Hell and Good Company: The Spanish Civil War and the World it Made
The Spanish Civil War in the 1930s was a precursor to World War II. Fought by the Fascists and the Leftists, it gave Europe a first glimpse of what was to come. This book attempts to put the Spanish Civil War into that context, and try to explain how it helped make the world today. Richard Rhodes explores the conflict through the eyes of those who fought in it, wrote about it, and tried to save people from it. From writers, poets, communists, and more; people from around the world flocked to Spain because they felt there was a primal need, a greater good. We see the conflict from the side of the Republicans mostly, occasionally getting a glimpse of Franco’s side, the people who felt ideals were a higher calling than life itself. In the end, Franco won and brutally crushed the Republicans.
This book just does not get off the ground. It tries to tell a grand, epic, story that just does not quite make it. Bringing in a lot of elements, characters, and events, Richard Rhodes can’t make them all work. So, what we get is a messy story that ends rather abruptly.
Simon & Schuster