3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
History and the problem of objectivity,
This review is from: The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Paperback)
I think this book (The Battle for Spain:The Sapnish Civil War) is a very good buy. It is a strong well made paper back, very thick and comprehensive as a recently heavily revised history of the Spanish civil war.
Beevor writes with his usual lucid, easy flowing style;immediately available to the reader.
If there is a problem it rests with the author`s attitude to the emergence and growth of communism as a political force in the 1930`s. His view of Stalinism, as understood today finds its way back into the perceptions current during this bitter and savage war. The result is an irritating peresence of bias in Beevor`s description of the contending political forces within the Republican political scene. The communist party and its associated supporting bodies in the TU movement is depicted over and over again as mertely an extension of the guiding political pathology of Stalinist conspiracy, flowing to Spain from Moscow. He is pretty well right and balanced when he looks at the contending left/nationalist parties although his assessment of the treachery of the POUM against the elected government in Madrid is mild to the point of absurdity. It was internal dissension and underminig anti government action by minority left organisations, pursuing revolution within revolution, that brought the down fall of the government and the victory of Facism.
The treachery of the governments of UK,France and America is clearly described but not enough space is given to the pro-republican support movements working for Spain in the UK. For example Harry Pollit the leader of the Brish CP worked hard at recruitment to the International Brigade, does not get a mention. He also ignores the sitting on the fence position of the then Labour Party leadership.
Don Feasey 30/09/09
Nevertheless this is an important and well researched book. The account of battles, failures and successes on both sides is imprssive and closely documented with fact and historical opinion.