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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to the Civil War
It is extraordinary how many books are written by foreigners about Spain, especially the Civil War, but here is a new title to add to an illustrious list headed by names such as Hugh Thomas, Paul Preston and Ian Gibson. This is less a history book, as a personal interpretation of the war, and how its effects can still be felt in Spain today. Colourful episodes from the...
Published on 1 Aug 2006 by Olga Martinez

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jason Webster can do better
Jason Webster can do better . His book Duende in which he explores and details his search for the spirit of flamenco is a labour of love. Guerra is a flimsy retelling of the Spanish Civil war as a background for a trip around modern spain. He shows that the pact of silence exists but he does not show us how it can be overcome.
This book reads as if it is a matter of...
Published on 30 May 2012 by A. Browne


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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good introduction to the Civil War, 1 Aug 2006
By 
Olga Martinez (Barcelona, Spain) - See all my reviews
It is extraordinary how many books are written by foreigners about Spain, especially the Civil War, but here is a new title to add to an illustrious list headed by names such as Hugh Thomas, Paul Preston and Ian Gibson. This is less a history book, as a personal interpretation of the war, and how its effects can still be felt in Spain today. Colourful episodes from the war itself are interspersed with the author's journeys around the country, visiting such sites as Franco's tomb in el Valle de los Caidos near Madrid, or the ruins of the town of Belchite near Zaragoza. Along the way he meditates on issues such as death and conflict, as well as the eternal division between the 'Two Spains' - a topic that he resolves amusingly and insightfully in the character of 'Kiki' - a transvestite friend in Madrid. For readers who know little about the Spanish Civil War this is the perfect place to start. For those who do know about it, they wil find something fresh and different in Jason Webster's vision of this most tragic event in history.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Webster does it yet again!, 1 July 2008
This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
Jason Webster picks topics/aspects that are typical of Spain but has a superb talent for being able to offer a completely fresh and interesting perspective of them. In "Guerra" [the Spanish word for "war"] he sets off around Spain in search of traces and effects of the Spanish Civil War on and in the country today, giving a simple and interesting account of what is actually a very complex event and issue in Spanish history. This account is accompanied by descriptions of some of his darker experiences during the journey, of some of the interesting and helpful characters, and of some of the nastier, unhelpful ones he meets along the way. But for all the darkness, Webster leaves the reader feeling hopeful and optimistic in the final chapter, "Perpignan", - I won't spoil it for you! - a chapter which I found particularly pleasant and beautiful.

This is a great book about Spain, whether you know a lot about the country or otherwise. It's easy to read and, more importantly, is highly enjoyable.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This author just gets better each book he publishes, 21 July 2006
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I have read all three of Webster's books, my passion for Spain traceable to having spend ten years in the country as a child. It is hard to say why, but Webster nails so many essential aspects of the feel of the culture that I am transported and drawn into my own memories. Unlike Duende, a spirited memoir of naivite and first love and Andalus, a scholarly and impressionistic tour de horizon of the impact of the 800 years of Moorish influence on Spain and Europe as a whole seen through the doubting eyes of a modern moor, a Morrocan illegal imigrant Webster befriends and protects, Guerra is far darker. Death, the stench of the decay of the unjustly killed, permeates this book. The writing is, however, so fine as to compell you to keep turning the pages. I found I had to know and trusted Webster's retelling to inform me of what I had so far hidden from myself. Like something horific you cannot bear to look at, the Spanish civil war is an object lesson we must all take to heart. Not least today's Spaniards. If we forget what happened there is always the danger of history repeating itself in some perverse variation or echo. Webster's revisting of this key period in 20th century political history is therefore a warning. The cameos, like Kiki the wise transformista (transexual), are all superb and I for one would buy that particular feisty and wise lady dinner at the drop of a hat. What a character. I wonder what Webster will do next. Three classic works in a row is a hard act to follow. If you have not read him, this is a good place to begin - then read the others.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic combination of narrative and insight, 16 Aug 2007
By 
Sevillana (Cambridgeshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
This is the third Jason Webster book - his first, Duende was magnificent. This one has the same quality - someone who obviously loves the wild passionate side of Spain but has the talent to intersperse some important historical data of the last century. A brilliant book - the Spanish civil war is something we should all know more about as it affects us all. Jacon Webster also manages to bring in the personal touch - the complete understanding of Spanish character.
Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to the Civil War, 11 April 2009
By 
Squidseye (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
This book is squarely aimed at people like me, who knew next to nothing about the Spanish Civil War before reading it. We follow the author in his travels around various sites in Spain, Morocco and France that played important roles in the build-up and during the war. I would say the he gets the balance between history and his own observations nearly right, though some of the personal anecdotes and details were a bit cloying, and as another reviewer has said he can come across as a bit smug.
In all, a very good introduction to the subject, which puts it in its wider context of how it influenced the start of WWII, the cold war, and attitudes to nationalism and fascism in modern day Spain. I do think however, that much of what the author says of modern day Falangists in Spain comes from personal anecdotes, and we are left with little idea of the extent to which they are around today. However the book has inspired me to find out more about the subject, and that I would say means it has done its job well.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Civil War Introduction, 29 Jun 2008
By 
T. J. Hurrell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
As someone who has taken an interest in Spain and Latin America over the last view years my knowledge of this recent historical event was non-existent. This book makes me want to remedy this. The author takes us on an absorbing, personal and v. sad journey highlighting some key points of the war. Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and not objective, 9 April 2014
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This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
Consistent with a lot of the previous reviews, I was disappointed with Jason Webster's 'Guerra'.

My biggest issue would be would the bias shown to one side of the war by the author. He quite clearly sides on the republican side, consistently listing many of the atrocities carried out by Franco and his Nationalist troops without ever really offering any notion that there may have been a story to be told by the other side. An example of this would be Webster slipping in, at the end of an example of Nationalist violence, that this was a reaction to the republicans murdering of various priests and bishops. He covers this in one small paragraph and gives the reader no further information nor does he elaborate as vividly as he does with nationalist violence.

In my view, this bias clouded his judgement and I was looking for the writer to have more of a grasp on the Spanish mindset prior to the war and how Franco could have, and did, appeal to millions of spaniards. This would have balanced the book a little and allowed the reader to make his/her own mind up and form their own opinions.

I also felt that there were times in the book where he was just filling pages, having lost some direction or focus on what the subject matter was. During these spells he loses the civil war subject and begins talking about his transvestite friend, time spent sleeping on the streets or a bizarre (replace with pointless) story about being in a bar watching some soccer!

It was an easy read however and offered a good, general view on how the war came about and where it led Spain.

All in all, a little disappointing for someone who has read in detail about the civil war and wanted more of an insight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Jason Webster can do better, 30 May 2012
By 
A. Browne "avid reader" (Donegal Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
Jason Webster can do better . His book Duende in which he explores and details his search for the spirit of flamenco is a labour of love. Guerra is a flimsy retelling of the Spanish Civil war as a background for a trip around modern spain. He shows that the pact of silence exists but he does not show us how it can be overcome.
This book reads as if it is a matter of fulfilling a contract with a publisher.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and easy read, 3 Mar 2007
This was the first book I read from the author, my family is Spanish on my mother's side and I as interested in finding out more about the Spanish civil war that my grand-parents experienced. Guerra! is really well written in a simple and easy to follow way, and I was fascinated to follow the author's trip behind the Spanish touristic glamour image into the remnants of the Civil War that are to be seen everywhere. Really good book and a very good author!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmm. I wonder about the veracity..., 19 May 2012
This review is from: Guerra (Paperback)
There are a lot of parts to this book that just aren't believable to anyone who has spent any amount of time in Spain. A fair amount of hogwash to be honest. There are so many other books worth reading about Spain, from the Barcelona INK collection to Paul Preston's Spanish Holocaust, that it makes you wonder why you would waste your money.
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Guerra
Guerra by Jason Webster (Paperback - 2 July 2007)
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