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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An illuminating view of the Spanish Civil War
I think the reviewer who criticised this book for not setting the war in its wider context misses the point. 'I am Spain' doesn't aim to be an exhaustive account of the Spanish Civil War - territory that has already been heavily trodden by historians. Rather, it offers a new lens through which to view the conflict - a European crisis that magnetically drew idealistic...
Published on 7 Nov. 2012 by J. Hopper

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am Spain review
The book is interesting but includes lots if details one need not necessarily require. Good background to WW2 and involvement of major powers.
Published 13 months ago by William Caldwell


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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An illuminating view of the Spanish Civil War, 7 Nov. 2012
By 
J. Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I am Spain: The Spanish Civil War and the Foreigners who went to Fight Fascism (Hardcover)
I think the reviewer who criticised this book for not setting the war in its wider context misses the point. 'I am Spain' doesn't aim to be an exhaustive account of the Spanish Civil War - territory that has already been heavily trodden by historians. Rather, it offers a new lens through which to view the conflict - a European crisis that magnetically drew idealistic young people into its chaos and bloodshed. The book's strength is that it restricts its scope, taking this one episode from the lives of disparate characters from Hemingway to Orwell, and examining, vividly and often painfully, the effect it had on them. The parallels and contrasts between their reactions is illuminating. A highly recommended read.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intimate introduction to a terrible Civil War, 6 Nov. 2012
By 
S. Wilson (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I am Spain: The Spanish Civil War and the Foreigners who went to Fight Fascism (Hardcover)
I knew very little about the Spanish civil war before I read this book, but found this an engrossing introduction. I really enjoyed the author's last book, A Crisis of Brilliance, and this one is written in the same very readable style, full of intimate personal accounts drawn from letters, newspapers, autobiographies, etc. It's a terrible story though, of a horrible war fought in the shadow of a looming global disaster - another world war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... results of this conflict this equipped me to undertstand better how deep this conflict permeates the Spanish psyche, 14 July 2014
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Havin A Spanish member of our family who lived through the results of this conflict this equipped me to undertstand better how deep this conflict permeates the Spanish psyche
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I am Spain review, 21 Jan. 2014
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The book is interesting but includes lots if details one need not necessarily require. Good background to WW2 and involvement of major powers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome, but it happened!, 22 Jan. 2015
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This is a gruesome account of many famous people from the UK , the US and other country who rallied to support the antifascists in the Spanish civil war. So many died. It's a relentless account, but needs to be read to know what happened. Well written.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am Spain by David Boyd-Haycock, 20 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: I am Spain: The Spanish Civil War and the Foreigners who went to Fight Fascism (Hardcover)
Having lived in Madrid as a child during this time it brought home to me all that was going on at the time in my parents world.
This book brings all the characters into life just as David Boyd-Haycock did in his book "a Crisis of Brilliance". Very sympathetically written. I thoroughly enjoyed it
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does a good job, 22 July 2014
By 
D. Haycock (Oxford) - See all my reviews
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Is it right for an author to rate his own book? Then, is it right for Amazon to get away with not paying their fair share of taxes by operating out of some tax haven in Europe whilst simultaneously undermining the high street bookshop in Britain and paying discounted royalties to authors? Probably not.

Anyway, re-reading this book after two years away from it, I think it does what I intended it to do very well indeed, even if Andrew Causey didn't like it. It's dramatic, exciting, puzzling, dangerous, tragic and sometimes funny - and all told through the words of people who were there - mostly British and Americans, but Germans, French and others too. If you want to learn about the Spanish Civil War without reading an ordinary history book, thenI'd say this is as good a place as any to start (though I would, wouldn't I).
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 5 July 2014
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a good interesting read
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7 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Spanish Civil War As It Wasn't, 4 Nov. 2012
By 
Dr Barry Clayton (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: I am Spain: The Spanish Civil War and the Foreigners who went to Fight Fascism (Hardcover)
One wonders why this book was ever written for we learn little of value from it.
In the 1930's Spain was a very backward agricultural state divide by brutal economic inequalities. Its social structure was antiquated. The country was riddled with class divisions. After 1931 the military became more and more frustrated and angry with the Left.
Between 1936-39 there was an uprising in Spain in which the conservatives,the military and right-wing elements overthrew the second Spanish Republic created in 1931 to, in theory, better the lives of peasants and workers. The uprising was accompanied by armed intervention on the part of Germany,Italy and the Soviet Union.There was an abortive struggle by the International Brigades of communists and other idealists in Spain in defence of the Republic. Some 40000 men and women from across the globe joined the International Brigades, including George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway (the film of 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' is outrageously inaccurate) and a host of other socialists, communists, trade unionists and anarchists. The horrors of life under communist rule in the Soviet Union were still largely unknown in the West or conveniently ignored.
The military coup of 18 July 1936 was supported by army officers, the wealthy and the Catholic Church. Some historians regard the war that ensued as the outbreak of what became World War 2. Terrible atrocities were committed by both sides.These still create divisions in Spain to this day.
Haycock's book adds little to what has been known for at least 40 years. His book is also full of a number of errors. For example,the date of the capture of Malaga is wrong by 4 weeks. His view that Jose Robles was a victim of the Soviets is also highly debatable. Haycock also fails to pay sufficient attention to the fact that the Soviet Union did not want a revolution in Spain because Stalin at this time did not want to frighten the West into Hitler's arms.
In fact one of the biggest weaknesses of this book is the author's failure to set the Civil War in a wider international context.
Haycock also argues that the assassination in July of Calvo Sotelo by Assault Guards was the reason why the 'Spanish tinderbox' ignited. It is true that on 13 July 1936, two days after the discovery of Sotelo's body, Gil Robles told the standing committee of the Cortes that democratic methods could no longer achieve economic and social reform, and therefore the Left must accept the blame for growing violence. However, Haycock appears not to know that preparations for a military coup had been under way since the elections in February, and Robles knew this full well.
It has been said that where the Spanish Civil War is concerned, the very first casualty is truth. Unfortunately, this book does little to refute that saying.
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