After Francisco Franco's victory in the Spanish Civil War, a great many of the country's intellectuals went into exile in Mexico. During the three and a half decades of Francoist dictatorship, these exiles held that the Republic, not Francoism, represented the authentic culture of Spain. In this environment, as Sebastiaan Faber argues in Exile and Cultural Hegemony, the Spaniards' conception of their role as intellectuals changed markedly over time.
The first study of its kind to place the exiles' ideological evolution in a broad historical context, Exile and Cultural Hegemony takes into account developments in both Spanish and Mexican politics from the early 1930s through the 1970s. Faber pays particular attention to the intellectuals' persistent nationalism and misplaced illusions of pan-Hispanist grandeur, which included awkward and ironic overlaps with the rhetoric employed by their enemies on the Francoist right. This embrace of nationalism, together with the intellectuals' dependence on the increasingly authoritarian Mexican regime and the international climate of the Cold War, eventually caused them to abandon the Gramscian ideal of the intellectual as political activist in favor of a more liberal, apolitical stance preferred by, among others, the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset.
With its comprehensive approach to topics integral to Spanish culture, both students of and those with a general interest in twentieth-century Spanish literature, history, or culture will find Exile and Cultural Hegemony a fascinating and groundbreaking work.