The Devils Of Cardona
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"A thrilling quest for justice... [A] novel that is as exciting as it is enlightening from its first pages to its satisfying end.” —The New York Times Book Review “A page-turner in the proper sense… Mr. Carr has written a gripping and enjoyable novel.” —The Wall Street Journal The gripping story of the dangerous high-stakes worlds of politics and religion in sixteenth-century Spain as a mysterious Muslim killer retaliates against the Catholic Church. In March 1584, the priest of Belamar de la Sierra, a small town in Aragon near the French border, is murdered in his own church. Most of the town’s inhabitants are Moriscos, former Muslims who converted to Catholicism. Anxious to avert a violent backlash on the eve of a royal visit, an adviser to King Philip II appoints local magistrate Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. A soldier and humanist, Mendoza doesn’t always live up to the moral standards expected of court officials, but he has a reputation for incorruptibility. From the beginning, Mendoza finds almost universal hatred for the priest. And it isn’t long before he’s drawn into a complex and dangerous world in which greed, fanaticism, and state policy overlap. And as the killings continue, Mendoza's investigation is overshadowed by the real prospect of an ethnic and religious civil war. By turns an involving historical thriller and a novel with parallels to our own time, The Devils of Cardona is an unexpected and compelling read.
A sweeping historical travelogue of the contentious border of France and Spain, in the great tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Jan Morris With the Catalonia crisis making international headlines, the unique cultural and geographic region bordering Spain and France has once again moved to the center of the world’s attention. In The Savage Frontier, acclaimed author and journalist Matthew Carr uncovers the fascinating, multilayered story of the Pyrenees region—at once a forbidding, mountainous frontier zone of stunning beauty, home to a unique culture, and a site of sharp conflict between nations and empires. Carr follows the routes taken by monks, soldiers, poets, pilgrims, and refugees. He examines the people and events that have shaped the Pyrenees across the centuries, with a cast of characters including Napoleon, Hannibal, and Charlemagne; the eccentric British climber Henry Russell; Francisco Sabaté Llopart, the Catalan anarchist who waged a lone war against the Franco regime across the Pyrenees for years after the civil war; Camino de Santiago pilgrims; and the cellist Pablo Casals, who spent twenty-three years in exile only a few miles from the Spanish border to show his disgust and disapproval of the Spanish regime. The Savage Frontier is a book that will spark a new awareness and appreciation of one of the most haunting, magical, and dramatic landscapes on earth.
In 1609, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory or else be killed. In a brutal and traumatic exodus, entire families were forced to abandon the homes and villages where they had lived for generations. In just five years, Muslim Spain had effectively ceased to exist: an estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory making it what was then the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history. Blood and Faith is a riveting chronicle of this virtually unknown episode, set against the vivid historical backdrop of Muslim Spain. It offers a remarkable window onto a little-known period in modern Europe - a rich and complex tale of competing faiths and beliefs, of cultural oppression and resistance against overwhelming odds.
A riveting thriller combining real historical events and characters with a sinister detective story of eugenics, racism, and nationalist paranoia. Barcelona, summer 1909. When the scientist and explorer Randolph Foulkes is blown up in a random terrorist bomb attack, private detective Harry Lawton is hired by the man’s widow to identify the beneficiary of a large payment Foulkes had made shortly before his death. Lawton’s arrival in the Catalan capital coincides with a series of unusual killings that appear to have been carried out by a blood-drinking animal in the Ramblas district and adds another element of instability to a city already teetering on the brink of insurrection. Lawton soon meets and teams up with Esperanza Claramunt, a young anarchist whose lover was one of the victims of the “beast of the Ramblas,” and the Catalan crime reporter Bernat Mata, who has begun investigating these crimes. So what begins as a straightforward investigation into presumed marital infidelity turns into something far more sinister, as Lawton probes Foulkes’ connections to the mysterious Explorers Club, the Barcelona political police, and an eccentric Austrian hypnotist. Adrift in a city gripped by rebellion and lawlessness, Lawton enters a labyrinth of murder, corruption, political conflict, and crazed racial pseudo-science where no one’s survival is guaranteed.
Every year on 11 September, Catalonia celebrates its Diada, its National Day. But the Diada of 2012 was like none other, as an enormous crowd calling for Catalan independence took over the heart of Barcelona. Despite the carnival-like atmosphere that day, the people were very serious about their demands. On the back of this show of force, Catalonia's governing politicians turned secessionist claims into a new headache for a government in Madrid that had only just survived a near-meltdown of Spain's financial system. Four years later, the separatist challenge has neither come to fruition, nor faded away. This book looks at how and why Catalan separatism reached the top of Spain's political agenda, as well as its connection to the broader European malaise generated by flawed political responses to financial and other crises. Through extensive travel and reporting, as well as over fifty interviews with leading Catalan personalities, Raphael Minder explains how Catalans feel about their economy, history and culture, and how secessionist forces have tried to reshape Catalan identity.
A true life Water for Elephants, Queen of the Air brings the circus world to life through the gorgeously written, true story of renowned trapeze artist and circus performer Leitzel, Queen of the Air, the most famous woman in the world at the turn of the 20th century, and her star-crossed love affair with Alfredo Codona, of the famous Flying Codona Brothers. Like today's Beyonce, Madonna, and Cher, she was known to her vast public by just one name, Leitzel. There may have been some regions on earth where her name was not a household expression, but if so, they were likely on polar ice caps or in the darkest, deepest jungles. Leitzel was born into Dickensian circumstances, and became a princess and then a queen. She was not much bigger than a good size fairy, just four-foot-ten and less than 100 pounds. In the first part of the 20th century, she presided over a sawdust fiefdom of never-ending magic. She was the biggest star ever of the biggest circus ever, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth. In her life, Leitzel had many suitors (and three husbands), but only one man ever fully captured her heart. He was the handsome Alfredo Codona, the greatest trapeze flyer that had ever lived, the only one in his time who, night after night, executed the deadliest of all big-top feats, The Triple--three somersaults in midair while traveling at 60 m.p.h. The Triple, the salto mortale, as the Italians called it, took the lives of more daredevils than any other circus stunt.
"The best Spanish novel about the Spanish Civil War." — Álvaro Mutis, Author, The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature Winner of Spain's prestigious Planeta Prize for fiction, this historical novel takes the form of an imagined diary by General Antonio Escobar, the highest-ranking officer of the Republican Army remaining in Spain at the end of the Spanish Civil War, while he awaited trial and execution. Besides being a vivid reminder of how destructive political passions can be, General Escobar's War is also a profoundly intimate portrait of an inspiring man. By his decisive action on July 19, 1936, Escobar, then a Civil Guard colonel and a man of profound religious conviction, succeeded in thwarting the military uprising in Barcelona. Although his father was a hero of the Spanish-American War in Cuba, his daughter was a nun, and one of his sons was a Falangist fighter, Escobar freely chose to defend the Republic in accordance with his oath to support the legally constituted government. The author gives a rare perspective of the Spanish Civil War, free of partisanship and ideology, through a soldier who, in Spain's great historic schism, chose to take a deeply uncomfortable stance because he believed his duty called him to do so.
This “thought-provoking” military history considers the influence of General Sherman’s Civil War tactics on American conflicts through the twentieth century (The New York Times). “To know what war is, one should follow our tracks,” Gen. William T. Sherman once wrote to his wife, describing the devastation left by his armies in Georgia. Sherman’s Ghosts is an investigation of those tracks, as well as those left across the globe by the American military in the 150 years since Sherman’s infamous “March to the Sea.” Sherman’s Ghosts opens with an epic retelling of General Sherman’s fateful decision to terrorize the South’s civilian population in order to break the back of the Confederacy. Acclaimed journalist and historian Matthew Carr exposes how this strategy, which Sherman called “indirect warfare,” became the central preoccupation of war planners in the twentieth century and beyond. He offers a lucid assessment of the impact Sherman’s slash-and-burn policies have had on subsequent wars and military conflicts, including World War II and in the Philippines, Korea, Vietnam, and even Iraq and Afghanistan. In riveting accounts of military campaigns and in the words of American soldiers and strategists, Carr finds ample evidence of Sherman’s long shadow. Sherman’s Ghosts is a rare reframing of how we understand our violent history and a call to action for those who hope to change it.
This history of Ancient Greek warfare vividly chronicles the struggle for control of the Macedonian Empire, a fateful time of change in the Ancient World. As the story goes, Alexander the Great decreed from his deathbed that his vast Macedonian Empire should go “to the strongest". What followed was an epic struggle between generals and governors for control of the territories. Most of these successors—known as the Diadochi—were consummate tacticians who learned the art of war from Alexander himself, or from his father, Philip. Few died a peaceful death and the last survivors were still leading their armies against each other well into their seventies. These conflicts reshaped the ancient world from the Balkans to India. In two volumes, The Wars of Alexander’s Successors presents this critical period of ancient warfare with all its colorful characters, epic battles, treachery and subterfuge. This first volume introduces the key personalities, including Antigonos ”Monopthalmus" (the One-Eyed) and his son 'Demetrius 'Poliorcetes' (the Besieger), Seleucus 'Nicator' ('the Victorious') and Ptolemy ”Soter" ("the Saviour"). It also gives a narrative of the causes and course of these wars from the death of Alexander to the Battle of Corupedium in 281 BC, when the last two original Diadochi faced each other one final time.
April 1914 and war correspondent Christopher Marlowe 'Kit' Cobb arrives in Vera Cruz, Mexico, to cover the country's civil war. A passionate believer in the power of a free press, Kit is no mere observer. He assumes a false identity to pursue German diplomat Friedrich von Mensinger en route to a meeting with revolutionary leader Pancho Villa, and Cobb soon finds himself up to his neck in political intrigue. Along the way he's nearly shot by a mysterious sniper, joins forces with a double agent and falls in love with a headstrong young Mexican woman who may be mixed up in the revolutionary plot. An exciting tale of intrigue and espionage, Pulitzer Prizer winner Robert Olen Butler's powerful historical thriller is not to be missed. 'A thinking person's historical thriller' - Washington Post