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Detailed, balanced analysis. Illuminates also why the war was a dress rehearsal for WWII as Britain and France gifted an opportunity to Hitler to hone his military killing machine in aid of the brutal Franco, and why Orwell was right to leave Spain with a dread of Stalinism.
Beevor is without doubt one of the world's best historians. His works on Stalingrad and Berlin have won him international kudos. This is the first of his books to make it on to Audible, despite several requests. The Spanish war comes to life and the inconceivable savagery, incompetence, neglect, slaughter, hatred and indifference which pervaded this tragic period are vividly painted. Sadly, although it is meticulously researched and brilliantly detailed, it fails as an audiobook. There are just too many names, the sequence of events is too convoluted to remember and eventually the listener loses the plot. Great narration.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Excellent and detailed book about the Spanish Civil War. Great narrator. Beevor goes into detail about the Civil War inside the Civil War, and Stalin's use and abuse of the Republican cause. A great book, very thorough, with historical, geographical, political and military angles well covered; yet it manages to stay at the level of human interaction and to be moving and reflective
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This book is for those truly interested in history...not the simplistic tale-telling rendition of history, but the authentic hard-yards of interwoven complexity. The Spanish civil war retold meticulously and so very well by Beevor, reflects the massively complex interactions and interrelationships that characterise human conflicts. This is not a book reporting 'broad sweeps' of occurrences. It is an authoritative record of what happened in detail... who, where, when and why. Beevor adds flesh to the sparse bones of what most of us know about the Franco period. The Battle for Spain is told in connection to post-revolution Russia and many elements of pre-WW2 Europe. Beevor weaves the competing ideologies in foundations which go some way to explain how the participants justified their appalling actions. I recommend this book to anyone interested in what really happened in and to Europe in the 20th century. It is an excellent companion to Beevor's 'Everest' of a book titled 'World War 2'. Bravo Beevor!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful