It occurred to me that I knew very little about the actual History of the Spanish Civil War.
Yes, I was aware of many of the cultural references, in work
from George Orwell to the Manic Street Preachers. I read Laurie Lee this
summer. I appreciated Picasso’s
Guernica. I remembered that a character in The Prime of Miss Brodie had met her
death as a result of Miss Brodie’s endorsement of Franco. But as to what
actually happened, I was totally in the dark.
So, I browsed on Amazon, the modern Library of Alexandria, and
chose what I thought would be a succinct and informative account of the main
causes and battles. I could not have done better than this one.
It makes no claims to keep the information simple, which is,
in itself, a positive, as simplicity is so often a by-word for ‘dumbing down’.
It gives a very thorough outline of how the war began and how it progressed. It
also makes clear how its repercussions and reverberations had such an impact on
the origins and outcome of World War II and the Cold War.
This short introduction told me all the main points and made
me want to read more.