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

By Burnett Bolloten | Go to book overview

required to collect the necessary materials, comb and re-comb sources of information for fresh evidence in a thousand different places, read and re-read, digest and assimilate, sift and combine this vast store of materials.

Only an infinitesimal portion of the documentation amassed since I first started collecting materials at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War could be pressed into the compass of a readable volume, and the same is true of the testimony furnished by individuals with whom I was in personal or written communication for many years. But this does not imply that their information did not serve a most useful purpose, and I should like them to know that it broadened and deepened my knowledge and made it possible for me to check the reliability of materials actually incorporated.

In preparing this volume I have allowed myself to be guided solely by a desire to reveal the truth. I have endeavoured by the most diligent research, by the most conscientious selection of materials, and, what was still more exacting, by a rigorous control of my own emotions and convictions, to maintain the highest possible standards of scrupulosity and objectivity, and regret that in so doing I have had to ignore the political susceptibilities of friends and acquaintances who provided me so generously with personal testimony and documentary material. Had I acted otherwise, I should have been guilty of conduct unworthy of an historian; for, in the words of Cervantes, historians should be "exact, truthful, and impartial, and should not allow themselves either through self-interest, fear, rancour, or sympathy to deviate from the path of truth."

Because of the highly controversial nature of the subject dealt with in this volume, because memories are short, and because there is a tendency to falsify and distort even the most elementary fact connected with the Spanish Civil War and Kevolution, I have been forced to substantiate almost every important point in my exposition. Hence the footnotes. The reader, of course, is not compelled to go through them all, but were he to ignore them entirely he would miss much valuable and fascinating material, which for stylistic reasons could not be embodied in the text.

And now I should like to express my gratitude to all those persons, institutions, publishers, and journals listed alphabetically on pp. 3 3 7-9, which have greatly assisted or at least facilitated the preparation of this volume. Considerations of space do not permit a detailed account of the manner in which each made a contribution, such as furnishing me with testimony, searching for or collecting, giving, loaning, or micro-

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