Dr. Clinton Young, associate professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has published a new book of Spanish historical studies entitled Music Theater and Popular Nationalism in Spain, 1880-1930.6
Published by the Louisiana State University Press, Young’s book examines the role of popular musical theater in developing Spanish national identity during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He argues that the popular musical theater of the era reflected the rapid modernization that Spain was undergoing, and helped Spaniards understand the changes taking place as a result.
Musical theater also reflected the fact that Spaniards had multiple ways of thinking about what it meant to be Spanish, which weakened their overall sense of national identity, according to Young.
The book is based on research in Spanish archives and libraries, where the author examined the correspondence of Spanish composers, musical scores, and press reviews of theatrical performances.
Dr. Celia Applegate of Vanderbilt University called Young’s book “a truly remarkable synthesis of music history and national history” as well as a “beautifully written and imaginatively researched book.”
Dr. Jesus Cruz of the University of Delaware called the book “a groundbreaking contribution to the study of Spanish popular nationalism.”