This informative, concise, and engagingly written work provides the most up-to-date history of Portugal, current through 1999, and gives a full picture of the political, social, cultural, and economic influences that shaped the history of Portugal. Covering the period from Portugal's early conception as a nation through its long history, with emphasis on the dramatic period of the last several decades, this volume culminates with the demise of the Salazar dictatorship and the independence of its colonies. Complete with a timeline for easy reference to events, brief biographies of important people, lists of monarchs and heads of state, and a bibliographic essay, it is the ideal companion for the student or interested reader. In nine chapters, Anderson discusses the geography of Portugal, its prehistoric antecedents, its formation as a nation, and the events that once made it a world leader in exploration, discovery, and imperial power. How and why the country was drawn into the orbit of its large neighbor, Spain, lost much of its empire, and yet managed to regain its independence are examined, along with the trials and tribulations encountered on its journey from monarchy to modern republic. The discussion presents the factors that kept Portugal one of the poorest nations in Europe for most of its existence and the reasons that it is now, leading into the 21st century, closing the economic gap with wealthier nations.