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`This meticulously researched book presents a vivid portrait of King Juan Carlos from his awkward years as Franco's chosen successor as the Head of State of an authoritarian regime to his achievements in promoting and defending the new democracy after Franco's death in 1975. Few modern kings have played so important a role. Dr Powell's biography is therefore essential reading if we are to understand contemporary Spain.' - Sir Raymond Carr Widely acknowledged as a key figure in Spain's remarkable transition to democracy following General Franco's death in 1975, King Juan Carlos consolidated his reputation as a champion of democracy by aborting the attempted military coup of 23 February 1981. This political biography of the Spanish monarch sheds new light on his childhood, the process whereby he became Franco's successor in 1969, his subsequent contribution to his nation's democratization, and his role as constitutional monarch since 1978, both at home and abroad.
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