by Vernon Richards, introduction by David Goodway
It was the revolutionary movement in Spain which took up Franco's challenge in July 1936, and this book soberly examines the many ways in which Spain's revolutionary movement contributed to its own defeat. Was it too weak to carry through the Revolution? To what extent was the purchase of arms and materials from outside sources dependent upon the appearance of a constitutional government inside Republican Spain? What chances had an improvised army of guerrillas against a trained fighting force? In seeking to solve these problems, the anarchists and revolutionary syndicalists were confronted with other questions. Could they collaborate with political parties and reformist unions? Should the revolutionary impetus of the first days of resistance be halted in the interests of the struggle against Franco or be allowed to develop as far as the workers were able to take it? Was the situation such that the social revolution could triumph and, if not, what was to be the role of the revolutionary workers? Originally written as a series of weekly articles in the 1950s and expanded, republished, and translated over the years, Vernon Richards's analysis remains essential reading for all those interested in revolutionary praxis.
Across seven decades, Vernon Richards maintained an anarchist presence in British publishing. He edited the anarchist paper Freedom, translated the Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta, and photographed George Orwell.
David Goodway is a British social and cultural historian. He is the author of Anarchist Seeds beneath the Snow and editor of For Anarchism, Herbert Read Reassessed, and The Letters of John Cowper Powys and Emma Goldman, among others. He is co-author of Talking Anarchy.