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An account of the Spanish civil war which portrays the struggles of the war, as well as discussing the wider implications of the revolution in the Republican zone, the emergence of brutal dictatorship on the nationalist side and the extent to which the Spanish war prefigured World War II.
No war in modern times has inflamed the passions of both ordinary people and intellectuals in the way that the conflict in Spain in 1936 did. The Spanish Civil War is burned into European consciousness, not simply because it prefigured the much larger world war that followed it, but because the intense manner of its prosecution was a harbinger of a new and horrific form of warfare that was universally dreaded. At the same time, the hopes awakened by the attempted social revolution in republican Spain chimed with the aspirations of many in Europe and the United States during the grim years of the great Depression.
'The Concise History of the Spanish Civil War' is a full-blooded account of this pivotal period in the twentieth-century European history. Paul Preston vividly recounts the struggles of the war, analyses the wider implications of the revolution in the Republican zone, tracks the emergence of Francisco Franco's brutal (and, ultimately, extraordinarily durable) fascist dictatorship and assesses the way in which the Spanish Civil War was a portent of the Second World War that ensued so rapidly after it.
"Paul Preston has an exceptional gift of lucid exposition, clarifying but not over-simplifying political situations often bafflingly complicated."
V. G. KIERNAN
"(Preston's) economical style, together with a telling choice of quotes and mordant use of irony, serve his purpose admirably… It is founded upon a vast knowledge and will not easily be refuted."
"As a fair history of the war as I have read, giving the many parties their just desserts. It is a good book for the ordinary reader interested in learning about what many have called a prelude to World War II."
NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"For those seeking an introducing to the subject, Paul Preston's work is a model of clarity and readability."
"A very fine and concise account of heroism and horror, of passions given full rein – and the vividness and scholarship make it all the harder to reconcile what was then with what is now."
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 'The Triumph of Democracy in Spain' (1986), 'Franco: A Biography' (1993), 'A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War' (1996), 'Comrades' (1999), 'Doves of War: Four Women in Spain' (2002), 'Juan Carlos' (2004) and 'The Spanish Civil War' (2006). 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'.