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Spain at War

Society, Culture and Mobilization, 1936-44

Dr James Matthews (Independent Scholar, Spain)



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Bloomsbury Academic
25 March 2021
Spain's principal and most devastating war during the 20th century was, unusually for most of Europe, an internal conflict. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939 two competing armies - the insurgent and counterrevolutionary Nationalist Army and the Republican Popular Army - engaged in a conflict to impose their version of Spanish identity and the right to shape the country's future. In its aftermath, Francoist Spain remained on a war footing for the duration of the Second World War.

In spite of the unabated flood of books on the Spanish Civil War and its consequences, historians of Spain in the 20th century have focused relatively little on the interaction of society and culture, and their roles in wartime mobilization. Spain at War addresses this omission through an examination of individual experiences of conflict and the mobilization of society. This edited volume acknowledges the agency of low-ranking individuals and the impact of their choices upon the historical processes that shaped the conflict and its aftermath.

In doing so, this new military history provides a more complex and nuanced understanding of Spain's most intense period of wartime cultural mobilization between the years 1936 to 1944 and challenges traditional political accounts of the period.
Edited by:   Dr James Matthews (Independent Scholar Spain)
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Academic
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9781350192652
ISBN 10:   1350192651
Pages:   280
Publication Date:   25 March 2021
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

James Matthews is a delegate with the International Committee of the Red Cross. He is the author of Reluctant Warriors: Republican Popular Army and Nationalist Army Conscripts in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (2012), which was awarded the Best First Book Prize 2010-12 by the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies.

Reviews for Spain at War: Society, Culture and Mobilization, 1936-44

Spain at War demonstrates a truly impressive archival grounding, and will interest anyone who has perhaps read the broad strokes about the Spanish Civil War, but is ready to explore cutting edge research at the intersections of military and socio-cultural history. For the scholar of Spain, it is essentially reading. * EuropeNow * An inventive exploration of military mobilization during the Spanish Civil War, Jamie Matthews' wide-ranging volume offers new perspectives on the conflict by examining the experiences of spies, conscripts, children, and other 'ordinary' Spaniards during turbulent and dislocating times. * Mary Vincent, Professor of Modern European History, University of Sheffield, UK * This is an impressive collection which brings together a significant amount of new research, some of it in translation. Above all, the book presents a new vision of the Spanish Civil War. Instead of heroic, ideologically-motivated volunteers we see a landscape populated by conscripts, deserters, spies and black marketeers, all engaged in the daily struggle for survival. This is a very different - and all too credible - account of a country in the throes of a devastating civil conflict. * Tom Buchanan, Professor and Director of Studies in History and Politics, University of Oxford, UK * A lively, illuminating and welcome examination of the little-explored links between society, culture and the armed forces during and after the Spanish Civil War. * Nigel Townson, Professor of Spanish History, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain *

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