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Great Expectations of Themselves

Anthony Pagden: Was there a Spanish Empire?, 17 April 2003

Spain’s Road to Empire: The Making of a World 1492-1763 
by Henry Kamen.
Allen Lane, 609 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 7139 9365 0
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... finished, a bit-player on an international stage dominated by its old enemies, Britain and France. Henry Kamen’s ambition is to show that this historical picture is essentially false. According to him, Spain did not make the Spanish Empire, the Empire made Spain. Furthermore, it was not a single coherent organism dependent for its existence on ...

A Little Swine

Sheila Fitzpatrick: On Snitching, 3 November 2005

Comrade Pavlik: The Rise and Fall of a Soviet Boy Hero 
by Catriona Kelly.
Granta, 352 pp., £17.99, May 2005, 1 86207 747 9
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... to mind, but the Napoleonic Penal Code made similar provision. During the Spanish Inquisition, as Henry Kamen writes, ‘there was no need to rely on a secret police system, because the population as a whole was encouraged to recognise the enemy within the gates.’ The tradition of denunciation as civic virtue was reinvented in the French ...

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