Told for the first time in English, Paul Preston’s new book tells the story of a preventable tragedy that cost many thousands of lives and ruined tens of thousands more at the end of the Spanish Civil War.
This is the story of an avoidable humanitarian tragedy that cost many thousands of lives and ruined tens of thousands more.
On 5 March 1939, the eternally malcontent Colonel Segismundo Casado launched a military coup against the government of Juan Negrín. To fulfil his ambition to go down in history as the man who ended the Spanish Civil War, he claimed that Negrín was the puppet of Moscow and that a coup was imminent to establish a Communist dictatorship. Instead his action ensured the Republic ended in catastrophe and shame.
Paul Preston, the leading historian of twentieth-century Spain, tells this shocking story for the first time in English. It is a harrowing tale of how the flawed decisions of politicans can lead to tragedy.
A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year
‘Preston's mission in life is to bring clarity to the confusing tragedy of the Spanish Civil War. This is his twelfth book on the war and its legacy … [it] is written with the same sober lucidity that distinguishes the previous eleven’ The Times
‘Compelling and convincingly argued ….the story of the final, tragic days of the Spanish Republic has never been told so clearly before. With a keen eye for historical detail and a painful sense of the human lives at stake, Preston paints a vivid portrait of those involved’ Spectator
‘Masterly and intensely moving … in Preston, author of several award-winning books on the conflict, the reader could not hope for a more sure-footed guide … Britons today know far less than they should about the Spanish Civil War … our knowledge would be poorer still but for Preston's indefatigable scholarship, elegant prose and impeccable judgement’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Scholarly and authoritative’ Literary Review
About the author
Paul Preston CBE is Príncipe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish History and Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre of Contemporary Spanish Studies at LSE. He was lecturer at the University of Reading and Professor of History at Queen Mary University. In 2006 he was awarded the International Ramon Llull Prize by the Catalan Government. Among his many works are 'Franco: A Biography’, 'Comrades', 'Doves of War: Four Women in Spain’, 'Juan Carlos', 'The Spanish Civil War', ‘The Spanish Holocaust’ and ‘The Last Stalinist’. He was decorated by Spanish King Juan Carlos a 'Comendador de la Orden de Mérito Civil' and in 2007, the 'Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica'.