With the two volumes of Las grandes esperanzas (1976-1992), published in Spanish, Luis Fernández-Galiano looks back on a troubled and fertile era that in Spain began with the Transition to democracy and in the world saw the rise of conservative politics with Reagan and Thatcher at the helm, to last until the historic rupture that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the break-up of the USSR. The first tome, Empeños sostenibles (1976-1984), dissects a period marked by the economic recession and ecological awakening brought on by the petroleum shocks that rocked the planet, matters addressed by two dozen texts on technological alternatives, sustainable construction, and the relationship between architecture and energy. The second volume, Fracturas y ficciones (1985-1992), paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a halcyon time of prosperity, with special attention reserved for a Spain recently inducted into European institutions, and whose international visibility would culminate with the Olympic Games of Barcelona and the Universal Exposition of Seville, two events that serve as a backdrop for a hundred short articles on architecture, history, art, and society. Characterized by the lucid and informed style of their author, the essays together trace a map of the lights and shadows of those years, offering a critical revisit through the preoccupations and problems which now, more than three decades later, continue to fan the flames of our economic, ecological, and social crises.
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