A newly-released book by Trent University History professor Dr. Antonio Cazorla-Sanchez has won the praise of renowned Spanish writer, Antonio Munoz Molina.
Originally published in English as Fear and Progress: Ordinary lives in Franco's Spain, 1939-1975, Dr. Cazorla-Sanchez’s book was recently translated into Spanish at the request of Alianza, one of Spain's largest publishing firms.
The book is an account of life in Spain from the perspective of ordinary working-class citizens who suffered under terrible and undeserved conditions during the Franco regime. The narrative is supported by oral history from people with first-hand experience, including Dr. Cazorla-Sanchez's own family.
"It is an homage to the dignity and the efforts to survive and to thrive, in spite of all the odds by these normal ordinary Spaniards," said Professor Cazorla-Sanchez, who is also chair of Trent's History department.
"I hope this book helps new generations of Spaniards to understand how different their lives are from their parents and grandparents, and how that generation's strong work ethics and high moral standards made it possible for their children and grandchildren to go to university."
Mr. Munoz Molina, who is an award-winning author and one of the top novelists in Europe, reviewed the book in El Pais, the highest-circulation daily newspaper in Spain. In his article, Mr. Munoz Molina said that the book offers a powerful recreation of the world of ordinary Spaniards under Franco, showing the hardship and dignity of their lives, and that he found the book to be evocative and personally moving.
"Antonio Munoz Molina is one of my favourite authors who writes about things I can relate to in my own life," said Prof. Cazorla-Sanchez. "It's like having a person who has always been an artistic and intellectual reference in your life saying that he read you and discovered the same affinity that you felt with him."
A prolific writer, Prof. Cazorla-Sanchez has written four books in as many years. His current and future projects include working on a museum of the Spanish civil war and a history of Spanish fishermen.