Between the Bullet and the Lie : American Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War Hardcover – January 1, 1969
Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
- Item Weight : 3 pounds
- Hardcover : 342 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0030764106
- ISBN-13 : 978-0030764103
- Publisher : Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1st edition (January 1, 1969)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Cecil Eby distills an incredible amount of information from sources in and out of Spain to bring a broader picture alive. Walks us slowly and compellingly through each battle in which the Lincolns took part. I never got bogged down reading about troupe movements. He keeps it clear and simple to read, sharply defining the men he introduces, and showing how their personalities, abilities and aspirations played into the war. Beautifully done.
Thus, what unfolds is a mounting disaster folded into a tragedy, where unprepared and ill trained foreigners show up to fight a war with hand me down equipment from earlier wars; old and out dated firearms, over sensitive vintage machine guns, most of which won't work, most of the time, even when they finally learn how to shoot. Worse, their officers---political hacks and comintern croneys to a man---had no more training than the soldiers who expected them to lead. In most cases these officers took quickly to the luxuries and comfort of behind the lines offices and applied political solutions to military problems. They ate well, lived comfortably, and when occasionally presented with the catastrophic results of their mindless policies on their troops, tried to fill the gaps caused by flagging morale, outright fear, and mounting dissension with propaganda. And when all of that failed, having all of the powers of military officers if none of the skills or leadership capabilities, they used their power to execute volunteers directly, or would send them to the lines to be "executed" by the enemy in battle---if not shot in the back by appointed Party loyalists.
And as if that wasn't bad enough...
Out would come the hypocrites, the so-called international journalists, including Heminglway, who also kept largely to the safety of the rear, often interacting only with the officers who of course only presented the positive image of what was going on, not the disaster for which they themselves were responsible; so much so that their "dispatches from the front" were little more than propaganda. Hemingway stands out for his own special hypocrisy---criticizing the men both during the conflict and after WW2---as cowards. Knowing nothing of the massacres at Jarama and Brunete et al, or having only the word of the officers, Hemingway repeated chastizes the men as having wanted to be heroic yet when confronted by real war got soft. That from a man who shot himself to avoid facing cancer.
The more I read about Hemingway the real man, the more I despise him.
Anyway, when the American volunteers finally got home it was to realize that the war was only part of their nightmare. As a volunteer effort from the start, there were no pensions, no medical benefits to be had as veterans---and what existed were handed out by ones dedication to the Party, not by need. And, while their leadship failed them both at war and at home----they then had to face the Congressional HUAC hearings, where they were denounced as being unAmerican for being to enthusiastically anti-fascist, and by extension, linked to known Communist organizations.
It's a dismal read, but worth it---especially as we see mostly European kids running off to fight with ISIS. ISIS is having more success than the International Volunteers, for now, but the readily apparent hypocrisy and utterly un-Islamic behavior of many of its proponents would suggest disillusion is growing among its volunteers, as happened in Spain so long ago.