Juan Carlos: A People's King by Paul Preston - review by Raymond Carr

Raymond Carr

The Reign In Spain

Juan Carlos: A People's King


HarperCollins 614pp £25 order from our bookshop

WITH THE DECLARATION of the Spanish Second Republic in April 1931 King Alfonso XIII went into exile; but he did not abdicate, or renounce his hereditary claim to the throne as head of the Bourbon dynasty. On his death in 1941 this claim passed to his son Don Juan. Don Juan was never to become King of Spain. It was his son Juan Carlos who was crowned in 1975. This book, in which Professor Preston combines meticulous research (there are fifty pages of references to his sources) with a rare gift for the clear analysis of complex political situations, describes how this came about.

Juan Carlos was born in 1938 during the Civil War. As victor in that war. General Franco established himself as the saviour of Spain from godless Communism. In 1947 the Law of Succession declared Spain a monarchy but gave the dictator the right to nominate his successor as head of

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