Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Recent History

Living here in Spain has made me realize how ignorant I am of the modern history of Europe. In school it always seemed like my history teachers ran out of time at the end of the year and we never made it much past World War I (if that). Even my AP European History class didn't get to World War II. The history of Spain, in particular, has begun to fascinate me - I think because it feels so recent. I remember when I was living here before and they were celebrating 25 years of democracy. 25! So, in light of this newfound ignorance, I decided I was going to look for a book on Spanish history and this morning I headed to Casa del Libro up near Goya. It was there that I was confronted with confirmation of my ignorance. A number of the banks up around the bookstore had been covered in these posters in honor of the upcoming election (this coming Sunday).

They say, simply, "The Spain that fights votes for La Falange." (I think. It might say, "The Spain that fights. Vote La Falange.") Now, like I said, I don't know much about recent Spanish history, but the name Falange stuck in my mind. If I remember correctly the Falange was the main political party controlled by Franco during his 35 years of power. I THOUGHT they had disappeared shortly after his death in the '70s. But then I see these posters... I find it fascinating that some of the defining history of recent Spain is really so recent. So much so that people who pass me on the street each day lived through it. I tried to take these pictures somewhat discreetly because I didn't know if it was somehow disresepectful. I really need to find a good history book!

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