The Battle for Spain: 
The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

“All in all, perhaps the best general work on the war to be published in the last decades.” Rafael Núñez Florencio, El Mundo
“The Battle for Spain looks likely to become the standard account of the conflict for at least the next generation.” London Review of Books
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A prototype version of this book was researched in the late 1970s soon after the death of General Franco and was published in 1982. So much new material has emerged in the intervening 23 years and so many new archive documents have become available, that a new attempt became necessary.

The impulse for this transformation came from the Spanish publisher of Stalingrad and Berlin, Gonzalo Pontón, the founder and headof Crítica which over the last thirty years has published more major works of history than almost all the other Spanish houses put together. He wanted a new general history for the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 2006. La Guerra Civil Española was published in Spain in September 2005 and became the No 1 Bestseller for the next three months. After five months in the top ten, it sold more than 50,000 copies in hardback. In December 2005, the book received the La Vanguardia prize for non-fiction. The book has been a top ten bestseller in seven countries.

For all non-Spanish editions the original synopsis of the country’s history has been included as a very brief reminder for readers. The structure and the general approach also remain more or less the same. The real difference lies in the detail from new sources, both Spanish and from foreign archives.

The Spanish Civil War, even after all these years, remains one of the most passionately debated conflicts of modern times. Many see it as the opening round of the Second World War. Some supporters of the Republic still believe that a victory of the left in Spain would have defeated fascism and saved Europe from the horrors to come. Nationalists, on the other hand, argue that the civil war, almost a world war by proxy, was in fact the opening round of the Cold War between western civilisation and Soviet dictatorship. This book charts not only the course of the war in a fresh light, but illuminates the vicious infighting on both sides. The hopes and fears of a whole generation foundered in disillusionment and despair at the collapse of the Spanish Republic, under the onslaught of General Franco’s forces supported by the Nazi Condor Legion and Mussolini’s intevention with ground and air forces.

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“A book which reads extraordinarily well, (and this should be no surprise to those who know his very famous Stalingrad and Berlin), both for new readers as well as for those who already know the immense bibliography on the Civil War. From the very first moment, Beevor recreates the political climate of the period as if it were a present compelling for everyone. Problems are debated and destinies played out which affect us and which are important to us. The structure of the book, the rhythm of the action, the insights on the characters, the white terror, the red terror, the revolution and the political infighting, the foreign intervention: all, despite belonging to that ‘other country’ [of the past], puts us right back in the war amid the flames of those years. Yet it is in his account of the military operations that Beevor is at his most brilliant. . . . This book is destined for the first rank of general histories of the Civil War.” Santos Juliá, El País
“His narrative capacity, which has fascinated his readers since Stalingrad, is confirmed once again in this book, which will contribute, without doubt, to constructing the historical memory of the civil war which we need: a non-sectarian memory, broad and deep, which covers all sides of the miasma and which explores the reasons which led to to that sleep of the reason which was our last civil war.” Ricardo García Cárcel, ABC
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Spain Editorial Crítica
United Kingdom Weidenfeld & Nicolson
United States Penguin Putnam Inc.
Norway N.W. Damm & Son AS
France Calmann-Lévy
Germany C. Bertelsman
Portugal Bertrand Editora Lda,
Italy RCS Libri S.p.A./Rizzoli
Finland Werner Soderstrom
Denmark Lindhardt & Ringhof
Sweden Historiska Media
Netherlands Ambo-Anthos
Brazil Editorial Record
Poland Znak
Greece Govostis Publishing S.A.
Korea Gyoyangin Publishers