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Blood of Spain: An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War download epub

by Ronald Fraser


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Ronald Fraser is married to a Spanish historian, Aurora Bosch, and has taught Spanish history and oral history . The nineteenth-century civil wars between Carlists and liberals were part of the long struggle in the overthrow of absolutism and the consolidation of a bourgeois state.

Ronald Fraser is married to a Spanish historian, Aurora Bosch, and has taught Spanish history and oral history at the University of California, Los Angeles. The relative strengths of the two opposing social forces can be gauged by the fact that these wars stretched intermittently over more than forty years, of which some sixteen were consumed in actual fighting at different levels of intensity.

Ronald Angus Fraser (9 December 1930 – 10 February 2012) was a British historian noted for his oral histories and in particular for Blood of Spain, his oral history of the Spanish Civil War. Born in Hamburg to an upper-middle class Scottish father and wealthy American mother, Fraser was educated at boarding school in England and the USA and undertook further studies in Switzerland and France.

Fraser's oral history of the period, if only indirectly, gives some answers to the reasons for that failure. The format Mr. Fraser has chosen, an oral history by participants from all sections of Spanish society and virtually all political parties, is an interesting way to provide those answers.

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Ronald Fraser was born in 1930 in Germany, educated in England, the US and Switzerland, and .

Ronald Fraser was born in 1930 in Germany, educated in England, the US and Switzerland, and has worked on Spanish contemporary history, among other things, for the past 25 years. He first went to Spain in 1957, living in the then isolated mountain village of Mijas, Malaga, to write a novel, published in 1960. In 1970 he wrote In Hiding: The Life of Manuel Cortes, an oral history of the last socialist mayor of Mijas who had emerged from 30 years of hiding after Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War.

Blood of Spain An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War. Ronald Fraser. A brilliant novel about memory, love, and the clash between the old world and the new, set in 1950s Spain. We discover what civil war, revolution and counter-revolution actually felt like from inside both camps. The contours of the war take shape through the words of the eyewitnesses. The atmosphere of events is vividly recaptured. He turned his back on the old man to mourn in silence this unnecessary death and his part in it; but the sight of the coffin brought anger instead.

The Spanish civil war is, for me, the great tragedy of twentieth century history. Blood of Spain is one of the most effective works of oral history I have read and one of the best books on the Spanish Civil War. December 1997. In quantitative horror it pales beside the Holocaust and many other events, but it has all the classical elements of tragedy: a combination of inevitableness and contingency, the gradual closing of possibilities, and human and organisational flaws aplenty.

The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 has been the subject of innumerable works from every possible political and military perspective possible

The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 has been the subject of innumerable works from every possible political and military perspective possible. A fair number of such treatises, especially from those responsible for the military and political policies on the Republican side, are merely alibis for the disastrous policies that led to defeat.

Book by Ronald Fraser

Comments: (7)

Hellmaster
Buy this book, but know it's a fairly challenging read (particularly if you make an effort to keep track of the regional and factional issues). If this is your first book on the Spanish Civil war, it might be worth getting a more general book as an introduction, or reading the overview portions at the end of this book before diving into the person-by-person account of the war. I think the accounts presented here do an excellent job of conveying a sense of 'having been there.' The author also does a good job of getting accounts from a wide variety of people on both sides of the conflict and manages to present an overall picture that is balanced without pulling any punches.

In short: I would strongly recommend it for anyone who wants a sense of what the war looked like to the people who were in it. I would be hesitant to recommend it to someone who just wanted a 'cliff notes' version of the war.
Dishadel
A "must-read" for that vanishingly small subset of persons who are interested in the Spanish Civil War (I know you're out there). I first became interested when I read the first edition of Hugh Thomas's history of this conflict back in the Sixties. Seven or eight years ago I read that book again, in the 5th edition, I think, and it all came back. I didn't know that this book even existed until I read Ronald Fraser's obituary a couple of years ago in the New York Times. I immediately did a web search for it; there are hard-cover edition available bu they're quite expensive. One Amazon vendor had a paper-back but it sold while I was thinking about it. But I left the order in my cart and ,lo and behold, a few months later the book showed up again; this time I jumped on it, and I'm glad I did. What a find! The description is a little deceptive: It's not made up entirely of extended 1st person remembrances. There's a lot of history with bits of testimony interspersed. Fraser uses a different font for eye-witness memory, and follows a group of Spaniards throughout the war. He, and some assistants, started interviewing survivors in the early Sixties while most of them were still alive. And what memories they had! You couldn't write this book today. I still get angry thinking about Franco. The fascist who won, killed all his enemies, and lived happily ever after. This book makes a great pair with Thomas's work; throw in Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia" and Franz Borkenau's book and one or two others and you're an expert.This is the most heart-felt review I'll ever write for Amazon and almost certainly no-one will read it. But when I think of all those poor people who died, and the years under Franco...Life in Spain in those times must have been a lot like living under Communism. At least we can honor those peoples' memory by reading about them.
Sennnel
Full, full, full of the voices of those who fought and witnessed all sides of the war. Extraordinary detail made possible by massive research. Rather than reading through a scholar's distant eyes, we hear the particular, sometimes narrow and restricted, thoughts and memories of the people in the streets and fields; we know their faiths and motivations and fears. For those who, like me once, think of the Spanish Civil War as being fought by only "two sides", this book is a lively and engaging education.
Llallayue
THE definitive book of the Spanish Civil War, an oral history told by the people on all sides of the war.
The horrors and the cruelty of the time are difficult to comprehend. The book, unintentionally, gives a greater understanding of Spanish bureaucracy today and the red tape that is so much part of Spanish life.
A wonderfully worded and set out book, the author balanced the diverse stories with fairness, which must have been an onerous task!
Alianyau
As the 70th Anniversary of the beginning of the Spanish Civil War is approaching this writer is reviewing some important works that militants should read in order to draw the lessons of the defeat of the Spanish revolution. The writer has been interested, as a pro-Republican partisan, in the Spanish Civil War since he was a teenager. What initially perked my interest, and remains of interest, is the passionate struggle of the Spanish working class to create its own political organization of society, its leadership of the struggle against Spanish fascism and the romance surrounding the entry of the International Brigades, particularly the American Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the 15th Brigade, into the struggle.

Underlying my interests has always been a nagging question of how that struggle could have been won by the working class. The Spanish proletariat certainly was capable of both heroic action and the ability to create organizations that reflected its own class interests i.e. the worker militias and factory committees. Of all modern working class revolutions after the Russian revolution Spain showed the most promise of success. Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky noted that the political class-consciousness of the Spanish proletariat was higher than that of the Russian proletariat in 1917. Yet it failed in Spain. Mr. Fraser's oral history of the period, if only indirectly, gives some answers to the reasons for that failure.

The format Mr. Fraser has chosen, an oral history by participants from all sections of Spanish society and virtually all political parties, is an interesting way to provide those answers. His decision to emphasize the rank and file and middle-level participants as they remembered those experiences in the mid-1970's rather than the big name leaders was also a wise decision. Lapses of memory and errors by the participants over time are obvious drawbacks to this format. As is the reinforced hardening of political lines due to the suppressions of political life under Franco. Additionally, from this partisan writer's political perspective too much space was given to secondary events at the expense of actions like the May Days in Barcelona, 1937. As was the attempt to be politically too all-inclusive and even-handed which sometimes confused the issues presented. Nevertheless, this is a book that militants should read in order to get the favor of the conflict.

The Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 has been the subject of innumerable works from every possible political and military perspective possible. A fair number of such treatises, especially from those responsible for the military and political policies on the Republican side, are merely alibis for the disastrous policies that led to defeat. Mr. Fraser's work reaches down beyond those perspectives to look at the base that actually fought the war. What he finds is the furious nature of the struggle in Spanish society between the old agrarian- based economy and the newer capitalist- based economy; the religious tensions caused by the breakup of the old agrarian society and the tensions between believers and church-burners; the struggle between centralizers and federalists which formed the core of the unresolved national questions, especially in Catalonia; the intense political struggles within the broad sections that supported both left and right, especially the role of the Stalinist police apparatus; the international ideological political factors that played a role, if not as erroneously assumed the decisive factor; and, finally, the burning personal antagonisms that in a civil war pit brother against brother, family against family, town against town, etc.. Read on.
Blood of Spain: An Oral History of the Spanish Civil War download epub
Europe
Author: Ronald Fraser
ISBN: 0712660143
Category: History
Subcategory: Europe
Language: English
Publisher: Pimlico; First Edition edition (1994)
Pages: 640 pages