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The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War

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Overview


“Peter Carroll has written with great skill and understanding the fifty-year story of the Americans who fought in the Spanish civil war. Never has the complicated and intriguing tale been told so fully, drawing as it does not only from survivors who can recount their experiences, but also from a wealth of original material, including the just-opened archives in Moscow. What is particularly fascinating is the account of the tribulations and triumphs of the veterans in the years after they were ‘premature anti-fascists.’ This is the moment for this book to appear, and one is grateful that it has been done so well.”—Peter Stansky, Stanford University
“This rare, this astonishing book—rich, authoritative, and moving as it is on its central subject—through Peter Carroll’s way of chronicling becomes something even greater: an urgently contemporary touchstone that helps us discern in our time similar contending forces in moral, not political terms—good against evil, might against right, means against ends. In a vivid, pulsing narrative, Carroll encompasses the historical context, the drama of men in battle, and most of all the haunting human beings themselves. But what can be found nowhere else is his account of the succeeding fifty years of those who survived, as they stubbornly clung to their beliefs in the necessity of action and the possibility of transformative social change.”—Tillie Olsen
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Peter Carroll has written with great skill and understanding the fifty-year story of the Americans who fought in the Spanish civil war. Never has the complicated and intriguing tale been told so fully, drawing as it does not only from survivors who can recount their experiences, but also from a wealth of original material, including the just-opened archives in Moscow. What is particularly fascinating is the account of the tribulations and triumphs of the veterans in the years after they were 'premature anti-fascists.' This is the moment for this book to appear, and one is grateful that it has been done so well."—Peter Stansky, Stanford University

"This rare, this astonishing book—rich, authoritative, and moving as it is on its central subject—through Peter Carroll's way of chronicling becomes something even greater: an urgently contemporary touchstone that helps us discern in our time similar contending forces in moral, not political terms—good against evil, might against right, means against ends. In a vivid, pulsing narrative, Carroll encompasses the historical context, the drama of men in battle, and most of all the haunting human beings themselves. But what can be found nowhere else is his account of the succeeding fifty years of those who survived, as they stubbornly clung to their beliefs in the necessity of action and the possibility of transformative social change."—Tillie Olsen

"Compelling . . . swift-moving collective biography of the Lincoln Brigade. . . . A richly detailed story of men and women who threw themselves into the great events of their times, holding nothing back."—New York Times Book Review

"Tapping new sources for the first time, this must surely be considered the definitive work on Americans who fought and died for the Spanish Republic."—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Carroll Keeping Time: Memory, Nostalgia, and the Art of History skillfully melds the simple brutality of the Spanish Civil War with the human complexity of the 2800 American volunteers who fought in it from 1937 to 1939. Known as the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, most of these Americans were Communists who saw themselves as liberators and antifascists. After portraying their diverse, Depression-era backgrounds, Carroll follows them into battle in Spain where one-third died and nearly all were wounded. Almost half had no previous military experience, and the oral accounts of 200 contemporary survivors tell heartbreaking stories of slaughter. Meanwhile, as the U.S. government stressed nonintervention, observers assessed the fight as a ``laboratory for the weapons of the next war.'' Surviving Lincolns returned as outcasts, facing indictments by the House Un-American Activities Committee, and, only through persistent idealism, did the Lincolns sustain their fight and maintain the right to protest publicly. Not until 1965 was the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade removed from the list of subversive organizations, ending 25 years of harassment. The breadth, depth and humanity Carroll depicts set this engrossing work apart from other juiceless war reports. July
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804722773
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 460
  • Sales rank: 620,345
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 1.05 (d)

Meet the Author


Peter N. Carroll is an independent scholar who teaches at Stanford University and the University of San Francisco.
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