The tragedy that devastated Spain for 33 months from July 1936 to April 1939, was, first and foremost, a brutal fratricidal conflict, the product of the fatal clash between diametrically opposed views of Spain and an attempt to settle crucial issues which had divided Spaniards for generations: agrarian reform, recognition of the identity of the historical regions (Catalonia, the Basque Country), and the roles of the Catholic Church and the armed forces in a modern state. Being a war between Spaniards, it was particularly brutal, but it was also part of the broader move toward war in Europe and thus sucked in many “volunteers” from abroad. And it left a deep imprint since General Francisco Franco remained at the helm of the country until his death in 1975.
The Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Civil war covers the history of the war, first through a long chronology, which highlights the major steps from the incubation to the conclusion. The overall situation is summed up in the introduction. Then the dictionary section fleshes it out, with over 600 entries on persons, places, events, institutions, battles, and campaigns. More reading can be found in an extensive bibliography. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the Spanish Civil War.
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Francisco J. Romero Salvado, who grew up and did his earlier education in Spain, is presently a professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Bristol University. His field of specialization is Spain from the late 19th century to the 1930s, and in particular organized labor, liberal and authoritarian politics, Catalan nationalism, and the Spanish Civil War, on which he is a recognized specialist. He has written extensively on it, including The Spanish Civil War: Origins, Course and Outcomes and The Foundations of the Civil War.
Well-regarded historian Romero Salvadó examines the heartbreak of the Spanish Civil War in over 600 cross-referenced entries on people, places, events, institutions, campaigns, and battles. The vastly different ideological philosophies that violently clashed between July 1936 and April 1939 had ripples that affected Spain for generations. While all civil wars are brutal, this one was especially fierce and diverse in nature. Involved parties ranged from Soviet agents to Nazi airmen, from Catholic clergy to landowners, from American volunteers to Spanish Basques, and a divided Spanish military. This dictionary, part of the "Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest" series, features lists of acronyms and abbreviations, a nice set of maps, a good chronology, and a bibliography for further study. Examples of the entries included are the "International Brigades," "General José Asensio Cabanillas," "General Douglas" (the pseudonym used by a Soviet Air Force officer), "Francisco Franco," "László Rajk," "Catalonia," and "Catholic Church." Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty. (CHOICE)
The Spanish Civil War has been subject to many interpretations, both romantic and revisionist. This title seeks to “avoid taking sides,” as series editor Woronoff puts it, and applies its just-the-facts format of chronology and A–Z cross-referenced entries on people, places, and things to this “most unique and peculiar event in modern history.” Title editor Romero Salvadó provides insightful context in his introductory essay, noting that “genuine academic analysis” was not even possible until the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. A bibliography is also provided, including mention of seminal works in this area by Paul Preston. VERDICT: A solid reference work on a fascinating historical event (Library Journal)
The Spanish Civil War had a background that reached many decades into the past and was complicated by many agendas. This dictionary provides quick reference to people, places, and organizations for those studying the conflict. The volume begins with a list of acronyms, followed by maps showing the progress of the war and a helpful chronology from the formation of the first Spanish Republic, in 1873, to the end of the war, in 1939. Most entries are between a half and a full page, with cross-references in bold type. Recommended for public and academic history collections. (Booklist)
Francisco J. Romero Salvadó, Reader in Modern Spanish History at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom . . . has produced an outstanding reference work that sheds valuable light on a conflict that has not been well represented in the reference literature. Like the other volumes in Scarecrow Press’ series entitled Historical Dictionaries of War, Revolution, and Civil Unrest, this volume begins with an introductory section that includes maps, a chronology, and a general introduction to the topic. The bulk of the work is a dictionary with approximately 600 entries that are arranged alphabetically. The majority of the entries focus on key events, institutions, military campaigns, and people that were active within Spain’s borders. Individuals, such as Hitler and Mussolini, who were important actors but whose activities took place outside of Spain’s territorial borders apparently did not warrant their own entries. Instead, their actions are explored within the entries that are provided for each of the European countries impacted by Spain’s turmoil. A major strength of this reference work is the bibliography, which is more than 40 pages long and includes bibliographic sources written in either English or Spanish. The excellent reference tool is highly recommended for academic libraries supporting programs in European History. (American Reference Books Annual)
The Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Civil War is a welcome addition to the already established series of dictionaries from Scarecrow Press on war, revolution and civil unrest which includes subjects as diverse as ancient Greek warfare, the Zulu wars and the Holocaust. . . .The volume should be of interest both to the serious researcher as well as to the more general reader. Here the reader will find a wealth of interesting anecdotes, including the fact that General Franco, whilst banished to the Canary Isles before the start of the war, became known by his fellow conspirators as 'Miss Canary Islands 1936' for his hesitancy in initiating the coup d’e´tat against the elected government. . . .There are, of course, useful, albeit brief, articles on the roles played by the German and Italian governments as well as on the non-interventionist stance adopted by the UK and the neutral policy of the US. (Reference Reviews)
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