A provocative, brilliant, and groundbreaking historical reconsideration of the roots of Spanish culture.
We all carry in our heads a seductive picture of what Spain stands for: its music, painting, buildings, and history. But much of what we think of as Spanish culture is, in fact, the invention of a very specific group: the Spanish in exile.
Historian Henry Kamen creates a vivid portrait of a dysfunctional, violent country that, since the destruction of the last Muslim territories in Granada in 1492, has expelled wave after wave of its citizens in a brutal attempt to create religious and social conformity. Muslims, Jews, Protestants, liberals, Socialists, and Communists were all driven abroad at different times, and Spain's enormous contribution to European culture is largely a result of these rejected peoples—their creative response both to having no home and to the shock of encountering new worlds. A landmark work, The Disinherited describes with illuminating sympathy the travails of these unwanted societies and the enduring "virtual" culture they imagined often thousands of miles from their lost home.