Thursday, October 4, 2018

Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 by Adam Hochschild
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When all else is said and done, America's refusal to help the Republic, while Hitler, Mussolini, and Texaco (yes, that's right), poured arms and oil into Franco's Nationalist effort, because the Republic was revolutionary and "red," with tremendous pressure on FDR exerted by the Roman Catholic Church, will remain in history as one of our greatest blunders. Like it or not, we "choose" fascism because we thought the Republic was red, and then, when Hitler moved into Poland, it was too late.

Hochschild has done a remarkable job of putting a human face on the Civil War, and the thousands of young men and women, from America and around the world, a number of whom were Communists, who understood the threat of fascism and decided to cast their lot with the Republic.

Those who made it home were forever tainted and held in suspicion, targets of the anti-red hysteria that gripped this nation, and still does - a most foolish, self-inflicted blindness.

Hochschild's writing is wonderfully clear, taking us to the war through the eyes of those who were there. Some of the best and the brightest put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom and hope - that Spain might well free itself from centuries of brutal feudal rule, and the cruelty of the Roman Catholic Church. But the western democracies, already afraid of revolution, and afraid of the Roman Church, refused to help.

If you want to know more about the Spanish Civil War, no better book than this.

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