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Comrades [Paperback]

Paul Preston
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

5 Aug 2011

A brilliant new portrait of the Spanish Civil War from our greatest historian of Spain. ‘Anyone interested in Spain will want this book.‘ Alan Massie, Daily Telegraph

A bravura new interpretation of the course, causes and characters of the Spanish Civil War, still the twentieth century’s bloodiest internal conflict. Analysis of the Civil War has always focused on victors and vanquished, but what of those who eschewed the struggle, those who stood apart from the carnage and chaos? Was there a Third Way? Starting at the extreme right of the political spectrum and moving across it to the extreme left, using the emblematic lives of ten key individuals, Preston builds up an astonishingly vivid picture of how the War came to pass, and how those who started, suffered and stopped it were coloured by the experience. Here are brilliant psychological profiles of the communist firebrand La Pasionaria, of the canny falangist Primo de Rivera, of the aloof intellectual non-participant Salvador Madariaga, and of the enigma himself, Generalissimo Franco.

‘Comrades presents us with fascinating portraits, case studies that illustrate variously nobility, arrogance, self-delusion and evil. It remains difficult to comprhend the passions that lead to civil war; but this book helps us to understand.’ Michael Portillo, Sunday Telegraph

Frequently Bought Together

Comrades + The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution and Revenge + Homage to Catalonia (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price For All Three: 21.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana Press; New Ed edition (5 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006386962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006386964
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 404,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

paul preston is Principe de Asturias Professor of Iberian History at the LSE, and was head of the International History Department there for several years. He is regarded as the leading historian of twentieth-century Spain alive.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars portraits from a war 30 Sep 2001
By A Customer
this is a model of how to write history. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of six biographical essays of characters central to the spanish civil war of 1936-39. They range from a brilliant portrait of Franco to the communist Dolores Ibarruri, whose son would later die fighting the nazis at Stalingrad.
All these essays are fair minded and critical, they give an excellent picture of what I had always assumed was a black or white conflict, but instead saw sensible, intellignt people forced to take extreme positions. Reading this I can understand that for those who fought in Spain their Spanish Civil war will never end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 12 July 2007
I strongly suggest this book to anyone who wants an overview of the Spanish Civil War told through the lives of some of its leading figures. The war itself is fiendishly difficult to get your head around in all its complexity so this is a rather good intro to it. In addition, the quality of the writing is consistently high and the writer's sensitivity to his subjects almost makes you feel as if you know them. The book taps into a broad range of emotions, depending on your standpoint. At moments I laughed out loud, but other sections bring a tear to the eye.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This book is absorbing, lucid and entertaining, but I would warn those who only have a little knowledge of the actual events of the Spanish Civil War and the rhyme and reason for the conflict to check out Preston's other books which are more conventional in relaying the historic events (or just brush up on the basics online etc). I've been fascinated by the Spanish Civil War since reading Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, but my knowledge of the myriad organizations and individuals involved is still patchy, and this book probably would be best read with that kind of background knowledge.
Having said that, the short biographies of each individual paints a very human picture of men and women involved in the same conflict in differing ways. Even if you don't know all the ins and outs of the war, it's still worth a look, it may just not flow so easily as a read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars If you want background on the major players in the Spanish Civil War, read Preston 15 Mar 2013
By Raymond M. Hoff - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Paul Preston writes the biographies and interplay between ten of the major figures who led Spain in the 1930's. Readable and provides considerable context for the history of this period.
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