The Best Books On The Spanish Civil War

The Books I Picked & Why

Spanish Testament

By Arthur Koestler

Spanish Testament

Why this book?

This book was written in 1937 by a British journalist who was visiting Spain. This was the year that Málaga fell to the Nationalist forces. It is the year that I write about in Spanish Lavender, a love story set in the Spanish Civil War in Málaga. Arthur Koestler arrived in that city when thousands of people were fleeing from the advancing army. His book gives an eye witness account of what it was like there, the military situation, the devastation and the evacuation. He saw it all and wrote about it. Later he was arrested and imprisoned in a Nationalist gaol in Seville and described his experiences. For me it was the most useful book I could have found.


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Blood of Spain

By Ronald Fraser

Blood of Spain

Why this book?

This is an oral history of the Spanish Civil War. It is a collection of interviews, essays and commentaries from people who lived through the war. Again, it showed what people were feeling and thinking at the time.


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For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Why this book?

It is a beautifully written novel and is based on Hemingway’s own experiences in Spain during the war. I read this many years ago and it was what first sparked my interest in the Spanish Civil War.


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Malaga Burning: An American Woman's Eyewitness Account of the Spanish Civil War

By Gamel Woolsey

Malaga Burning: An American Woman's Eyewitness Account of the Spanish Civil War

Why this book?

Gamel Woolsey was the wife of Gerald Brenan, who has written many books about Spain. They were living in Málaga when the Civil War broke out. This is a book of her experiences and the people she met then.


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Between Two Fires-Guerrilla War In The Spanish Sierras

By David Baird

Between Two Fires-Guerrilla War In The Spanish Sierras

Why this book?

This book takes a different look at the Spanish Civil War. It looks at the history of the guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras, where poorly armed men waged a drawn out battle against the Nationalist troops for years. It is also in the province of Málaga.


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