Author(s): Jason Webster
Spain has never worked as a democracy. Throughout the country's history only one system of government has ever enjoyed any real success: dictatorship and the use of violence.
Violence, in fact, is what Spain is made of, lying at the heart of its culture and identity, far more so than any other western European nation. For well over a thousand years, the country has only ever been forged and then been held together through the use of aggression - brutal, merciless terror and warfare directed against its own people. Without it the country breaks apart and Spain ceases to exist - a fact that recent events in Barcelona confirm. Authoritarianism is the Spanish default setting.
Yet Spain has produced many of the most important artists and thinkers in the Western world, from Cervantes, author of the first modern novel, to Goya, the first modern painter. Much of Western artistic expression, in fact, from the Picaresque to Cubism, would be unthinkable without the Spanish contribution. This unique national genius, however, does not exist despite Spain's violent backdrop; it is, in fact, born out of it. Indeed Spain's genius and violent nature go hand in hand, locked together in a macabre, elaborate dance. This is the country's tragedy.
La Violencia unveils this truth for the first time, exposing the bloody heart of Spain - from its origins in the ancient past to the Civil War and the current crisis in Catalonia. La Violencia will be in the tradition of those books which come to define our understanding of a country.