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A powerful biography of Spain's great king, Juan Carlos, by the pre-eminent writer on 20th century Spanish history. The definitive biography of a truly admirable king. Hardback received widespread review coverage. Spain regards Paul Preston as its pre-eminent historian of the last hundred years.
Paul Preston CBE FBA is Principe de Asturias Professor of Spanish History and Director of the Canada Blanch Centre at the LSE. Born and raised in Liverpool, educated at Oxford, he has taught in Reading, Rome and London. He lives in north London with his wife and their two sons. And he supports Everton FC.
'An excellent biography ... It reads like a spy thriller ... There is no doubt that Preston is an ardent fan of Juan Carlos, and his compelling style carries the reader with him ... Preston's great skill is to re-create real suspense over the 35 years that elapsed between Juan Carlo's arrival in Spain as a boy and the irreversible entrenchment of democracy in the 1980s.' Sunday Times 'This is that rare thing -- a work of academic history that is also an absorbing narrative. And its great merit is to remind us that at the centre of all the dynastic wrangling, political conspiracy and media speculation stands a man who has often felt very alone.' The Economist 'As with most of Preston's work, his eye for the winning detail makes his subjects quite human and enlivens the world of political maneuvering into something other than dry history.' Washington Post 'The lights and shadows of the life of Juan Carlos are reproduced with scientific precision. Preston's scalpel has been implacable! A lucid, penetrating, accurate book, backed up with an arsenal of facts! A scientifically admirable work that once more sees one of the great European historians flexing his muscles.' Luis Maria Anson, La Razon 'A splendid book which, as an unauthorised biography, offers both a panoramic view of contemporary Spain as well as providing profound insight into the role of a King in the late twentieth century! The book provides a magnificent mosaic to solve the riddle that is the Spain of the last seventy-five years.' Marius Carol, La Vanguardia 'Preston's Juan Carlos is much more ambitious than a mere biography. I must confess that it is a long time since I read a six-hundred page book at a sitting. This is one of the books that, after thirty pages, you just know that you either stop or let yourself be carried on right to the end. It is not only a model biography of the King but also a detailed, quietly erudite, history of Spain from 1931 to the present, rich in anecdotes, written with magisterial literary skill.' Antonio Gallego Morell, Ideal de Granada