Spain in Our Hearts

Spain in Our Hearts

Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Book - 2016
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A sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War, told through nine American and British characters including Hemingway and George Orwell. It was a war between fascism, communism, and democracy that preceded World War II, and a tale of idealism and a noble cause that failed
Publisher: Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
ISBN: 9780547973180
Characteristics: xxi, 438 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Aug 04, 2017

The question no journalists asked in 1936, when they looked up and saw Nazi bombers in Spain, was where did they get gas ? Little is known outside Spain about this prelude to WW2. European nations and US had signed the non intervention treaty for the Spanish Civil War. One American, Torkild Rieber, fawned over fascists and offered unlimited credit from Texaco. He did it past the US entry into WW2 until the FBI noticed. Another shock was the fascist carnage after they captured territory : 200,000 killed off battlefields in 3 years is the low estimate, over 1000 people a week. Estimated battle casualties start at that number. The fascists tested more than air and tank power. After Germany and Italy won it for Franco, 370,000 were put in concentration camps or jails. Survival rates were not recorded. How did these outrages not shock anyone in Britain, France, US or Canada ? Monumental short sightedness ? How many times can that excuse be trotted out ? One reporter for a US chain was fired after he sent his coverage of Guernica, at the start of insurrection, the first city to be destroyed by aerial bombardment. Hitler’s pope Pius XII blessed the fascists. The elected Spanish government reformed education into a public service separate from church monopoly. Land reform allowed peasants to farm unused arable tracts. Although Ernest Hemingway, Eric Blair and well known personalities are included, the author follows a few of the brave who volunteered to fight for democracy in Spain (3000 in the Lincoln Brigade from US, 1500 in the Mackenzie Papineau Brigade from Canada and others ejected from Germany, Italy and Hungary). Hochschild knows how to tell their stories and keep the large narrative moving. Lois Orr was 19 years old when she arrived and managed to find work for 10 pesetas a day as a clerk in Barcelona. Bob and Marion Merriman were graduate students in their 20s. His story provides an arc for the conflict. He disappeared during the retreat from Teruel. “… this was all Marion was able to discover --- until she unexpectedly received a letter half a century later.”

SFPL_RicardoA Jun 22, 2017

A vivid account of the experiences lived by Americans who left everything behind to fight for the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. Plenty to discover here, including the political events that led to the war, the audacious journalism of Ernest Hemingway during the conflict, and the unspeakable cruelty that all of Spain endured. A great history that reads like a great novel.

PimaLib_MaryG Jun 22, 2016

Fascinating. Heartbreaking. Informative.


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