The Spanish Civil War
Hugh Thomas
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The Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War

Hugh Thomas
Modern Library
1136 pages
December 2001
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

The world waits with bated breath for WWII. No one knows how widespread this war will be or how long it will last. A few live in the illusion that there will be no war, especially so soon after the "Great One," but they are wrong. And those who know are afraid. From kings to trash men, all the world waits until Europe is sick of the demands of the mad monarch of Germany and fights back. Waiting for the match to light the fuse. Despite this, with sickening vibrations filling the air, Spain erupts in a self-conflagration that will have effects lasting for decades. 

Why, at the least opportune time, does Spain explode with violence? Is it because of all of the differing philosophies that exist within Spain (from anarchists to democrats)? Is it the machinations of Hitler, to better bring about the Franco government? Why is it important to know this? Why is what happened in one corner of Europe important to understand?

Recently, there have been civil wars in Rwanda, Bosnia and seemingly millions of other places, without cause. No reason for the sudden interruption of civility, with barbaric aggression; turning former friends and even relatives against one another for what ever negligible reason. Atrocities come out of nowhere, madness is the order of the day and no one can be trusted. Ostensibly, there is no build up to this, this is no crescendo. However, Rwanda and Bosnia were not the first times this had occurred; long before, all these things first happened in Spain. 

To understand the present we must understand the past. This is not a trite quote to be thrown around lightly but rather a mantra that should be applied by all world leaders. Hugh Thomas first wrote The Spanish Civil War in 1961 and, since that time, has updated the book with new revelations and material. Thomas’ book goes far in showing how all the diverse ideologies merged into the Spanish consciousness and also gives a basis on how this modern almost-utopia imploded.

Sadly true and horrifically blunt, Hugh Thomas’ chronicle of the Spanish Civil War is a MUST read for those addicted to CNN or who want to better understand the unfolding events of our time.

© 2002 by Kim Lightfoot for Curled Up With a Good Book

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