Spanish Civil War: A Primer On Fascism

Jun 2014
59,576
34,034
Cleveland, Ohio
#1
I think if we all did a microhistory of the Spanish Civil War, 1936 to 1939, we would have a far better framework for analyzing issues today.

Why?

The whole 20th century's conflict history quickly becomes unwieldy, if you have no background in it. "The Guns of August", about WWI, is a BIG book. A big book about some very, very terrible humans suffering.

If you don't have a passing familiary with WWI, it's hard to make sense of WWII, and then the Cold War is confusing....blah, blah, blah.

But the Spanish Civil War has it all. Fascist Franco seized political control of Spain, and the entire world showed up to help the rebels defeat him, in some of the most vicious fighting ever seen even to this day. Most of us have read "For Whom The Bell Tolls", but that doesn't really focus on the actual conflict and what it was about. The governments of Italy and Germany sent troops and weapons, but no other nations formally joined the fight. Those who fought for the rebels in Spain were volunteers, who traveled there as private citizens.

It really is a captivating bit of history.

Google says these are the best microhistories on the Spanish Civil War......have you read any?

Do you recommend any?







Whaca think? Does history matter in deciding modern polices?
 
Likes: 2 people
Jan 2014
14,921
3,709
California
#2
Ms. Madeline,

I would also recommend "The Breaking Point; Hemingway, Dos Passos, and The Murder of Jose Robles." The background is that Robles, a good friend of Dos Passos, was a Stalinist and Republican. When the Soviets started taking over the control of the Republican forces, Robles objected because he was loyal Spaniard. So the Soviets had him "disappeared." Dos Passos went to Spain to find his friend and when he found that he was likely dead, he fought to get his pension for his wife and family. His former friend Hemmingway believed the Stalinist that Robles was a spy and that is where the rift between the two began.

Interesting read, in that it talks about the war behind the war. Towards the end of the war, the Soviets were in total control of the Republican forces, and Germany was supplying Franco's troops. When the Soviets and the Germans began to negotiate the non-aggression pact for the division of Poland, Stalin withdrew all support for the Republicans, leaving them hanging.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
59,576
34,034
Cleveland, Ohio
#3
Ms. Madeline,

I would also recommend "The Breaking Point; Hemingway, Dos Passos, and The Murder of Jose Robles." The background is that Robles, a good friend of Dos Passos, was a Stalinist and Republican. When the Soviets started taking over the control of the Republican forces, Robles objected because he was loyal Spaniard. So the Soviets had him "disappeared." Dos Passos went to Spain to find his friend and when he found that he was likely dead, he fought to get his pension for his wife and family. His former friend Hemmingway believed the Stalinist that Robles was a spy and that is where the rift between the two began.

Interesting read, in that it talks about the war behind the war. Towards the end of the war, the Soviets were in total control of the Republican forces, and Germany was supplying Franco's troops. When the Soviets and the Germans began to negotiate the non-aggression pact for the division of Poland, Stalin withdrew all support for the Republicans, leaving them hanging.
Thank you!

I did not realize Stalin played such a prominent role in this war.
 
Jan 2014
14,921
3,709
California
#4
Thank you!

I did not realize Stalin played such a prominent role in this war.
Ms. Madeline,

I knew the soviets played a huge part, but this book really went into the political intrigue that accompanies the war.

There is an interesting, chilling account where when Stalin decided he wanted to pull out of the war, his lead General disagreed, thinking that the Republicans could still win. Stalin summoned him back to Moscow, and after the meeting, as if in passing, asked "General Grigorovich, you don't have a pistol with you, do you?" The general replied "no." Stalin then said, "good, I wouldn't want you to commit suicide over this."
 
Jun 2014
59,576
34,034
Cleveland, Ohio
#5
Ms. Madeline,

I knew the soviets played a huge part, but this book really went into the political intrigue that accompanies the war.

There is an interesting, chilling account where when Stalin decided he wanted to pull out of the war, his lead General disagreed, thinking that the Republicans could still win. Stalin summoned him back to Moscow, and after the meeting, as if in passing, asked "General Grigorovich, you don't have a pistol with you, do you?" The general replied "no." Stalin then said, "good, I wouldn't want you to commit suicide over this."
I don't think any Western leader understood Stalin, or properly estimated his power. And if they had, we could have avoided the miseries of the Cold War.

So you agree, [MENTION=16063]The Man[/MENTION]?
 
Jan 2014
14,921
3,709
California
#6
I don't think any Western leader understood Stalin, or properly estimated his power. And if they had, we could have avoided the miseries of the Cold War.

So you agree, [MENTION=16063]The Man[/MENTION]?
Ms. Madeline,

The western leaders perfectly understood Stalin. That was exactly the reason there was a Cold War.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2014
59,576
34,034
Cleveland, Ohio
#7
Ms. Madeline,

The western leaders perfectly understood Stalin. That was exactly the reason there was a Cold War.
Sadly, that's probably true. They needed conflict.

Your book recommendation is not available as a kindle book. Is it long? "The Guns of August" is not in kindle form yet either, and I cannot manage 12 lb. books anymore.

Hurts my delicate little wrists, lol.
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
41,488
27,671
Toronto
#8
I don't think any Western leader understood Stalin, or properly estimated his power. And if they had, we could have avoided the miseries of the Cold War.

So you agree, [MENTION=16063]The Man[/MENTION]?
Stalin instigated that conflict as much as anyone in the West did... He had simply temporarily "allied" with the West, after Hitler, basically, backstabbed him and attacked him in 1941, AFTER Soviet Union spent years funding and arming Nazi Germany, basically, with Stalin then hoping to use Hitler to smash up and weaken other European powers, so that HE could then come in from behind and install Communism all across the continent... Stalin certainly was never a "friend" to the West.

But then, many American business leaders, of the likes of, say, Mr. Henry Ford, also supported the Nazis and sent them supplies, even at the expense of the US military itself, all the way until the Normandy Invasion, D Day, I believe. There were lots of scumbags, back then, all over the place.
 
Likes: 1 person

StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
11,521
12,419
Work
#9
The Spanish Civil war really was a fascinating moment in history. Eventually it became a war between Europe's two superpowers to stop Spain from overthrowing government completely—a precedent neither would allow to succeed.

George Orwell went there as a reporter, and ended up joining and fighting alongside the Spanish anarchists, and eventually the whole experience became the (non-fiction) book Homage to Catalonia. Essential Orwell.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jul 2013
46,955
49,308
Nashville, TN
#10
[video=youtube;qI9XjWskM0w]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qI9XjWskM0w[/video]

Viva, the Lincoln Brigade, Americans that fought Fascism.
 
Likes: 2 people

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