by Robert Stradling - £18.99 University of Wales Press (2004)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780708318164 | ISBN 10: 0708318169
Many nations were involved in the Spanish Civil War, but in Wales it retained a special significance, representing a heroic saga of mythical resonance.
Wales and the Spanish Civil War brings a rigorous and critical analysis to bear upon this hallowed tradition. Though focussing mainly on the period of the war itself (1936-39), Robert Stradling also examines how Wales's part in the struggle was invested with interpretations more to do with politics and power than with history. He suggests that the message it imparted to subsequent generations was intended to strenghthen received ideas of ideological and ethical rectitude, as well as those of national character and identity.
Several chapters are devoted to the volunters who went from Wales to fight for the Spanish Republic in the International Brigades. The author draws in a wide range of materials, including recently discovered memoirs, diaries and archival material, as well as newspaper reports, literary fiction, poetry, the visual media and other memorabilia covering this key event of the 1930s.
The book will fascinate and irritate in equal measure, but will be essential reading for anyone interested in the history and culture of Wales in the twentieth century.
(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)