The most complete story yet published of the 2.800 or so American volunteers who went to fight fascism in Spain, about one third of whom died fighting Franco's hordes Complete because it tells the story of these brave men and women before, during and especially after the Spanish War. Seems many of the survivor's troubles began after WW2 when many of these anti-facsists were hounded and persecuted by the US Gov during the cold war and red scares.
The author, Peter Carroll, explains the motivations that made this very diverse body of men and women volunteer to fight in a far away land, the fighting is depicted in vivid detail in the combatent's own words as they describe their experiences at Jarama, Belchite and the Ebro.
A lot of the veterans later fought with honour and bravery during WW2 in spite of obstacles placed in their paths by the American Government and in some cases the US Army.
Many of the survivors continued the fight during the 50's & 60's Civil Rights battles, the 60's protests against the war in Vietnam, the 70's opposition to US involvement in Central America, 80's US support of South Africa etc.
The author explores many different facets of the struggle, not least that the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was the first ever fully racially intergrated military unit in American history. He also closely examines the role of the CPUSA and the actions of the Communist leaders in Spain, especially in light of some of the allegations made by non communist volunteers after the war.
All in all an awesome book, not easy to find but well worth the hassle ( and maybe the price).Well researched including original research in the then just opened archives in Moscow. Published in 1994 by the Stanford University Press, the author has the confidence of the survivors and was asked by them to become their official historian.
What I find really interesting though, is a serious work of history by an American scholar written from a viewpoint quite sympathetic to American Communists and Socialists, all of whom are a pretty rare breed in that country.