by Adam Hochschild
From the acclaimed, best-selling author Adam Hochschild, a sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War told through a dozen unforgettable characters: a tale of idealism, suffering, and a tragically doomed yet noble cause.
For three crucial years in the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world, as volunteers flooded to Spain to help its democratic government fight off a Fascist uprising led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. It was the century's first modern, total war, but it was soon overshadowed by the world war that it helped introduce.
Today, the Spanish Civil War is mostly remembered through just a few classic accounts: Ernest Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, George Orwell's memoirs, Robert Capa's photographs. But in Spain in Our Hearts, Adam Hochschild presents equally compelling characters and weaves their stories together to reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war. Through the eyes of Lois Orr, a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman whose honeymoon in wartime Spain turned into an extended stay, we experience the blossoming of Barcelona as a workers utopia, before its dark descent into Stalinist purges. We meet a Swarthmore College senior who was the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid; a pair of fiercely partisan, rivalrous "New York Times" reporters who covered the war from opposite sides; and a swashbuckling Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies who sold Franco almost all his oil at reduced prices, and on credit. At the center of Hochschild's account is an American couple, widely admired on the war's front lines, and their inspiring, heartbreaking love story. The Spanish Civil War was in many was the opening battle of World War II, and we still have much to learn from it. Spain in Our Hearts is Adam Hochschild at his very best.