El mito de la cruzada de Franco (The Myth of Franco's Crusade) (Spanish) Paperback – 1 May 2008
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Debolsillo. Barcelona. 2008. 19 cm. 698 p. Encuadernación en tapa blanda de editorial ilustrada. Colección 'Historia'. Southworth, Herbert Rutledge 1908-1999. Traducción de Ana María Pérez ; edición y prólogo de Paul Preston. En el lomo: 202. Bibliografía: p. -672. Índice. España. 1936-1939 (Guerra civil). Historia (Nuevas Ediciones de Bolsillo) .. Este libro es de segunda mano y tiene o puede tener marcas y señales de su anterior propietario. ISBN: 978-84-8346-574-5
Top customer reviews
What stands out most for me about the book is the simple, linear way it is written - especially as my Spanish skills are still patchy to say the least. Southworth leads you by the hand, carefully unpicking the evidence frequently repeated arguments are based on and deconstructs the perceptions and basis of them and leaves you appreciating the myriad of personal, political and powerful rivalries generated by the war. This edition is particularly poignant for the inclusion of two appendices, one on the rivalry with Gorkin and Bolloten and the other on the devious Ricardo de la Cierva, and an introduction written by - perhaps the best historian the topic has even seen (but don't let him know I said it!) - Paul Preston.
The main bulk of the book in context is a little dated now, aiming to undermine the legitimacy of Francosim and the myths surrounding the war rather than understand the conflict as a whole and recent historians have done. That said, the arguments contained are more relevant today than before. Southworth attacks not only the evidence - and its originators - but also challenges the representations of the war on all sides. What struck me about the book was its superb attacks on legends of the Left and the Right. For example, Southworth commits most of the book to demonstrating the brutality, complicity and duplicity of the Church, state and international powers in defeating the Republic and the falsehood upon which the pious crusade is based. He categorically shows how the barbaric and devastating massacres committed across Spain by Nationalist forces have been hidden, evidence altered and memories mystified. Southworth consistently demonstrates how much of the footnotes and bibliographies referred to by some historians used to show "objectivity" are basically regimist tracts that contribute little - if anything - to appreciating the dynamics of the Civil War. He challenges Rightist and regime testimonies and - with a ruthlessly reliability and range of references - delves into how they came about and why they are not a reflection of reality but - to paraphrase Napoleon - a lie, agreed upon. He also argues against the legend of the anarchist revolution and of the concerted Soviet conspiracy - one of the main reasons I started reading about the conflict. Much of his position rings true with more contemporary works of Ealham - particularly his essay in "The Splintering of Spain" and Horn's article on the language barrier in understanding the revolution in Barcelona. Leagues ahead of its time.
Those without a firm footing or an awareness of the Spanish Civil War or the layers of lies heaped upon the historiography may struggle with the book. It is not one for beginners. That said, the written style and easy-to-follow narrative make it an excellent starters for those wishing to expand their Spanish skills and knowledge of the topic. There is, after all, a reason it is mentioned in every major historian's bibliography. Buy it, read it, share it. And read it again.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The participation of the Fascist regimes of Hitler in Germany and Mussolini in Italy is also described with ample documentation to show their ilegal involvement. It describes with ample proof how the German Luftuafe bombed civilian targets like Guernica in the Basque country and many other places.
The author shows how the western allies like England, France and the USA played a split face personality in refusing to support the republican effort against Franco, by denying the supply of armament and munitions, while saying that the penetration of Communism in Spain could get worse if they supported the republican effort. Mexico did sell some arms and ammo to the republicans but the Rusians were the ones supplying in quantity never a free package but always paid in gold.
The author Southworth writes an excellent story that puts in the clear what up to then was a lye by Franco. LFA