The Spanish Republic and Civil War

In This Review

The Spanish Republic and Civil War
By Julián Casanova
Cambridge University Press, 2010
370 pp. $31.99

More than 25,000 books and essays have appeared on the Spanish Civil War, and almost 75 years later, still no consensus has emerged about its causes, course, and consequences. In part, this is because historians still cannot resist taking sides in what was the quintessential battle among twentieth-century political ideas. Nearly every important organized ideology of that century was represented. Fascists, monarchists, Catholics, nationalists, liberals, anticlericalists, Socialists, Communists, and anarchists all took part. After the assassinations, terrorism, and mass killing spread, the Nazis, the Italian Fascists, and the Soviets intervened, while the British and the French appeased. The war ended with the Republicans' unconditional surrender to General Francisco Franco and led to a half century of repression. Few have contributed more to understanding these events than Casanova, an eminent professor at the University of Zaragoza. Here, he synthesizes new research, much of it by a generation of young historians, into a lively, engaging account -- the best available in English.

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