Caroline Moorehead

Farewell to Arms

Spain in our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939

By Adam Hochschild

Macmillan 438pp £25 order from our bookshop

The Last Days of the Spanish Republic

By Paul Preston

William Collins 390pp £25 order from our bookshop

It was in the Spanish Civil War that Martha Gellhorn famously declared that, as a reporter, she did not believe in ‘all that objectivity shit’. She had come to Spain with Hemingway and, like him, saw her role as supporting the Republicans in a vain attempt to force Roosevelt and the Western powers to lift their embargo on sending weapons and ammunition to government forces. The couple are just two of the dozen or so Americans whose stories Adam Hochschild deftly weaves into his excellent portrait of the war and of the men and women drawn to Spain by a conviction that this struggle between an authoritarian nationalist movement and a democratically elected government might present an opportunity to avert another world war.

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