The war in Spain and those who wrote at first hand of its horrors.
From 1936 to 1939 the eyes of the world were fixed on the devastating Spanish conflict that drew both professional war correspondents and great writers. Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Josephine Herbst, Martha Gellhorn, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Kim Philby, George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Cyril Connolly, Andre Malraux, Antoine de Saint Exupery and others wrote eloquently about the horrors they saw at first hand.
Together with many great and now largely forgotten journalists, they put their lives on the line, discarding professionally dispassionate approaches and keenly espousing the cause of the partisans. Facing censorship, they fought to expose the complacency with which the decision-makers of the West were appeasing Hitler and Mussolini. Many campaigned for the lifting of non-intervention, revealing the extent to which the Spanish Republic had been betrayed. Peter Preston's exhilarating account illuminates the moment when war correspondence came of age.
Paul Preston is regarded as the leading historian of twentieth-century Spain alive today. Among his many works are The Triumph of Democracy in Spain (1986), Franco: A Biography (1993), A Concise History of the Spanish Civil War (1996), Comrades (1999), Doves of War: Four Women in Spain (2002) and Juan Carlos (2004). He is Principe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish History and Director of the Canada Blanch Centre of Contemporary Spanish Studies at the London School of Economics.