For more than three generations, the members of the Godo family controlled Barcelonas top-selling newspaper La Vanguardia, navigating it through the countrys turbulent 20th century.
Whether under the corrupt politics of the Bourbon Restoration, the radical transformations of the Second Republic or the tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, La Vanguardia remained Barcelonas indisputable journalistic benchmark.
Central to this success was the Godo familys extraordinary capacity to meet the changing tastes of a plural audience whilst adjusting to a changing political scenario.
In parallel, the ownership of the newspaper allowed family members to expand their interests to other fields, such as politics, business and colonial rule in Cuba and Morocco.
The long-standing reputation of the Godo dynasty, however, is in sharp contrast with the lack of studies about their members and the newspaper they founded.
This silence is due, in part, to the influence that La Vanguardia still exerts on public life today.
Drawing on hitherto unused archival material, this book is the first account about the most renowned publishers and the most important newspaper in Catalonias history.
In so doing, it also sheds new light on how the media shaped (and conditioned) Europes birth of mass politics.
In fact, while contemporaries often observed that newspapers had a powerful influence over public affairs, historians have not systematically examined the role of press owners as political actors.
Likewise, media specialists have seldom considered how the rise of the new mass press affected democratisation and the collapse of liberal institutions.
In contrast, Pol Dalmau focuses on the case of a renowned family in Barcelona to uncover the medias critical role in Europes uneven road to modernity.
Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies