Franco and the Spanish Civil War

Franco and the Spanish Civil War

Franco and the Spanish Civil War

Franco and the Spanish Civil War

Synopsis

Franco and the Spanish Civil War is a wide-ranging and insightful analysis of the origins, course, and consequences of the conflict and of Franco's role within it. It offers a broad view of the war through a survey of the social and cultural dimensions, as well as the military and political ones. In particular, it traces Franco's meteoric rise to power, his conduct in the war, and his long subsequent rule.This authoritative introduction illuminates the many different interpretations of the conflict by examining a variety of perspectives. Franco and the Spanish Civil War places the war in its national and global contexts, exploring both nationalist and republican points of view, and giving attention to foreign participation in the conflict.

Excerpt

The importance of studying the Spanish Civil War might seem, at least to those outside Spain, to be secondary. After all, the Spanish conflict occurred between two world wars which dwarfed it in size, scope and consequences. However, even a cursory glance at a library catalogue will reveal the interest stimulated by the war in Spain. Academics, writers, artists and cinema directors have all felt, and still feel, a strong compulsion to portray the Civil War in their work. There are powerful themes running through a conflict in which so many of the participants, both Spanish and foreign, were volunteers motivated by private political beliefs. The Spanish Civil War was a conflict marked by personal commitment, freely made, to the fighting, despite official paralysis or indecision. In the world wars men fought, for the most part, as cogs in the enormous machines of national armies, the exception being those involved in resistance movements from 1939 to 1945. The hands of the belligerent governments were behind all aspects of life for those at war, maximizing the potential of the armies at the front. The Spanish Civil War was not, in this sense, a total war, but it is worth noting that the amount of historical and fictional attention paid to resistance movements in the Second World War is wholly disproportionate to their military contribution. Although the line between civilians and combatants in Spain was blurred, the ability of the two contending governments to mobilize and discipline the resources theoretically at their disposal was limited, especially in the case of the Republic. Into this breach stepped Spanish and foreign volunteers, and their selfless gesture has not yet been forgotten. The Civil War's importance is not exhausted by the scale of individual commitment. It also played a crucial part in defining the

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