Against the Current: Spain’s revolution and tragedy

The new issue of Against the Current has an excellent special section on the Spanish revolution, with peices by Alan Wald, Wilebaldo Solano and others. Contents and abstracts below the fold.

Spain’s Revolution and Tragedy

Introduction to Spain’s Revolution & Tragedy

— David Finkel, for the editors of ATC

THE YEAR 2009 marks a tragic 70th anniversary, not only globally – the beginning of the Second World War, which would claim the lives of tens of millions and give rise to a whole new lexicon that includes “genocide” and “nuclear weapons” — but also the final defeat of the Spanish Revolution and the onset of 26 years of fascist rule under Francisco Franco….

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Remembering Spain’s Revolution

— Jane Slaughter

ON THE SECOND page of Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell’s memoir of the Spanish Revolution, he writes, “I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I joined the militia almost immediately, because at that time and in that atmosphere it seemed the only conceivable thing to do. The Anarchists were still in virtual control of Catalonia and the revolution was still in full swing….it was the first time that I had ever been in a town where the working class was in the saddle.”…

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A Classic Study Revisited

— Gerd-Rainer Horn

The Revolution and the Civil War in Spain
By Pierre Broué and Émile Témime
Chicago: Haymarket, 2008 reprint edition. $50 paperback.PIERRE BROUÉ (1926-2005) was one of the few Trotskyist historians who carved out a niche in academia, though this career choice had to overcome many obstacles….

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Chronicles from the Front

— Reiner Tosstorff

Letters from Barcelona
An American Woman in Revolution and Civil War
By Lois Orr with some materials by Charles Orr
Edited by Gerd-Rainer Horn
Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009. 209 pages,
$75 hardcover.THIS VOLUME CONSISTS of carefully edited contemporary texts from the two U.S. socialists Lois and Charles Orr, who joined the revolutionary events in Spain after the outbreak of the Civil War, from fall 1936 to spring 1937. Two newlywed activists from the left wing of the U.S. Socialist Party, they had been traveling through Europe on their honeymoon when the news of the military revolt under General Franco reached them….

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The Journey of James Neugass

— Alan Wald

War Is Beautiful:
An American Ambulance Driver in the Spanish Civil War
By James Neugass, edited by Peter N. Carroll and Peter Glazer
New York: The New Press, 2008, 314 pages,
$26.95 hardcover.AT THE AGE of 32, Isidore James Newman Neugass (1905-49), a lesser poet of the Lost Generation crowd who published as “James Neugass,” departed New York City to spend six months mostly on the front lines of the Spanish Civil War. In late 1937 and early 1938, Neugass, serving as a volunteer ambulance driver as part of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, was present at Teruel….

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Introduction to The POUM’s Seven Decades

— The ATC editors

WE PRESENT THIS leading participant’s account of the Party Of Marxist Unity (POUM) as an historical document. The POUM was the most important organization of the revolutionary left in the Spanish Revolution of 1936-39. Its historic role is twofold: as a critical political and military force in the struggle against fascism, and as a target of the murderous Stalinist campaign that ultimately destroyed the revolution from within….

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The POUM’s Seven Decades

— Wilebaldo Solano

THE PARTIDO OBRERO de Unificacion Marxista (The Workers Party of Marxist Unification, POUM) was founded in Barcelona on September 30, 1935 in a small house in the Horta district. That was 70 years ago. The event was not public, since we were still in a phase of relative clandestinity imposed on the movement after October 1934, so we felt it prudent to limit the number of delegates.

Nevertheless, the delegates were very representative and included Joaquin Maurín and Andreu Nin. Their mission was to elect an Executive Committee and prepare a Congress of the new organization….

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