Giles Tremlett is Madrid correspondent for the Guardian newspaper, and his authoritative voice brings to life the secret history of Spain’s Civil War. Ghosts of Spain was the first book I read about the pacto de olvido, the pact of forgetting. Tremlett puts this pact into context by explaining how Spanish history is riddled with division: religious, political and geographical. Why do the football supporters of Real Madrid and Barcelona hate each other quite so much? Why, it is rumoured, there are no signs to Barcelona from the Madrid ring road [I think this is more of a legend these days].
Why is Andalucía the ‘poor man’ of the autonomous regions? Did the Islamist Madrid bombers hope to return Spain to its Moorish roots? This is an easy book to read on a difficult subject. After this, I would read anything Tremlett writes about Spain. This is my old hardback [below]. 5 to remember
autorizado/a – authoritative
la voz – the voice
secreto/a – secret
el contexto – the context
los hinchas – the football supporters
‘Ghosts of Spain’ by Giles Tremlett [UK: Faber]