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The Spanish Cockpit: An Eyewitness Account…

The Spanish Cockpit: An Eyewitness Account of the Spanish Civil War

by Franz Borkenau

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An interesting rendering of the internecine struggle for dominance which took place on the republican side (or the left) in the Spanish Civil War-(1936-1939). Borkenau an ex-communist and ex-comintern agent apparently made an effort also to get a ground level view of the other Nationalist (or the right) but was refused. In any case the book is heavy on analysis of the motivations of the various parties--their aims and goals not only just to supplant or destroy each other but what they intended to bring into the social and economic life of the country. Of course there are mistakes (some of them colossal) to be examined. I find Borkenau to be even-handed in his examination of all the different parties and often enlightened in his conclusions. I liked the book but is probably best to start with Antony Beevor's or Hugh Thomas's histories of the conflict before getting to something like this because with more time and distance from the event those writers could be more accurate in the finer detail. Even so Borkenau's book is written with a high degree of objectivity despite being based mostly on direct experience and his writing is very fluid and stays away from partisanship. Very good. ( )
1 vote lriley | Jan 3, 2007 |
Reputed to be an honest rendering of a confused political situation involving anarchism, trotskyism, stalinism, socialism and communism vying for power in Republican Spain. ( )
  robertg69 | Dec 19, 2006 |
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