_ Canalejas. Un liberal reformista, written by professor Salvador Forner, unfolds the career of one of the greatest political figures of the early 20th century
_ The series Biografías Políticas spreads the work and thinking of the most important figures of the Spanish liberal-conservative tradition
_ Directed by historian Manuel Álvarez Tardío, it seeks to bring the biographic genre to a wider audience, not exclusively academic
FAES Foundation, through its imprint Gota a Gota, publishes the fourth volume of its series Biografías Políticas, dedicated to José Canalejas, four times minister and president of the Congress of Deputies. The new book, Canalejas. Un liberal reformista, written by Salvador Forner, unfolds the career of one of the greatest political figures of the early 20th century.
By publishing this new biography, FAES continues with its purpose of spreading the work and thinking of the most important figures of the Spanish liberal-conservative tradition of contemporary Spain, which were essential for the construction of that time. Furthermore, it strengthens its aim of bringing the genre of bibliographical essays to a wider audience, not exclusively academic, interested in the political history of contemporary Spain.
The series Biografías Políticas, directed by historian Manuel Álvarez Tardío, shows, through the biographical genre, the existence of a continuity line for the defence of freedom and progress by Spanish liberal-conservatives. Thus, FAES aims to contribute to present the Spanish contemporary political history in a plural and sensible manner, distanced from any form of sectarianism and narrow-mindedness, and dismantling or qualifying important clichés of the progressive account.
The texts, refined and simple in style, are written by leading specialists—professors, scholars and writers—. The first three volumes were dedicated to Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, by Carlos Dardé; Antonio Maura, by José María Marco,and Francisco Silvela, by Luis Arranz Notario.
CANALEJAS. UN LIBERAL REFORMISTA
Canalejas. Un liberal reformista, by Salvador Forner, professor of Contemporary History at University of Alicante and holder of the Jean Monnet Chair of History and Institutions of the European Community, unfolds the career of José Canalejas (El Ferrol, 1854 - Madrid, 1912), his personal evolution, the story of his public action and the context in which it was developed, his ideology and the relationship with his political opponents. Forner’s work, which highlights Canalejas’s strong personality within the Spanish political scenery of the early 20th century, shows the career of a liberal who evolved from democratic radicalism to full acceptance of the constitutional Monarchy and Cánovas del Castillo’s regime.
While Canalejas comprises many features of the Restoration political elite, others are particularly his, like his determination to renewing the programme of Spanish liberalism and his momentum of reform. Placed on the left wing of the Liberal Party, his image is linked to the issue of religion and his reputation of anticlerical politician even when, paradoxically, his approaches were very respectful toward the Catholic religion.
It is in the field of social policy that he acquires the significance of transition politician, which is difficult to exclusively label as “liberal”. He was the most receptive politician toward the postulates of the so-called “new liberalism”, increasingly distanced from classic liberalism and more directed to a possible convergence with reformist and democratic socialism.
Salvador Forner is a professor of Contemporary History at University of Alicante, and holder of the Jean Monnet Chair of History and Institutions of the European Community. He has been a Fellow of the Spanish Royal Academy of History in Rome and a visiting lecturer at University Sorbonne Novelle. Some of his publications are Cuneros y caciques (1990), Canalejas y el Partido Liberal Democrático (1993), Democracia, elecciones y modernización en Europa (1997) and the essay ‘El caciquismo en España y Portugal’ (Spanish General Office, Expo 98, Lisbon).