Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War

Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War

by Daniel Gray
     
 

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The Spanish civil war was a call to arms for 2,300 British volunteers, of which over 500 were from Scotland. The first book of its kind, 'Homage to Caledonia' examines Scotland's role in the conflict, detailing exactly why Scottish involvement was so profound. The book moves chronologically through events and places, firstly surveying the landscape in contemporary

Overview

The Spanish civil war was a call to arms for 2,300 British volunteers, of which over 500 were from Scotland. The first book of its kind, 'Homage to Caledonia' examines Scotland's role in the conflict, detailing exactly why Scottish involvement was so profound. The book moves chronologically through events and places, firstly surveying the landscape in contemporary Scotland before describing volunteers' journeys to Spain, and then tracing their every involvement from arrival to homecoming (or not). There is also an account of the non-combative role, from fundraising for Spain and medical aid, to political manoeuvrings within the volatile Scottish left. Using a wealth of previously-unpublished letters sent back from the front as well as other archival items, Daniel Gray is able to tell little known stories of courage in conflict, and to call into question accepted versions of events such as the 'murder' of Bob Smillie, or the heroism of 'The Scots Scarlet Pimpernel'. Homage to Caledonia offers a very human take on events in Spain: for every tale of abject distress in a time of war, there is a tale of a Scottish volunteer urinating in his general's boots, knocking back a dram with Errol Flynn or appalling Spanish comrades with his pipe playing. For the first time, read the fascinating story of Caledonia's role in this seminal conflict.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781906817169
Publisher:
Luath Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/01/2009
Pages:
256

Meet the Author

Daniel Gray is the author of Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War.He has also written on football for When Saturday Comes and Fly Me To The Moon, the fanzine of his beloved Middlesbrough FC, and is a book reviewer for History Scotland and The Skinny, and also writes for the magazines The Leither and Scottish Labour Review. He is a 2003 Politics and History graduate of Newcastle University. His first book, the Historical Dictionary of Marxism, was published in 2005.He is yet to sell the film rights. Gray has worked as a researcher, contributor and writer on BBC radio and on STV's miniseries The Scots Who Fought Franco. He lives in Leith with his wife Marisa.

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