CategoriesModern History/Current Affairs LAST DAYS OF THE SPANISH REPUBLIC


PAUL PRESTON    Book Number: 81909    Product format: Hardback

As well as having received a CBE from the Queen, Paul Preston has also had bestowed upon him two similar orders of merit by King Juan Carlos. Principal of Spanish Studies at the LSE, he is also author of several of the world's most highly regarded studies of Spain since the Civil War - to which we must add this volume, the story of an avoidable humanitarian tragedy that cost thousands of lives and ruined tens of thousands more. He centres on the roles of three individuals in the final days of the Civil War. One of them, the Socialist Prime Minister Dr Juan Negrin, tried to prevent disaster. Another, Julian Besteiro, also a Socialist but from the right-wing of the party, is adjudged guilty of culpable naivety for allowing the real villain of the piece, the arrogant, narcissistic and eternally malcontent Colonel Segismundo Casado to undermine Negrin's government. He claimed, like Franco and Mola had done previously, that the Republican government were merely a puppet of Moscow and that a Communist coup was imminent. His ambition was to be the man who ended the Civil War, but instead he caused the Republic to end in catastrophe and shame. He ensured that Negrin's attempts to negotiate an honourable peace were thwarted and a bitter conflict erupted in Madrid in March 1939 which saw over 2,000 killed. Franco went on the claim victory and then pursued a ruthless policy of revenge that saw thousands of Republicans executed and hundreds of thousands imprisoned and had major implications for the rest of the world as he, while officially neutral, aided the Axis powers during the first half of WWII. Here Preston tells this shocking story for the first time in English, an often harrowing tale of how lust for power, inhumanity, naivety and poor decision-making can so easily lead to tragedy. 400pp with b/w photos. First edition of 2016.
Published price: £25
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ISBN 9780008163402
Browse these categories as well: Modern History/Current Affairs, War & Militaria, First Editions

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