For courses in Spanish Civilization. Espana: Ayer y hoy provides a comprehensive and systematic study of both the history of Spain and its current social, political, and cultural circumstances. History is covered with the most current interpretations and explanations of facts that played a role in shaping the Spain of today. The book's focus on contemporary Spanish society encompasses demographics, sociology, legal and political systems, popular culture, art, literature, and film. Discussions of the various topics--both historical and current--are always related to facts and trends in American culture and civilization.
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Espana: Ayer y hoy offers the reader a comprehensive and systematic study of the history of Spain and its role in shaping current social, political, and cultural circumstances. Historical information is organized around trends and ideas providing a rich framework within which events can then be understood, analyzed, and interpreted. Special attention is paid to the mixture of cultural influences and the political and economic circumstances of Spain.
In addition, Espana: Ayer y hoy includes:
Espana, Ayer y hoy is a comprehensive study of both the history of Spain and its current social, political, and cultural circumstances. The combination of historical explanation and contemporary analysis gives instructors the freedom to emphasize those aspects of Spanish culture that they consider most relevant, that best match their students' needs and expectations, and that make the content more attractive to the students.
The first part of the book presents the history of Spain, incorporating the most current interpretations of historical processes, emphasizing the political, ideological, and cultural trends and movements that have played a role in the shaping of today's Spain. Special attention is paid to the mixture of cultural influences and to the circumstances that have made the Spanish cultural universe so unique: the presence of different peoples in the Iberian Peninsula since ancient times, the Mediterranean influences brought by commerce or conquest, the Romanization, the imprint of the Visigoths, the Arabs, and the Jews, the frontier nature of its Middle Ages, the rise and fall of Imperial Spain, the tension between the forces of tradition and progress, and, finally, the achievements and challenges of the present. Our view of the history of Spain has incorporated trends and interpretations that spring from the most contemporary and cutting-edge historiography.
The second half of the book presents an extensive and interdisciplinary coverage of different aspects of contemporary Spanish society. Areas that have been neglected in the past—such as demography, habitat, languages, regions, foreign policy, labor, minorities, immigration, mass media, popular culture, and the structure of the legal and political systems—are analyzed together with the more traditional topics of art, literature, and film. This sociological and anthropological analysis has always stimulated a great deal of interest among our students, who find these topics attractive and relevant.
Espana, Ayer y hoy has been written with both the student and the instructor in mind. The variety of topics, approaches, and activities as well as the broad definition of the concepts of culture and civilization result in a text that is flexible enough to suit different teaching techniques and philosophies and thereby allows the instructor the freedom to choose what content should be emphasized. Every effort has been made to make the book relevant to the student while simultaneously maintaining high standards of academic rigor, avoiding trivializations, simplifications, and stereotypes. To bring Spanish culture closer to the students, to encourage their participation in class, and to facilitate debate, the preliminary exercises of each chapter encourage the comparison and contrast of Spanish and North American cultures and provide a context for a better understanding of the historical and sociological processes.
The text has also been written with the students in mind and adapted to their needs, but without unnecessary simplifications or artificial syntax. The style, the vocabulary, and the syntax are those of authentic Spanish language and therefore similar to what the student can find in books and articles on different aspects of the social sciences or the humanities. The ultimate goal is to expose the students to the language used in those disciplines, as well as in newspapers and magazines, thus facilitating their access to original texts and primary resources in Spanish.
The book is divided into 15 chapters, each structured in the same way. All chapters start with the section Temas de introduction, a series of warm-up exercises that encourage the students to brainstorm and debate about the contents of the lesson in relation to some aspect of American culture. These exercises become particularly important in the second part of the textbook, easily facilitating the comparison and contrast of current situations in Spain and the United States.
The Temas de introduction section is followed by the contents of the chapter, which con stitute the main part of the text. As a complement to the main text, the boxed Sabias que... ? sections offer additional information, or explore in more detail specific aspects of the chapter. Finally, to facilitate the reading process, a generous Glosario is included at the end of the book.
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