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The Best of All Possible Islands
Seville's Universal Exposition, the New Spain, and the New Europe
The Best of All Possible Islands
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Richard Maddox - Author
SUNY series in National Identities
Price: $65.00 
Hardcover - 392 pages
Release Date: July 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6121-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6121-1

Quantity:  
Price: $65.00 
Electronic - 392 pages
Release Date: February 2012
ISBN10: N/A
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-8489-0

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Uses the world's fair of 1992 to spotlight changes in the political cultures of Spain and Europe.

The 1992 world's fair in Seville serves as a vantage point from which to examine Spain's developing democracy and Europe's emerging unification, according to Richard Maddox in The Best of All Possible Islands. Visited by over fourteen million people, the Seville Expo drew the participation of more than one hundred countries and dozens of corporations. As part of Spain's "miraculous year" in which Barcelona hosted the summer Olympics and Madrid was designated the Cultural Capital of Europe, the Expo advanced a remarkably optimistic, cosmopolitan, and liberal vision of the past, present, and future of the "new Spain" and the "new Europe." Yet no aspect of this vision went unchallenged, and the Expo was at the center of fierce political rivalries and dramatic manifestations of popular discontent.

In an engaging and accessible narrative, Richard Maddox demonstrates how visitors and local residents understood the significance of the event in ways that largely escaped the knowledge and control of the Expo's organizers. Understanding how and why this occurred casts critical light on the transformation of Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in 1976 and illuminates some of the key cultural and political dilemmas that processes of European and global integration pose for citizens of democratic societies.

“This book offers highly enjoyable reading for its vivid style and good knowledge of Spain. It is important as an ambitious attempt at macro-ethnography of a European event, offering a critical description of how hegemony can be constructed.” — Ethnos

"Richard Maddox is equally adept at describing a local family's outing at the Expo as he is discussing world leaders' reactions to the Expo. He skillfully interweaves his focus on local traditions and cosmopolitan liberalism, showing them to be the same, in many cases." — Heidi Kelley, University of North Carolina at Asheville

"By examining the broad theme through a close study of the Seville Expo, Maddox brings a new intellectual perspective to the debate." — Alan Bairner, author of Sport, Nationalism, and Globalization: European and North American Perspectives

Richard Maddox is Associate Professor of Anthropology and History at Carnegie Mellon University and the author of El Castillo: The Politics of Tradition in an Andalusian Town.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

PART I: GUIDELINES: CONTEMPORARY ETHNOGRAPHY AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER IN SPAIN

1. The Best of All Possible Islands and the Miraculous Year
2. Possible Expos: Academic Meanderings from Tradition to Modernity and Beyond
3. A Pocket History of the Liberalization of Modern Spain, with Observations about Its Relevance for an Understanding of Expo '92
4. Relocating the Subject: Macroethnography and Cosmopolitan Liberalism

PART II: ORIGINS AND STRUCTURES: THE STATE, THE PARTY, AND THE EXPO

5. Royal Patronage of a Noble Tradition: Madrid, Santo Domingo, Washington, and Paris, 1976–1982
6. Seville, the Socialist Party, and the Commissioner General, 1982–1987
7. The Voyages and Visits of the Commissioner General
8. The Island World Takes Form

PART III: CONJUNCTURES AND CONFLICTS: TECHNOBUREAUCRACY AND THE CITY

9. The Two-Headed Monster
10. The Monster and Seville
11. Here Comes Everybody
12. War, Stalemate, and Cultural Politics

PART IV: PAVILIONS AND PERFORMANCES: THE EXPO AS CULTURAL OLYMPICS

13. Media Agon
14. Varieties of Europeanism
15. Davids and Goliaths of the New World Order
16. The Many Spains

PART V: DISPOSITIONS AND PRACTICES: THE SENSE OF FREEDOM AND THE POLITICS OF DAILY LIFE

17. Expo People and the Change in Spain
18. Officials and Workers
19. Visitors
20. Renouncers and Resisters

PART VI: THE AFTERMATH

21. Closing Days and Parting Shots
22. Wandering in the Wilderness: From Cartuja '93 to Sevilla Technopolis
23. The Theme Park of Memory
24. The Expo and the New Millennium

Notes to the Text

Official Documents and Publications Cited

Newspapers Cited

References Cited

Index



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