The Politics of Revenge: Fascism and the Military in Twentieth-Century Spain

By Paul Preston | Go to book overview

Further reading

Notwithstanding the comments made in the Preface about the relative lack of studies of the right in comparison with the abundance of work on the left, there is still a substantial body of available material. Detailed references to the sources used in each chapter are given in the footnotes. The purpose of this short essay is merely to provide a guide to the labyrinthine bibliography on the Spanish right before the Civil War and on the Franco regime after it. Almost all of it tends to be monographic since there is no overview of the parties and organizations of the right as a whole. The only such work, Ricardo de la Cierva, La derecha sin remedio (1801-1987): de la prisión de Jovellanos al martirio de Fraga (Plaza y Janés, Barcelona, 1987) is a self-opinionated exercise in special pleading-on behalf of Manuel Fraga-which is provocative and exasperating by turns. Accordingly, it is necessary to sample specialist works on various aspects of the subject.

The Spanish right in the 1950s and the subsequent Franco dictatorship can only be explained adequately in the context of the political and economic development of Spain in the previous hundred years. The best introductions remain Gerald Brenan's beautifully written and deeply felt The Spanish Labyrinth (2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, 1950) and the immensely thought-provoking and solidly reliable work by Raymond Carr, Spain, 1808-1939 (Oxford University Press, 1966). The political positions of the Catholic Church, which was so often a reference point for ultra-rightist attitudes, are brilliantly analysed in Frances Lannon, Privilege, Persecution, and Prophecy: The Catholic Church in Spain 1875-1975 (Oxford University Press, 1987) and also in Stanley G. Payne's Spanish Catholicism: An Historical Overview (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1984).

The crucial role of the army is described in Stanley G. Payne's highly informative narrative, Politics and the Military in Modern Spain (Stanford University Press, 1967); in the monograph by Carolyn Boyd, Praetorian Politics in Liberal Spain (University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1979); and in a series of recent works produced in Spain in the wake of the attempted military coup of 1981. Manuel Ballbé', Orden público y militarismo en la Espana condtitucional (1812-1983) (Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1984) is a fascinating account by a constitutional lawyer. Carlos Seco Serrano, Militarismo y civilismo en la Espana contemporánea (Instituto de Estudios Económicos, Madrid, 1984) is a judicious conservative account of civil-military relations before the Civil War. Gabriel Cardona, El poder militar en la Espana contemporánea hasta la guerra civil (Siglo XXI Editores, Madrid, 1983) is a masterly critical survey by an army

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