In This Review

Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War
Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War
Edited by Ronald Radosh, Mary R. Habeck, and Georgi Sevostya
Yale University Press, 2001, 537 pp

Like the French Revolution, the Spanish Civil War is not finished. This volume highlights documents from Russia's military archives, describing events on the Spanish Republican side from the viewpoint of the Soviet Union. The editors show how Moscow proposed plans that were meant not only to defeat fascism but also to increase the influence of the Spanish Communist Party and the Soviet Union. The degree of Soviet involvement in Spain's internal affairs and in the international brigades was clearly enormous, as were the divisions among the Republicans. Do these factors demonstrate a coherent plan to turn Spain into a Soviet possession, as the editors suggest? Not quite -- the reader would need a systematic analysis of the documents before making such a conclusion. Nor do the editors resolve another question: Were all those who fought for the republic sinister Stalinists and moles of Stalin, or at least naive dupes? This third big salvo fired against Soviet machinations and crimes -- after the recent works The Black Book of Communism and The Passing of an Illusion -- does not fully prove that communism effectively destroyed an authentic Spanish antifascism.