The Spanish Holocaust
Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-century Spain
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|Format:||Hardback, 720 pages|
|Other Information: ||(16 pages b/w photographs), With index|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 01 March 2012|
Selected as the Sunday Times History Book of the Year for 2012, this is a meticulous work of scholarship from the foremost historian of 20th-century Spain. The culmination of more than a decade of research, 'The Spanish Holocaust' seeks to reflect the intense horrors visited upon Spain during its ferocious civil war, the consequences of which still reverberate bitterly today. The brutal, murderous persecution of Spaniards between 1936 and 1945 is a truth that should have been told long ago. Paul Preston here offers the first comprehensive picture of what he terms "the Spanish Holocaust": mass extra-judicial murder of some 200,000 victims, cursory military trials, torture, the systematic abuse of women and children, sweeping imprisonment, the horrors of exile. Those culpable for crimes committed on both sides of the Civil War are named; their victims identified. 'The Spanish Holocaust' illuminates one of the darkest, least-known eras of modern European history.
About the Author
Paul Preston is Principe de Asturias Professor of Iberian History at the LSE, and was head of the International History Department there for several years. He is regarded as the leading historian of twentieth-century Spain alive.
'Exhaustively researched and masterfully written ... a book of extraordinary moral and emotional power, a classic of historical scholarship and a deeply affecting record of man's inhumanity to man.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 'A harrowing and moving account of the immense terror and enormous atrocities, especially perpetrated by General Franco's followers, during and after the Spanish Civil War, meticulously researched and superbly written by an outstanding historian.' Ian Kershaw 'Preston's staggeringly detailed powerful and affecting chronicle of the savagery unleashed during the Spanish civil war...is a history of rare moral and emotional power, which alters forever our view of one of the most symbolic conflicts of the last century' Sunday Times, History Book of the Year
The murder of 200,000 Spaniards and the deaths of countless more from disease, slave labor, and the ravages of concentration camps was a deliberate plan by Franco's troops to eliminate their opponents, says Preston, a leading scholar of 20th-century Spanish history at the London School of Economics. Preston (The Spanish Civil War) provides more than enough illumination of this lesser-known holocaust in this thick, intensely detailed, indignant account. Spain entered the 20th century impoverished and largely rural. Industrialization and the rise of militant unions after WWI provoked conflicts that worsened after the passing of a reformist 1931 constitution, which outraged landowners, army officers, and the Catholic Church. They supported the rising Falangist movement, which denounced the government in familiar fascist rhetoric. The 1936 rebellion was led by Gen. Francisco Franco, who, after taking power, "perfect[ed]... the machinery of state terror" in order to maintain power. Although Preston describes many Republican atrocities, a relentless stream of gruesome trials, executions, and massacres presses his case that the Right committed the lion's share. Many conservatives, finding much to admire in Franco, have accused Preston of bias, and this latest work is unlikely to silence them. Illus. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Some may question use of the term holocaust in reference to the Spanish Civil War, but Preston makes the case for its applicability by detailing horrors that have been largely ignored and repressed until quite recently. Preston (international history, London Sch. of Economcs; We Saw Spain Die) successfully shows the parallels between Nazi Germany's mantra of Jewish duplicity and methods of torture and General Franco's actions. Seeing the repressed workers as subhuman and with support from the clergy and landowners, Franco launched a sickening campaign of annihilation regardless of guilt or innocence, waging war against the existing Democratic and reformist government. Preston does not ignore the Republic's own deadly reactions, but he does show that the Republic largely tried to maintain a level of democracy and not wage a "total war." Verdict Delineating the atrocities in both words and with maps and meticulously detailing the various forms of torture and slaughter, this work is for a scholarly audience. Academic collections should purchase this definitive and exhaustive study as it offers, in one volume, a needed perspective on the era.-Maria Bagshaw, Elgin Community Coll. Lib., IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
|Dimensions: ||24.0 x 15.0 centimeters (1.10 kg)|