George V. Reilly

Review: Barcelona the Great Enchantress

Barcelona the Great Enchantress
Title: Barcelona the Great En­chantress
Author: Robert Hughes
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: National Geographic Directions
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 169
Keywords: history, au­to­bi­og­ra­phy
Reading period: 15–24 July, 2009

Robert Hughes has been in love with Barcelona and its people for four decades. This book—part selective history, part memoir—is adapted from a much larger, earlier book about Barcelona. Hughes is a partisan of Catalan culture and food. He brings us from its Roman origins as Barcino, Catalun­ya’s founding as an in­de­pen­dent nation a thousand years ago by the Visigoth Wilfred the Hairy, up through the Olympics in 1992. This is no com­pre­hen­sive survey: he spends more time on submarine inventor Monturiol than on the Spanish Civil War.

Well-written and opin­ion­at­ed, if overly selective.

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