Struggle for Democracy in Post-Franco Spain: Background information when reading The Sadness of the Samurai

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The Sadness of the Samurai

A Novel

by Victor del Arbol

The Sadness of the Samurai
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  • Published:
    May 2012, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Struggle for Democracy in Post-Franco Spain

Victor del Árbol's The Sadness of the Samurai begins in pro-Nazi Spain and takes place over three generations - the perfect political backdrop for the violence, betrayal, mystery and murder that takes place in the novel. Every nation struggles with its own demons, and 20th century Spain was no exception - experiencing civil war, dictatorial leaders, worker unrest, nascent democracy, and in 1981, a coup d'état that threatened to topple the newly formed democratic government.

After ruling Spain for nearly four decades, dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975. His appointed heir, Prince Juan Carlos de Borbón took over as King and lost little time restructuring Spain's government into a constitutional monarchy with a democratically elected congress, called the Cortes. He promised a future of freely contested elections, but it quickly proved to be a promise he would not be able to fulfill, especially if elements of the country's right wing had anything to say about it.

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