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The Spanish Civil War: A History in Pictures

The Spanish Civil War: A History in Pictures

by Raymond Carr

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Library Journal
Dedicated to the International Brigades, Preston's The Spanish Civil War displays strong Loyalist sympathy. The author, however, still approaches his subject clearly, placing the war in the context of Spanish history as well as analyzing what forces compelled and shaped Russian, German, and Italian intervention. More telling, Preston avoids the trap of excessively romanticizing the Loyalists, listing their atrocities (democratic mobs didalthough very rarelyattack clergy), and discussing how altruism hardly guided the Soviet Union's support of the Republic. Also very effective are the many pictures, which offer a stunning reminder of how painfully democracy perished in Spain. The book's readable prose, sound analysis, and deft use of illustrations make it a good acquisition for libraries serving more general audiences. A complement to Preston's work in this 50th anniversary year of the Spanish Civil War, the Norton book provides a visual introduction to this tragic precursor to World War II. It does not duplicate illustrations in the Preston book. The editors have done an extremely thorough job of culling pictures from dozens of archives and other collections. All offer various ways of recalling the Civil WarGerman airmen perform calisthenics next to their grotesque divebombers, two brothers who had fought on different sides embrace in Tarragona, and in a famous Capa photo, a Loyalist soldier is captured at the moment of death. Reproductions of posters and other propaganda materials from both the Loyalist and Franco camps add further usefulness to this collection. English historian Carr has written a brief but well-done introduction to the book. Recommended for all libraries that anticipate a demand for material in this area; for libraries that can buy just one, Preston is preferred because it presents the fuller view. Ann H. Sullivan, Tompkins Cortland Community Coll. Lib., Dryden, N.Y.

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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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