The Spanish Civil War Paperback – 3 Apr 2003
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"Mr. Thomas has understood [the Spanish Civil War] incredibly well and has written it superbly. A full, vivid and deeply serious treatment of a great subject."
Vincent Sheean, "The New York Times Book Review"
"Stands without rivals as the most balanced and comprehensive book on the subject."
"American Historical Review"" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
A masterpiece of the historian's art, Hugh Thomas's The Spanish Civil War remains the best, most engrossing narrative of one of the most emblematic and misunderstood wars of the twentieth century. Revised and updated with significant new material, including new revelations about atrocities perpetrated against civilians by both sides in this epic conflict, this "definitive work on the subject" (Richard Bernstein, "The New York Times) has been given a fresh face forty years after its initial publication in 1961. In brilliant, moving detail, Thomas analyzes a devastating conflict in which the hopes, dreams, and dogmas of a century exploded onto the battlefield. Like no other account, The Spanish Civil War dramatically reassembles the events that led a European nation, in a continent on the brink of world war, to divide against itself, bringing into play the machinations of Franco and Hitler, the bloodshed of Guernica, and the deeply inspiring heroics of those who rallied to the side of democracy. Communists, anarchists, monarchists, fascists, socialists, democrats -- the various forces of the Spanish Civil War composed a fabric of the twentieth century itself, and Thomas masterfully weaves the diffuse and fascinating threads of the war together in a manner that has established the book as a genuine classic of modern history. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The work itself is generally written from a high-political position, that is he deals with the decisions made by generals and politicians rather than on the ground. This allows the reader to engage with all the issues as they unfold; from military decisions of Miaja and Rojo to the political intrigue of Franco and the various elements of his coalition. It is also an incredibly detailed narrative history, placing the reader at the heart of the moment with an incredibly well-written chronology. This, I feel is the book's greatest strength. This is hindered by its ENORMOUS length but for those wanting a one-volume work frequently turn to Thomas as a reliable and "neutral" observer. This is where my objection sets in.
Thomas himself is a notorious conservative (small c) and frequently reflects a centre-liberal position. This is not a major issue as he still incorporates evidence from the left and right. However, the way in which he does this is a real problem. If you take a look in his bibliography and footnotes you will find many accounts of atrocities or military escapades are supported by what are now accepted as Francoist propaganda.Read more ›
Unfortunately, the book is now woefully dated. The opening up of local and national archives on the death of Franco, and the release of masses of documents from soviet archives in the past decade has greatly reduced the value of this book.
There is still no consensus view of the civil war. Arguments rage as to whether it was a contest between Christianity and atheism, or fascism and communism, or capitalism and socialism. The bitterness engendered by the war still lingers in Spain.
What is clear is that the war was savage, bloody and protracted. It was also the biggest example of anticlerical violence in modern times. Atrocities on both sides were despicable involving nuns and other innocent civilians. Anarchists and released criminals massacred thousands as did the adherents of Franco's forces.
The atrocities were akin to those inflicted by the Jacobins in the late 18th century.
Today one needs to read the works of, for example, Payne, Beevor, and Preston, if you want to get a more up to date version of events. Even these and other recent books and articles have not quelled the disputes among historians as to the causes and consequences of this simply dreadful war. Preston has even called what happened a 'holocaust'.
Two other things are worth mentioning with the release of the archives mentioned above.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An academic study. Very well written and researched - just a little heavy on detail in the period leading up to the actual civil war. Pressing on to finish it. 800 pages to go. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barry
arrived on time and as described. could not ask for more.Published 4 months ago by Tonie M. van Dam
The Spanish Civil War is a very good book by Hugh Thomas examining the history of Spain in the early decades of the twentieth century. It is well-written, informative and detailed. Read morePublished 7 months ago by HBH
This Is a great book but the kindle edition I received was faulty. The links to the maps do not work properly on my kindle.Published 9 months ago by noel david francis danaher
If you like history this book is for you.
An even handed account of the Spanish civil war.
I found this the best on the Spanish Civil War as it was considered & academic plus the length of War & Peace! Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lindsey Clare Gee-Turner
Great book, great service. The book is exactly as described and at a good price. Not the first time I've bought from World Books and it wont be the last. Great seller. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mr R L SPRAGG
its a tour de force........hard to imagine the talent of this historian to produce such a fulsome account..... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Skellig Rock
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