To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Daniel Osvaldo Murgo
5.0 out of 5 starsIf you can't wait to learn about the Spanish Civil War
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2018
This book is a very condensed and simplified version of a very complex conflict; one of the most important of the 20th century. The book gets the facts right, for the most part, but if you want to read a comprehensive book about the Spanish Civil War I recommend "The Spanish Civil War: Revised Edition" by Hugh Thomas. Even though younger historians like Paul Preston and Helen Graham have also written comprehensive accounts of the Civil War, Thomas' version remains the most balanced. Even though Thomas has no sympathy for Franco he manages to present both sides in a balanced and fairly objective way. Preston and Graham are more "ideological", in my humble opinion. You can't expect a lot from a short book like this one, but it is a good starting point. Recommended. PS: Helen Graham also has a short book on the SCW: "The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction", also available on Amazon.
4.0 out of 5 starsThe Best Short History on the Spanish Civil War
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2019
This book is an excellent very short history of the Spanish Civil War. I like reading an overview of a historical event, when available, before reading more detailed histories. This book fits the bill. The writing is clear, logically arranged, and lively, keeping the reader interested. The treatment is balanced, pointing out atrocities on both Nationalist and Republican sides of the conflict. The Spanish Civil War is good to know about, in that it was a prelude to WW2, with both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union participating. It was a very complex war, with many different groups participating, especially on the Republican side. This short book helps to sort out all the players, and gives short treatments of the major battles. It would have benefited from including a map of Spain so that the reader could follow the path of the armies and the shifting government locations. This is the reason I deducted one star. Nevertheless, it's an excellent place to begin for those wanting to know about an important historical event.
5.0 out of 5 starsA Very Good Summary About a Complicated Civil War - Consider Reading Before Hemingway and Orwell
Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2019
This is a very good summary about the Spanish Civil War which occured just prior to World War II. There were numerous factions, causes, and other countries that were involved in this tragedy and this is a somewhat complicated situation. As with any other national calamity entire volumes could be written about this subject. However this is a very good summary and can easily provide a basis for further study.
In the past I had a very vague knowledge about the Spanish Civil War. This was the case when I first read "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and "Homage to Catalonia", in retrospect I wished I had a summary such as this available prior to reading those books. It would have provided me with a richer reading experience for both of these books, one a novel and one a non fiction. I really liked this product. Thank You...
4.0 out of 5 starsA short, concise and balanced introductory account to the Spanish Civil War
Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2019
Perfect book for a quick overview of the complex Spanish Civil War. Clearly balanced narrative that explains the conflict as Nationalist fascists (Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal) vs Republican communists (Spanish, Russian)/socialists/anarchists/democrats. Balanced in the sense that it explains the chaotic state of Republican Spain prior to the war and accounts for atrocities on both sides of the political spectrum, without minimizing or glossing over those of the left, unlike books (about all) by left-leaning historians.
Yes, Franco's 36-year subsequent military rule was brutal, with now well-documented imprisonments, torture, and executions. But then a Stalinist-type government might have been far worse, given our current knowledge of what happened to millions of Russians under his rule, the degree of Stalin's involvement in the war, and his supporter's role in culling non-supporters within the Republican government and fighting forces.
Franco's dictatorship avoided direct participation in WW2 and did provide some semblance of stability to a country which had been mired in chaos under a Republican government, fortunately emerging in the mid-to-late 1970s as a new Democratic Spain that's currently dealing with healing its wounds under his rule.
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
After many attempts to understand the intricacies of the Spanish Civil War, I can now say I do with the help of this concise and very informative book. I had been reading George Orwell’s book Homage to Catalonia and while good at describing conditions on the ground, still left me mystified about who was who as far as the principles involved. I can now return to the book with a much better sense of what it was all about. I’m confident that armed with that knowledge, it will be much more enjoyable.
4.0 out of 5 starsNeither Side Won, The People Lost
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2018
While this is a short expose' on an event that MOST people aren't terribly familiar with, it none-the-less highlights the issues where Despots from any side control the lives of its populace. The little bit of research I remember is sketchy at best, but the thing that stands out most prominently is Hitler's involvement in this country's affairs. The choice of a Hitler influenced rule as opposed to a Stalinist style of rule really left the average citizen with little choice other that to live under 1 Despot as opposed to another Despot. Sadly, the historical record is sketchy because both choices controlled the flow and content of information.
This book seems like a synopsis more than in-depth analysis of the Spanish civil war. That said I feel the author did a good job of writing in an objective manner in a time when stories like this hit so close to home with regard to our current political climate and polarization of information. I see many parallels of the world between the 1920's -40's and now. The past decade has seen a push toward more authoritarian leaders and cultural shifts towards ultra-nationalism. Trotsky said that history does not repeat itself but I say "it can sure look familiar". Well worth the read
5.0 out of 5 starsClear, easy to understand, extremely informative
Reviewed in the United States on May 5, 2018
WOW, an amazing and extremely clear description of the complex and brutal Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. Other countries took sides and were militarily involved. The Civil War was a testing ground for German military hardware, planning, and strategy, that were used by the Nazis during WW II. A must read.
One of the wars which shaped the 20th century, explained concisely, as might be expected from this valuable series.
We learn, largely via key battles, the tale of how a united and well-organised Nationalist force - supported by the aristocracy, the Church etc., and led by the ruthless Franco - took on a disparate Republican army, supported by Stalin, but weakened by in-fighting. The story-telling is balanced - outlining atrocities on both sides - and the war's impact on subsequent global events is outlined with great clarity.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the story is the extent to which the Spanish have apparently chosen to bury this painful episode. There are valuable lessons to be learned here.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 7, 2020
I like it the fact that it manages to convey all the relevant facts about the Spanish Civil War in few pages. Well written. Obviously, if you need to go deeper you have to get another book, but this one is an excellent intro.
3.0 out of 5 starsAn admirable basis for further improvement
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2019
if you want to review an abridged history of the Spanish civil war this is perfect for you. THe main issues however is a lack of depth or true observation of the events. inclusion of images would also help improve the experience of this book.However if you are a new to the Spanish civil war, this is the book to start
This is not an exhaustive history but an introduction to give the reader a good overview of an historical event which is fading from the modern narrative. A good foundation from which enthusiasts can dig deeper.