The Grand Camouflage: The Communist Conspiracy in the Spanish Civil War

By Burnett Bolloten | Go to book overview

Foreword

T HIS volume is the product of many years of incessant and exhaustive research. To those persons who expected an earlier completion I should like to offer a few words of explanation. More than twenty years ago I set to work to reconstruct from limited materials and a limited knowledge of the subject, acquired as a United Press correspondent in Spain, some of the principal political events of the Spanish Civil War and Revolution; but no sooner had I begun than I realized that the information at my disposal was not in keeping with the complexity and magnitude of the subject, so I undertook the work of investigation on a scale commensurate with the need. From that time on more than one hundred thousand newspapers and periodicals, approximately two thousand five hundred books and pamphlets, and hundreds of unpublished documents were consulted. This massive documentation was not available in any one institution or in any one country, but had to be secured, sometimes under difficult circumstances, from a dozen different countries: from Spain, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, and Mexico, as well as from half a dozen other Latin American republics, where thousands of Spaniards took refuge after the Civil War. In the course of many years of unremitting research and inquiry considerably more than twenty thousand letters were written and received, and a very large number of interviews were obtained from persons who had played a role in the Civil War and Revolution. Often enough many years went by before a particular publication could be located or a particular fact could be verified to my satisfaction.

I therefore feel that I am entitled to the indulgence of those friends and acquaintances who looked forward year after year, seemingly in vain, to the publication of this volume. I can hardly be criticized for not being able to estimate how long it would take to complete; for there was no gauge by which I could measure the length of time

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