a king-to-be, from his infantry, through the years under Franco dictatorship which led to his nomination as a successor to the throne and to restauration of the Spanish monarchy, up to the year 2002. We get to know Juan Carlos de Bonbón as a boy, and then a man who was conscious about his obligations towards his family, country and people. He many a times repeated that his aim has always been to be "el rey de un pueblo" - "the king of a people".

The book pictures a man of a very strong character who endured about 20 years under the surveillance of Franco's regime, waiting to achieve his goal in life - to restore Spanish monarchy and to bring back democracy to his country. He succeeded, although it took him many years and didn't come without renunciations. It cost him a lot, not only before his coronation day, but also several times after, especially during an attempted coup d'état in 1981.

Juan Carlos. El Rey de un pueblo

Author: Paul Preston
Translation: Eva Rodríguez Halffter & Gabriel Vásquez
Publisher: DeBols!llo
Year: 2004
Pages: 671


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