Public support and governmental hypocrisy: differing British responses to the struggle of the Spanish Republic, 1936-1939 with historians Professor Paul Preston and Richard Baxell

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15 June 2024


Perfidious Albion: Britain & the Spanish Civil War: The book’s title reflects the first of its three central themes – the damaging hypocrisy of British foreign policy towards the Spanish Republic, a policy founded in the class prejudices of Conservative decisionmakers rather than British strategic interests.  The second contrasts that negativity with the selfless humanitarian efforts of many doctors and nurses from Britain, Ireland and Commonwealth countries. The third examines the political influences on major writers on the Spanish Civil War.

Born in Liverpool in 1946, Paul Preston is Professor of International History at the LSE.  He has devoted most of his career to teaching, researching and writing about 20th century European history.  He is best known for his books on the Spanish Civil War and Franco. 
Drawing substantially on new material, the ten biographies in Forged in Spain tell the stories of a handful of extraordinary men and women, explaining why they went to Spain, what happened to them there and the lasting, often dramatic impact the war had on their lives. While they survived the war, all were forever changed by their experiences. All of them were, in their different ways, forged in Spain.

Formerly Chair of the International Brigade Memorial Trust, Richard Baxell is a historian who has written extensively on the British volunteers and the Spanish Civil War. His Unlikely Warriors was short-listed for the 2013 political history book of the year.