Book cover for Spain in Our Hearts

Spain in Our Hearts



06 April 2017
464 pages
Imprint: Pan


Hochschild’s contribution lies in the storytelling, his sure command of military history, and his beautiful sense of private hurt, which together yield original insight. An astute observer of contrasts, he navigates the hairpin turns between intimacy and barbarism, euphoria and despair, naivety and cynicism. The book effortlessly hopscotches from global history to individual – and emotional – experience.
While Hochschild focuses on volunteers such as Berg, he doesn't ignore the war's local dynamic and global dimensions. What makes the book so effective, however, is his decision to explore these complexities through a set of interwoven biographies . . . Hochschild tells nuanced tales of political awakenings and disillusionment, but also steadfast ethical commitment. He never descends into easy moralising.
Beautifully written with a hawk-eye for the telling anecdote, Spain in Our Hearts constitutes an endlessly fascinating and utterly unputdownable survey of the war to defend democracy in Spain that was not only the first act of the Second World War but also, for many across the world, the last great cause.
Spain in Our Hearts is narrative non-fiction at its very best. Hochschild's achievement is to make this trial-by-combat story come alive, as if it were happening now. It is impossible for a reader not to identify and feel compassion for those sons and daughters of America who risked and often gave their lives for a cause that could not ultimately prevail against the darker forces of Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin - and Texaco. A seamlessly-woven, unputdownable tapestry of war in Europe; intensely, unforgettably moving.