Spanish Civil War by Burnett Bolloten
Revolution and Counterrevolution

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Synopsis

This monumental book offers a comprehensive history and analysis of Republican political life during the Spanish Civil War. Completed by Burnett Bolloten just before his death in 1987, The Spanish Civil War is the culmination of fifty years of dedicated and painstaking research. While Bolloten's earlier works -- The Grand Camouflage (1961) and The Spanish Revolution (1979) -- ended with the controversial events in May 1937, The Spanish Civil War covers the entire period from 1936 to 1939 and is the most exhaustive study on the subject in any language. It will be regarded as the authoritative political history of the war and an indispensable encyclopedic guide to Republican affairs during the Spanish conflict.

Using extensive documentation from a vast collection of primary sources that he accumulated over the years, Bolloten develops two general themes. First, he meticulously charts the depth and scope of the popular revolution unleashed by the July 1936 military rebellion, showing that -- despite elaborate attempts by some Republican groups to minimize its significance -- the revolution dramatically reshaped the architecture of politics in the Republican zone. Revolutionary committees sprang up in countless villages and towns, creating new structures of economic and political power, largely controlled and directed by workers' organizations.

Second, Bolloten argues that the fierce struggle for political hegemony on the left led to the rise in power and influence of the Spanish Communist party. He documents precisely how the Communists managed either to eliminate or absorb their opponents on the left, including Anarchosyndicalists, dissident Marxists, Socialists, and liberal Republicans. Backed by the prestige and material resources of the Soviet Union, the Communists gained decisive control over nearly every phase of public life. Underpinning Bolloten's analysis of the Communists' rise to prominence is his carefully researched discussion of international diplomacy during this period.
 

About Burnett Bolloten

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Burnett Bolloten (1909-1987) was a United Press correspondent in Spain during the war, and it was then that he began his lifelong practice of collecting original documents relating to the conflict. By invitation, he was a lecturer and director of research on the Spanish Civil War and revolution, for three years, at the Institute for Hispanic and Lusa-Brazilian Studies at Stanford University.
 
Published February 25, 1991 by The University of North Carolina Press. 1108 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Spanish Civil War

The New York Review of Books

While he and his comrades may have thought at the time that they were fighting to save a democratic government, or were taking part in the first battle of the coming World War against Nazism, the real reason they were in Spain was that Joseph Stalin desired something different: to give limited ai...

Jun 25 1987 | Read Full Review of Spanish Civil War: Revolution...

The New York Review of Books

In Bernard Knox’s affecting review of Burnett Bolloten’s The Spanish Revolution: The Left and the Struggle for Power During the Civil War [NYR, November 6], he, like so many before him, asserts his agreement with Bolloten’s factual presentation of the Communist destruction of the social revolutio...

Apr 16 1981 | Read Full Review of Spanish Civil War: Revolution...

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