Some Relevant Books
11: Epilogue || Map of 1936 Uprising >>
For critical bibliographies,
see two volumes, both by Graham Shields, in the excellent World Biographical
Series published by CLIO Press (Oxford and Santa Barbara). They are Vol. 60, Spain (2nd. Edition, 1994, pp. 451) and
Vol.193, Madrid (1996, p. 253). Both include
discussions of books, mostly in English, covering the period 1931 to 1939. A detailed
bibliography of the authors discussed in this volume would cover hundreds of pages and be
of interest only to scholars. They are referred to the online World Catalog. Of the making
of books about the Spanish Civil War there is no end, of which this book is one more
proof. Here are only a few titles, some selected because they are little known: It should
be stressed that the length of the note on each is no indication of their merit, but
rather of the unusual way each relates to the theme of this book.
Ben-Ami, Shlomo. The Origins of the Second Republic in Spain. Oxford
University Press, 1978, pp. 365.
style="margin-right:4.5pt;text-align:justify;text-indent: .5in;tab-stops:0in .5in
1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in">A
volume in the series Oxford Historical Monographs, this is a detailed account
of the period prior to April 1931, the municipal
elections, and the first six months of the
Martin Blinkhorn, edit. Spain in Conflict 1931-39: Democracy and its enemies.
London: Sage, 1986, pp. 278.
style="margin-right:4.5pt;text-align:justify;text-indent: .5in;tab-stops:0in .5in
1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in">This
collection of essays studies three themes: the Republicans and the Left, the Conservatives
and the Right, and foreign involvement in the Civil War.
Brenan, Gerald. The Spanish Labyrinth. Cambridge University Press, 1990, pp 384.
style="margin-right:4.5pt;text-align:justify;text-indent: .5in;tab-stops:0in .5in
1.0in 1.5in 2.0in 2.5in 3.0in 3.5in">First
published in 1943, and subtitled an account of the social and political background
of the Spanish Civil War, this book has
had a profound influence since it was a graphical account by one who lived in Spain and
sympathized with the Republicans.
Brown, Gerald G. A Literary History of Spain: The Twentieth Century.
London: Ernest Benn, 1972, pp. 176.
This is the sixth of eight
small volumes in A Literary History of Spain. The Introduction, Spain
1900-39", based largely on Raymond Carr,
Spain (1808-1939) (q.v.), gives the political background for the literature.
Unwittingly, by its account of the grotesque nature of modernismo,
it supports the thesis of this book, namely that writers generally were a rather silly
crowd, quite incapable of leading the republic as they claimed to do. Unwarranted
confidence and ill-used freedom produced their crop of literary contributions to the
flimsy euphoria of pre-1914 Europe and the lunacies of the Jazz Age. In comparison,
the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera seems wise and tolerant. The book is divided into four
chapters, devoted respectively to the novel, poetry, drama, and literature since the Civil
Carr, Raymond. Images of the Spanish Civil War. London: George
Allen and Unwin, 1986, pp.192.
A collection of photographs
of the Spanish Civil War published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of it.
See the following section on relevant films.
Carr, Raymond. The Civil War in Perspective.
London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1993, pp. 328.
This very useful book
properly attributes Spains problems to class inequality, and he confirms the thesis
of this book by attributing the failure of the Republic to factionalism and lack of
Cortada, James W. Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Civil War,
1936-1939. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1982, pp.
A valuable and well-organized reference work,
with more that 800 entries.
Elwood, Sheelagh. The Spanish Civil War. Oxford: Blackwell, 1991, pp.
A clear and useful summary, with no claim to
presenting a case for either side.
Crispin, John. Oxford y Cambridge e Madrid. La Residencia de
Estudiantes (1910-1936) y su entorno cultural. Santander: La Isla de los Ratones, 1981. Pp. 171.
Since only 500 copies of
this book were printed it is little known. The author, a professor at Vanderbilt
University, tells the story of the Residencia from
its founding in 1910 up to the Civil War, when the buildings were taken over by first the
Republican Government and then, with the blessing of the Franco government, by the Opus
Dei, the great enemy of the founders of the Residencia. Since the Franco regime the
buildings have been used as a research institute.
The title of the book was an
expression used by Cambridge Hispanist J.B. Trend, a
devotee of the Residencia. Don Alberto failed in his attempts to revive the Residencia,
but a 1978 decree of the Ministry of Cultura declared the Residencia to be a historical-artistic monument of
national interest. This spurred Professor Crispin to write this short history of it, based
on documents and interviews with old Residentes. He stresses the fame achieved by writers
like Nobel laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez, Federico García Lorca and Emilio Prados,
artists like Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, and scientists like two Nobel laureates, Santiago Ramón y Cajal and
Severo Ochoa, as well as Paulino Suárez, Pío del Río Hortega, and Juan Negrín, best
known for his political leadership during the
He pays special attention to
García Lorca, presumably because his field is literature, but also because of the
prestige poets enjoyed in Spain at that time. There are frequent references to the
poets reading their poems to a group or to another poet, but I never saw that. I
suspect that the custom had died out by the time I arrived at the Residencia in 1934. In
fact, the only time I heard poems recited was in a train in Andalucia, but I suspect the
simple fellow reciting the poems had not written them himself. The book also refers to the
theatrical group La Barraca which García Lorca founded and which toured the towns of
Spain. I heard about it, but apparently that too had ceased operation when I was in the
Crispin stresses the
importance of the quarterly review Residencia,
which appeared from 1926 to 1934. That too died as I arrived. I suspect that the political
situation was so tense that these cultural activities no longer attracted much attention.
Crispin used the magazine for the information it gave about the history of the Residencia.
It was never revived, although in 1963 a special issue of the magazine appeared in Mexico,
but it was essentially commemorative.
The book ends with articles
from the commemorative issue, the last
being by Jiménez Fraud himself. The book, like those of Don Alberto, is entirely
apologetic. It is a eulogistic record. The Residencia was dead, and criticism would have
been out of place, especially in the presence of its founders. De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.
Fraser, Ronald. Blood of Spain: Oral History of the Spanish Civil War.
London: Pimlico, 1994, pp.640.
First published in 1979, this is a
fascinating collection of accounts by over 300 individuals of their experiences and
observations in the Civil War.
Garosci, Aldo. Gli intellettuali e la guerra di Spagna. Turin: Einaudi, 1959. Pp. 482.
This is volume 254 in the series Saggi, which deals
mostly with history. A Spanish translation appeared in Madrid in 1981. The author is really a high-level journalist, and this volume
developed out of some radio talks he gave. It is evidence of his keen interest in the
subject and his deep sympathy for the intellectuals, most of whom were exiled by the Civil
War. Only a few returned to live their last years in Spain. Its main interest for us is
that, as the title indicates, it focuses on the
intellectuals, and is virtually unique in this regard. The first of the two parts is
devoted to Spanish writers; especially
interesting is chapter eight on
historiography and the Spanish enigma. Spaniards intellectuals have devoted
much scholarly effort to analyzing Spanish history to see what went wrong. The second,
shorter part, is devoted to foreigners; there is a chapter on Pravda correspondent Mikhail Kolzov, with whom,
soon after his arrival in Madrid, I had dinner with at the home of Ernest Grimaud de Caux.
He was really a top agent, as many Soviet correspondents were. For one written
by a non-specialist, this detailed book is noteworthy,
even though the author is so sympathetic to the intellectuals that he shows little
Guinard, Paul. LEspagne (1963, pp. 392). In series
Nous partons pour., published by the
Presses Universitaires de France, Paris.
Guinard, an art historian and a
friend of mine, wrote books on Spanish painting, El Greco, and above all Zuebarán. For
this guide book, he crisscrossed Spain as few have done, visiting out of the way monuments
little described elsewhere.
Jiménez Fraud (1883-1964) y La Residencia de
Estudiantes (1910-1936). Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas,
1987. Pp. 60, 12" x 14".
This is essentially a photo album
describing the cultural activities of the Residencia, especially the lectures by
distinguished foreigners. The photographs, with captions, are arranged under these
headings: Literature and Thought, Theater, Music, Cinema, Art, Architecture, Travel,
Archeology, Sciences, Sports. The aim is to give the impression that the Residencia was an
island of Western culture and thus played an important role in the cultural history of
Two preliminary sections are
of special documentary value. The first (pp.13-18) is a year by year chronology from the
birth of Don Alberto in 1883 to his death in 1964. Here are some interesting details. He
was the third son of his fathers second wife, a French woman named Henriette Fraud
born in Lyons (Fraud is not a common French name.). Don Alberto was attached to her, as is
evident from a photo of the two. I never met her, but I attended her funeral. Presumably
she was ill when I first arrived at the Residencia. It is not stated what happened to the
first wife, or if there were any children from the first marriage. There are frequent
references to the Malaga group of friends, several of whom went to Madrid and helped found
the Residencia, but virtually nothing is said of Don Albertos brothers. His wife,
Natalia B. Cossío was born in Galicia in 1884. When the Civil War broke out, Alberto and
Natalia moved to Cambridge and then to Oxford, where he taught until he was 72. He then
became a U.N. translator, working still in Oxford, where in 1960 he published privately
Some words on the 50th anniversary of the Residencia de Estudiantes (which was
founded in 1910). He and Natalia returned to Madrid in 1964 in an attempt to revive the
Residencia, but in April he died in Geneva, where he had gone in connection with his work
as a U.N. translator. He is buried in Madrids civilian cemetery.
Jiménez Fraud, Alberto. Residentes. Semblanzas y recuerdos. Madrid: Alianza
Editorial, 1989. Pp. 147.
This small volume, published
by Don Albertos heirs, has a prologue by Alberto Adell, datelined Copenhagen.
Presumably he is an old Residente who left Spain, like Don Alberto, at the outbreak of the
Civil War. He explains that he has brought together items which Don Alberto wrote while he
was at Oxford in exile, all dealing with the Residencia. .Given any opportunity., Don
Alberto would write or talk about the Residencia, always stressing the contribution it had
made to Spains intellectual life. There is an underlying theme. The Residencia was
founded by young Andalusian intellectuals appalled by the poverty of the Andalusian
people, which the sumptuous fiestas of Seville, at which the wealthy flaunt their
affluence, cannot disguise. They realized that this social injustice was typical of all
Spain, so they moved to Madrid and, from the Residencia, carried out a series of cultural
missions throughout the country. They formed what in Spain was called a peña, a group of friends who met regularly to discuss anything deemed significant. These groups
normally met in cafés, but the Residencia provided a better setting. Don Alberto was
effusive in his praise of the members of his group, which critics called a mutual
admiration society. However, the articles reveal Don Albertos distress at seeing his
lifework destroyed and the group now mostly in exile, with all the suffering that implied.
The remarkable thing is that Don Alberto does not utter an unkind word about those who
wrecked Spain and his work. It was a manifestation of his unusually kind nature. It may
have been the silence of contempt. He returned to Spain in the hope of recreating the
Residencia, and he may have realized that any criticism would make enemies who could block
There are fourteen essays,
published in La Nación of Santiago de Chile, El Nacional of Caracas, Cuadernos Americanos of Mexico and the
commemorative issue of Residencia published in
Mexico in 1963. They are devoted to one person: General [?] Bruce who led the first
serious attempt to conquer Everest; H.G. Wells, who shared the hope of popularizing
history and culture; Lord[John Maynard] Keynes, a charmer who rated two
articles; Paul Valéry, who, when Don Albertos lamented the hostility of the Spanish
clergy to the Residencia, countered that the Protestant revolution had split the unity of
Europenot exactly a helpful reply; Emilia Pardo Bazán, about the only woman in the
group, the only practicing Catholic, and, like Cossío and his daughter Natalia, from
Galicia (hence their friendship); García Lorca and other poets; Miguel de Unamuno who
died in Salamanca after defying Franco in a historic scene; the philosopher Ortega y
Gasset; Antonio Machado who died in exile just as Cambridge University offered him a post;
Manuel García Morente who, after years of exile in Argentina, returned to Spain and spent
his last days in a monastery near Pontevedra; Count Hermann Keyserling, then well-known
for his Travel Diary of a Philosopher; and the
cosmopolitan Argentinian Victoria Ocampo There is an appendix of letters to Miguel de
Unamuno; Jiménez Frau spelled his name Giménez, as was common in those days. The book
ends with a collection of photographs and humorous sketches illustrating the text.
Jiménez Fraud, Alberto. For Historia de la Universidad Española and Visita a Maquiavelo, see Chapter 7, La
Residencia de Estudiantes.
Jackson, Gabriel. The Spanish Republic and the Civil War, 1931-1939: Princeton University
Press, 1965, pp. 578.
Jackson has also written A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War. London:
Thames and Hudson, 1980. The two books give a concise account of the period.
Low, Robert. La Pasionaria: The Spanish Firebrand. London:
Hutchison, 1992, pp. 1992.
Firebrand is a
kind word. Demagogue would be more accurate description of Dolores Ibarruri
(1895-1989), a Communist with the mentality of an ETA terrorist who took refuge in the
Soviet Union. She was reviled by the right. I simply regard her as an extreme exemplar of the mentality which revealed the weakness of
Macdonald, Nancy. Homage to the Spanish Exiles: Voices from the Spanish
Civil War. New York: Human Sciences Press, 1987, pp 358.
Some half million
Republicans sought refuge in France after the fall of the Republic. Nancy Macdonald founded Spanish Refugee Aid to help the
more than 100,000 in need. This is the story of that generous effort.
Martínez Caviro, Balbina. Cerámica Española en el Instituto de Valencia de Don
Juan. Madrid: Instituto de Valencia de Don Juan, 1978. Pp. 200, 307 illustrations.
My account of the Instituto
de Valencia de Don Juan in Madrid mentions its Spanish pottery collection, described in
this book. It came from the collection of the Condesa de Oñate and also from the excavations at Medina Azzahara,
near Cordoba. Regarding these important excavations, see Paul Guinard, pp. 69ff. The
collection also has collections of pottery from Talavera de la Reina and of the
gilded pottery of eastern Spain, especially, Manises.
Payne, Stanley G. Spains First Democracy: the Second Republic,
1931-1936. University of Wisconsin Press, 1993, pp. 477.
Stanley Payne is the
American scholar who has contributed most to our understanding of the Spain of the
twentieth century. With careful documentation he reveals the weakness of the
republic which led to its downfall. His
conclusions are similar to those of Burnett Bolloten, and my own observations as given in this work coincide with his.
Payne, Stanley G. He is the dean of American
historians of modern Spain. Born in 1934, he completed his Ph. D at Columbia University in
1960 and is Hilldale-Jaume Vicens Vives Professor of History at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and
a corresponding member of the Real Academia Espanola de la Historia.
He is a prolific writer. Among his thirteen books are "Politics and the Military in
Modern Spain" (1967), "The Spanish Revolution" (1970), "A History of
Spain and Portugal" (1973), two vols., "Basque Nationalism" (1975),
"Fascism: Comparison and Definition" (1980), "The Franco Regime
1936-1975" (1987), "Spain's First Democracy: The Second Republic,
1931-1936" (1993), "A History of Fascism 1914-1945" (1996), and
"Fascism in Spain 1923-1977" (2000).
The Spanish Civil War (1936-39), viewed as a prelude to World War II, aroused a general
interest in Spain which was very much alive when Payne began his research. It is
impossible to understand the Spanish Civil War without considering the republic proclaimed
in 1931 which led up to it. Unfortunately the intricacies of the Spanish politics of that
period had less appeal for the general public that the bloody war itself, which
Hemingway's For whom the bell tolls, both in its original novel form and in its
movie version, both stimulated and capitalized on.
For the scholar, Payne's book Spain´s
First democracy: The Second Republic, 1931-16, is indispensable. The title
ingeniously suggests that the first republic (1973-4) was not a democracy. Indeed, it was
not. It collapsed in chaos after a year, and the monarchy was restored. In a way, the same
happened to the Second Republic, which was succeeded after the Franco dictatorship by the
monarchy of King Juan Carlos. Many Spaniards said that democracy was a form of government
not suited to Spain, which we hope is wrong. What does appear to be correct is that Spain
functions much better under a monarchy than under a republic. After 13 (!) chronological
chapters on the history of the second republic, the book ends (chapter 14) with
"Why did the Republic Fail?"
Payne's latest book is Fascism in Spain (1999, pp. 601). The University of
Wisconsin Press is to be commended for adding this to its list of Payne books at a time
when interest in Spain has ebbed. The book is relevant to the present period, when critics
of the José María Aznar government brand is as fascist, Franquista, or reactionary. It
is none of these. For the period of the Second Republic, Part II, "José antonio
Primo de Rivera and Falange Nacional, 1933-1936" is especially relevant. The role of
the intellectuals is discussed in chapter 3, "The Fascism of the Intellectuals."
Far from suggesting that there was a strong fascist movement among the intellectuals,
Payne discusses the degree to which they were not. His book concludes with these words:
"Native fascism was extremely weak in Spain, whose political culture and historical
development prior to the Civil War had generated fewer fascistogenic qualities than most
other European countries."
Pike, David Wingeate.
Preston, Paul. Las tres Españas del 36. Barcelona: Plaza &
Janés, 1998. Pp. 472.
This book has had an
extraordinary success. It won the 1998 Así Fue Prize for the best history book, and in
one month there were four printings! This is evidence of Spains extraordinary
interest in the Civil War, which is very much on everyones mind as the country
strives to strengthen the democracy it had won twenty years earlier. In 1998 there were
impressive ceremonies in the Congress building marking the event. The guest of honor was
King Juan Carlos who had saved democracy by resisting a group of Civil Guard officers who
had invaded the building in an attempt to restore the dictatorship.
The three Spains of
which Preston speaks are the republicans, the franquistas, and the nonpartisan. He
describes the period through accounts on representatives of the three groups: Francisco
Franco, José Millán Astray, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, Salvador de Madariaga,
Julián Besteiro, Manuel Azaña, Indalecio Prieto, and Dolores Ibarruri. Each account has
a pithy subtitle. Naturally for me, as his disciple, the chapter on Madariaga, subtitled
A Quixote in politics, has a special interest. Most books about the Spanish
Civil War are rather pedestrian affairs, but the bibliographical approach makes for
excellent reading, which, combined with solid scholarship, explains the books
immense success among both specialists and the general public. Preston is the author of
many studies on the subject, including Franco: A
Biography (1993) and The Coming of the Civil War
(second edition, 1994). Preston, a professor at the London School of Economics and
well-known as a commentator, shows great skill in interpreting historical documents so
well that he seems like an eye-witness. It is a skill few historians posses.
PICASSO. It should be evident that I detest
Picasso and his gang, and everything they stood for. John Richardson is writing a
four-volume study of him . What a way to
spend one´s life! In addition, he has written about Picasso and Douglas Cooper. This
review is by Kenneth Baker (S.F. Chronicle Book Review, 1/22/00).
Picasso, Provence, and
Douglas Cooper By John Richardson Alfred A. Knopf; 318
John Richardson has been
widely and justly applauded for the first two books of his planned four-volume biography
of Picasso. But Richardson disconcerted admirers when, already in his mid-70s, he
announced that he would set aside the biography for a while to write a memoir of his
12-year relationship with Douglas Cooper, once the world's greatest collector of cubist
Sorcerer's Apprentice'' turns out to be anything but tangential to Richardson's Picasso
project. It is a wry, richly anecdotal account of the people and circumstances that
positioned Richardson, socially and intellectually, to become Picasso's foremost
Richardson's intimacy with
Cooper was clearly formative enough and Cooper himself formidable enough to
merit a book-length account. Cooper was intelligent, witty, spiteful, tyrannical and
sufficiently wealthy and confident to act on his discerning taste for Parisian modernist
When they met, Richardson
was a handsome, rudderless young man, hoping to find a niche for himself as a writer in
postwar London. Cooper, 13 years his senior, was a socially connected ``evil queen,''
already renowned for his collection.
``I was twenty-five . . .
and, in those days, extremely insecure and out to please,'' Richardson writes of his first
physical encounter with Cooper. ``Alcohol overcame my initial revulsion. A kiss from me, I
fantasized, would transform this toad into a prince, or at least a Rubens Bacchus.
However, Douglas turned out to be as rubbery as a Dali biomorph. No wonder he was mad at
the world. This realization triggered a rush of compassion, which enabled me to acquit
myself on this ominous night.'' It was
Richardson who underwent a transformation. Touring the great museums and private
collections of Europe with Cooper, living among his Cubist masterpieces and meeting some
of the most cultivated and some of the most outrageous people of the day was an education
to be had nowhere else.It also doomed their relationship, although Cooper's own
temperament probably would have in any case. ``That he was even more corroded with
resentment, envy and rage'' at the end of their companionship than at the beginning ``was
no cause for pride,'' Richardson writes.
Crucially, Cooper could not
tolerate Richardson's growing acumen. At one point, when they examined photographs
together of purported Leger paintings just bought by an American collector they knew,
Richardson voiced his certainty that they were fakes. ``There was a terrible silence,'' Richardson
writes, ``during which Douglas's pink face turned the color of a summer pudding. `What a
little expert we've become.' And then came a shriek like calico ripping comical but
also alarming. `How dare you pontificate to me about Leger!' he yelled. `Those paintings
are absolutely authentic.
Get out, get out . . .' And
then he took another look at the photographs, and I realized that he realized I was right
and he was wrong. Things would never be the same again.''
Some years earlier, Cooper's purchase of the tumbledown chateau in Provence in
which he and Richardson lived for most of their time together had made them country
neighbors of Picasso's and Braque's. Proximity and early training as a painter, ``albeit a
bad one,'' allowed Richardson to develop his own friendships with these modern masters,
again contrary to Cooper's wishes. Here was
the key to Richardson's insider's view of Picasso's work habits and, no less important, of
the artist's social style. ``I would watch with fascination as (Picasso) manipulated
anyone who seemed susceptible into an emotional response to him and his work,'' Richardson
writes. ``He would switch on the magnetism and let his ego feed on whatever critical
understanding, starstruck admiration, or devotion could be extracted from those around
him. At the end of the day, Picasso would have made off with everyone's energy; it would
fuel a night of work in the studio. No wonder we guests would be left in a state of
nervous exhaustion.'' Inevitably there are
stretches of mere high gossip in Richardson's memoir, but, as in his Picasso project, his
language is alive throughout, whether in a key of confession, caricature, tribute or
analysis. Kenneth Baker is The Chronicle's
Solsten Eric and Sandra W, Meditz, Spain, a country study. Washington, D.C.: Federal
Research Division, Library of Congress, 1990. Pp. 406.
This is a volume in the
excellent country studies, supported by the Department of the Army. Unfortunately, as an
economy measure (!), the department withdrew its subsidy. Unless help is found elsewhere,
this means the end of a major series of publications. While this volume summarizes the
history of Spain, the stress is on the current situation, so for the period 1931-36 it is
not too detailed. There is a good bibliography.
Hugh Thomas. The Spanish Civil War. New York: Harper, 1961. Pp
720. Revised and enlarged edition 1977.
Hugh Thomas is a scholar who
has the knack of writing on big, timely subjects. This volume appeared when the Spanish
Civil War was still a subject of general interest and when the publication of eye-witness
accounts had provided a good documentary basis for scholarly accounts. Even so, their
popular success of this book is hard to explain. It is a detailed, blow-by-blow account of
a complex struggle in a country about which most Britishers knew little, a struggle in
which most of them did not wish to become involved.
A civil war is a war, and
Hugh Thomas treats politics as background for war. He was originally a military historian,
teaching at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He visited all the main battlefields in
Spain and studied the details of the battles. At the same time he read extensively in five
languages. Maps illustrate the course of the campaigns. Since he was born in 1931, he was
only five when the was began and only thirty when he wrote this book. It started him on a
career which led him to Reading University, where he became Chair of the Graduate School
of European Studies. Since 1976 he has been a visiting professor at several universities,
and has been decorated by the Spanish government. The British Conservative government made
him a life peer.
While in his account of the
Spanish Civil War he strives to remain neutral, he seems to favor the Republican cause. He
describes Lord Plymouths Non-Intervention Committee as ineffective, and he
attributes the Republics defeat to squabbles among its leaders and to the aboulia of
Azaña. The book naturally ends on a sad note. Vae
11: Epilogue || Map of 1936 Uprising >>