Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939
In 1936, Germany and Italy were in the hands of fascists. The government of Spain was in the hands of anarchists, who had a war against the Catholic Church. An uprising was led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco, a fascist who was backed by Germany, Italy, Moorish fighters and the Pope. Both sides were brutal in their opposition. Franco kept a photo of Hitler and his desk.
I was surprised by this book and what I didn’t know about this war and the world at that time. The only country to back the Republic against Franco’s Nationalists was Russia; the rest of the world stayed neutral. With the power of the third reich and German fighters, planes and arms, it was a miracle that the Republic managed to stay intact. The arms and planes they received were outdated and mismatched with munitions. In fact, in many cases, the Republic fighters had no weapons, food, or clothing.
This book details the Americans who fought in the war on both sides. The writer paints an excellent portrait of them, including, of course, Ernest Hemingway as he oversteps the role of a journalist to bomb a Nationalist train. For those of us who only know the war from his book Farewell to Arms, this book will be a fascinating and educational foray into world history.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt