Spain in Our Hearts

Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

4.28 based on 412 ratings & 94 reviews on Goodreads.com

From the moment it began in 1936, the Spanish Civil War became the political question of the age. Hitler and Mussolini quickly sent aircraft, troops and supplies to the right-wing generals bent on overthrowing Spain's elected government. Millions of people around the world felt passionately that rapidly advancing fascism must be halted in Spain; if not there, where? More than 35,000 volunteers from dozens of other countries went to help defend the Spanish Republic.

Adam Hochschild, the acclaimed author of King Leopold's Ghost, evokes this tumultuous period mainly through the lives of Americans involved in the war. A few are famous, such as Ernest Hemingway, but others are less familiar. They include a nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman, a fiery leftist who came to wartime Spain on her honeymoon; a young man who ran away from his Pennsylvania college and became the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid; and a swashbuckling Texas oilman who covertly violated US law and sold Generalissimo Francisco Franco most of the fuel for his army. Two New York Times reporters, fierce rivals, covered the war from opposite sides, with opposite sympathies. There are Britons in Hochschild's cast of characters as well: one, a London sculptor, fought with the American battalion; another, who had just gone down from Cambridge, joined Franco's army and found himself fighting against the Americans; and a third is someone whose experience of combat in Spain had a profound effect on his life, George Orwell.

[An] excellent portrait of the war and of the men and women drawn to Spain ... It is Hochschild's vivid account of what these people witnessed that gives his book its edge. Many other writers have described the Americans who went to Spain, but few have brought to their accounts such an enjoyable and balanced mixture of history and personal narrative ... Hochschild is good at conveying the barbarity on both sides without letting it swamp the story ... fascinating.
Literary Review
Hochschild tells nuanced tales of political awakenings and disillusionments, but also steadfast ethical commitment. He never descends into easy moralising . . . Spanish Civil War history is a minefield but Hochschild has entered it sure-footedly, with great respect for those whose lives where marked indelibly.
BBC History Magazine

About Adam Hochschild

Adam Hochschild’s first book, Half the Way Home: a Memoir of Father and Son, was published in 1986. It was followed by The Mirror at Midnight: a Journey into the Heart of South Africa and The Unquiet Ghost: Russians Remember Stalin. His 1997 collection, Finding the Trapdoor: Essays, Portraits, Travels won the PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay. King Leopold’s Ghost: a Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa won the Duff Cooper Prize in Britain, the Lionel Gelber Prize in Canada and was a finalist for the 1998 National Book Critics Circle Award in the United States. Bury the Chains: the British Struggle to Abolish Slavery was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. His most recent book, To End All Wars: a Story of Protest and Patriotism in the First World War, was published by Macmillan in 2011 and is also available as a Pan paperback. His books have been translated into twelve languages.

Hochschild teaches writing at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley and has been a Fulbright Lecturer in India. He lives in Berkeley with his wife, the sociologist and author Arlie Hochschild. They have two sons and one grandchild.

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Books by Adam Hochschild

King Leopold's Ghost
King Leopold's Ghost
Bury the Chains
Bury the Chains
To End All Wars
To End All Wars

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