In This Review

The New Spain: From Isolation to Influence
The New Spain: From Isolation to Influence
By Kenneth Maxwell and Steven Spiegel
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1994, 126 pp

A splendidly compact account of Spain's spectacular transition from Francoism to a modern democracy. The obstacles were great, but the transition was preceded and accompanied by Spain's transformation into a modern, dynamic society; the leadership of King Juan Carlos and, since 1982, of Felipe Gonzalez contributed stability. In the early years of the transition, and especially in the Reagan era, relations between the United States and democratic Spain were strained, but now Spain is a significant participant in international affairs, a member of NATO and the EU. The country has made important strides in providing decentralization for its several nationalities, but at present the political class has lost some prestige and the economy is in sharp recession, with particularly high unemployment. And still this study, viewing the last two decades in their entirety, explains why it is quite appropriate to speak of "model Spain."