The Battle for Spain
- The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939
- Narrated by: Sean Barrett
- Length: 18 hrs and 48 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 10-29-15
- Language: English
- Publisher: Recorded Books
Regular price: $34.99
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To mark the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War's outbreak, Antony Beevor has written a completely updated and revised account of one of the most bitter and hard-fought wars of the 20th century. With new material gleaned from Russian archives and numerous other sources, this brisk and accessible audiobook (Spain's number-one best seller for 12 weeks) provides a balanced and penetrating perspective, explaining the tensions that led to this terrible overture to World War II and affording new insights into the war - its causes, course, and consequences.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By B. H. Rogers on 11-22-16
Engrossing Tale of the Rise of Fascism in Europe
If you could sum up The Battle for Spain in three words, what would they be?
A lesson unlearned.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
The most important conflict you've never heard of.
Any additional comments?
The story of the Spanish Civil War is a cautionary tale about the price of government isolationism and stagnation in a world of social change. Old regimes lost their international sway as new social and political divisions began to reshape the 20th century world and as war-weary isolationism made strong international policy impossible in the western democracies. Ideas flowed freely across borders, eventually followed by money, soldiers and materiel. The West's commitment to non-intervention ensured both the radicalization of the Second Spanish Republic under influence of the Soviet Union, and their eventual defeat by Franco's Nationalist forces. This was the original proxy war of the 20th century, and it had long reaching repercussions for Europe and North America as the century continued into World War Two and the Cold War.
Antony Beevor weaves social, political, military and personal history together to create a wide-angle tapestry of the events of the Spanish Civil War. This comprehensive approach allows him to keep the narrative interesting without sacrificing content or context. The stories he tells are relatable, and you don't need a history degree to enjoy or understand this book. Beevor is also even-handed with his depiction of the warring factions. He takes time to show the failings of the Republicans and the human side of the Nationalists.
As others have pointed out, Sean Barrett's narration is a bit monotone. But to be honest, I didn't notice until I saw a review saying so. In a way, the performance fits. Barrett's measured, reserved tone matches Beevor's attempt to remain emotionally distant from the subject matter, allowing him to explore the history in an unbiased way. I never had a problem understanding what Barrett was saying, but I did catch a flubbed line that made it past the editor. Otherwise, his enunciation and intonation were perfectly fine.
If you love the history of the World Wars, the Cold War or the rise international socialism this book is a must have. It is accessible, well researched and well written. You wont be dissapointed.
If you want something with a more personal touch, try George Orwell's autobiographical Homage to Catalonia. If you want more American centric stories, try Adam Hochscild's Spain in Our Hearts. Both are on audible and are great compliments to Beevor's overview of the subject.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By elrak on 07-29-17
Great book about a history little known.
Antony Beevor always writes a fast moving, focused and informative book. This sad story is very engrossing and easy to read and connect from beginning roots in 1492 until the war starts in 1936 and concludes in 1939. The review of actions, what did and missed opportunities is excellent.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful