Public Intellectuals and Nation Building in the Iberian Peninsula, 1900-1925: The Alchemy of Identity


Product Details

Bucknell University Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 10.5 X 1.1 inches | 0.01 pounds

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About the Author

Thomas Harrington is associate professor of Hispanic studies at Trinity College.


Grounded on solid research and convincing theoretical approach, Harrington's book is an unavoidable contribution to the growing field of Iberian Studies. It truly makes a difference that the author is versant in all the languages and cultures under discussion and attains a truly comparative perspective. Harrington analyzes the historical and ideological background of current debates, thus the tropes of cultural identity first generated between 1874 and 1923, a period when the Iberian Problem of the Nation was far more intricate and complex than presented by most canonical treatments of the matter with a fixation on literary generations based in Madrid. Compelling readings of major texts by Enric Prat de la Riba, Pascoaes, Risco and Ortega y Gasset Nationalism demonstrate that three of the four concepts of nationhood studied are strongly linked to the nineteenth-century Romantic reaction to the modern notion of progress, a fourth one connected to the need of an elite leadership class, inspiring myths, and the desire for transcendence through group identification and for an imperial project. The book provides, among other things, a roadmap and an encyclopedic guide for those willing to understand the puzzle of contemporary Spanish politics, particularly the battle between conflicting visions of national identity within the Iberian Peninsula.--Enric Bou, Ca' Foscari University of Venice
Thomas Harrington's Public Intellectuals and Nation-Building in the Iberian Peninsula 1900-1925: The Alchemy of Identity, is a timely and important addition to current debates on nationhood and national identity in today's Spain and Portugal. Through a detailed historical treatment of the work of four preeminent nationalist "catechisms" of the early twentieth century, Harrington sheds much-needed light upon the architecture of competing discourses of national identity in today's Peninsula. Perhaps the book's greatest strength, however, is the way it allows us to observe the parallel and often surprisingly interconnected genesis of that region's supposedly radically distinct codes of collective belief.--Josep Maria Solé I Sabaté