Alianza Editorial was created in 1966 by an outstanding group of Spanish intellectuals in order to invigorate and shake up the claustrophobic atmosphere of Spain´s cultural life; to promote, debate and disseminate knowledge as a powerful tool for change in Spanish society. These were the dark years of General Franco´s dictatorship, which would last until the end of 1975, and when the most renowned and important authors and works both fiction and non-fiction were available only in foreign or clandestine editions.
One of Alianza´s founders was José Ortega Spottorno, the son of the celebrated Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. He and several other founders also helped establish 10 years later El País, the liberal Spanish daily that has kept its leadership among Spanish journals ever since.
The founders successfully implemented the idea of creating a publishing house that united the essential works and authors of all time, introduced innovative and riveting new contents, commissioned excellent translations and established benchmark editorial and production standards with a special emphasis on ground breaking cover design. Moreover, they were also responsible for creating the most complete pocketbook collection for the Spanish language market. "El libro de bolsillo" is a proven editorial success across the board and has earned Alianza Editorial a reputation of prestige and reliability quite unique in contemporary Spanish cultural history.
At the beginning of its history, Alianza Editorial´s "El libro de bolsillo" was responsible for providing several generations of Spanish language readers with their first true opportunity to be discerning readers and proudly continues to provide this opportunity to new generations with a catalogue of roughly 2.000 titles in print. Alianza´s unprecedented pocketbook collection represented a complete revolution in popular culture, as one of the main objectives was to keep prices low thereby ensuring that its books were accessible to the largest number of readers possible. One of its first advertising slogans "The same price as a movie ticket" proved to be very successful in a country that was still recovering from the traumas of a devastating Civil War and the aftermaths of poverty, oppression and lack of civil liberties all of which were felt for decades after the war´s end in 1939.
In the days when censorship was still in force, collaboration with prestigious publishers in Latin-American countries (for example, Losada or Emecé in Argentina) was essential in helping Alianza to include in its catalogue politically and/or socially controversial authors and works (Sartre, Camus, Gide, etc.). This collaboration also helped to successfully establish Alianza´s prestige worldwide and to ensure international distribution of its books.
Alianza´s intelligent and eclectic mix of classics, modern classics, contemporary fiction and non-fiction, including academic books, appeals to and has always appealed to a broad spectrum of readers by offering a complete yet diverse library. From top-shelf literary fiction to cutting-edge nonfiction, the catalogue unites so many great authors it is hard to single out names but several authors published by Alianza which immediately come to mind include Salinger, Kafka, Golding, Freud, Ortega, Proust, Hesse, Bulgakov, Harris, Baroja, Stendhal, Hammett, Scott Fitzgerald, Bernhard, Lorca, Mishima, Lovecraft, Poe, Graves, Handke, James, Twain, Unamuno, Melville, Giddens, Flaubert and Maupassant among many others. Alianza is especially proud of its contemporary literary authors such as Amin Maalouf, Príncipe de Asturias Prize for Literature 2010 and member of Académie Française, Ismaíl Kadaré, Man Booker Prize and Príncipe de Asturias Prize for Literature 2009 and Boualem Sansal, Peace Prize of German Booksellers 2011, or Tahar Ben Jelloun, all of whom among many others from our catalogue, have helped contribute to the fact that for Spanish readers and booksellers Alianza´s list represents writing at its best.
Nor should we neglect to briefly mention our offerings of the classics and philosophy titles. For example, from Aristoteles to Nietzsche, from Isaiah Berlin to Manuel Castells, just to name a few.
In 1989, Grupo Anaya, a firmly established major force in Spanish and Latin American publishing, acquired Alianza Editorial and allowed Alianza to continue with its unique and successful editorial philosophy. In 2004, Hachette Livre acquired Grupo Anaya, which opened up the door to Alianza for many enriching and successful international collaborations with Hachette Live imprints worldwide.
Highlights from Alianza´s corporate history such as the celebration of its fiftieth anniversary, commemorated by the publication of a selection of its most successful and emblematic titles; or the recent renovation of its pocketbook collection by one of the most internationally known Spanish designers, Manuel Estrada, or the many different important national and international prizes received by its authors serve as living proof that Alianza has been successful, in a fast moving and ever changing world, to maintain its position as a publishing house whose main goal has always been making great authors and texts available to the greatest number of readers possible.
The proven ability of Alianza to reinvent itself over and over again while always maintaining its high standards of excellent translations and quality editions at accessible prices alongside its total commitment to its authors, great dedication to detail and guarantee of a long life in the same publishing house in all formats, including e-books, is a lasting and living testament to the principles on which it was founded.