by Caro Baroja
with a new introduction by William A. Douglass
“The most important personality of contemporary post-war Spanish historiography.”
— Juan Pablo Fusí
Caro was prepared to eschew grand theory in any guise (be it of sweeping culture areas and cycles, Marxist, ahistorical functionalist, or structuralist). . . . He was a clear proponent of the primacy of cultural differences in human affairs, including their capacity to define distinctive ethnic groups. However, the latter were to be understood as both unique historical precipitates and the result of a complex (indeed functionally integrated) interaction between the crucial components of society, economy, geography, and culture. He specifically eschewed explanations of human difference as expressions of inherent racial propensities (a postulate that still informed at least some of the social scientific thinking of his day). In the foregoing regards Caro proved to be thoroughly modern and even visionary, however as always his journey to such conclusions deviated from conventional pathways.
—William A. Douglass, from the new introduction