Memory and Amnesia: The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy

By Paloma Aguilar; Mark Oakley | Go to book overview

FOREWORD FOR THE ENGLISH EDITION

This book was published in Spanish in 1996. When I began my research in 1990, hardly any works existed concerning the role played by historical evocation in political decision-making processes. Neither had much attention been paid to the symbolic meaning of political monuments and ceremonies or to their socialising effects on the population. Finally, the moderating effect that certain traumatic collective memories of past conflicts can exercise had hardly been addressed in the vast literature produced on political transitions. This obliged me to construct my own methodology in order to analyse a series of sometimes traditional sources – such as the press, speeches given by the political élites or party manifestos – and other much less conventional sources, such as film documentaries, Francoist political ceremonies and the commemorative monuments of the Civil War that were erected during the dictatorship.

Subsequently, a large number of studies have been produced on these matters. The challenges that have forced the former communist countries to address the question of how to tackle their past have made such studies on the influence of history in processes of political change quite fashionable, along with the investigation of purges, trials on human rights violations and the establishment of truth commissions. In addition to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the importance that the developments in South Africa, Argentina and Chile have had on this literature is difficult to measure. Finally, the creation of the International Criminal Court in the Hague has also helped to raise awareness of a political problem of considerable significance and scope. This book obviously does not include this literature on the legacies of authoritarian régimes and retrospective justice, as it is just a translation of the 1996 work. Nevertheless, the conclusions reached in this book stand as they are, as the work directly addresses the presence of the historical memory of the Civil War

-xvi-

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Memory and Amnesia: The Role of the Spanish Civil War in the Transition to Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acronyms ix
  • Glossary xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Acknowledgements for the English Edition xv
  • Foreword for the English Edition xvi
  • Preface xviii
  • Chapter 1 - Regarding Memory, Learning and Amnesia 1
  • Chapter 2 - From the Justifiication of War to the Exaltation of Peace 29
  • Chapter 3 - The Memory of War and the Lessons of Peace in the Democratic Transition 149
  • Economic and Social Characteristics of the Transition 152
  • Conclusion 265
  • Bibliography 271
  • Tables 291
  • Graphs 313
  • Appendices 319
  • Index 324
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