Features

In the footsteps of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion

July 1, 2012
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In the footsteps of the Lincoln-Washington Battalion

(Versión en castellano aquí.) At the end of 2004 a good friend  of mine found, by chance, a piece of graffiti on a wall in the chapel of San Gregorio in the town of Aguaviva (Teruel). It had been written on Christmas Day 1937 by Edward Muscala, an American member of the International...
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Posted in Essays, Features, Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

The Spanish Holocaust: Reframing the Civil War

June 13, 2012
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The Spanish Holocaust: Reframing the Civil War

Names matter. Paul Preston’s choice of The Spanish Holocaust, his latest and most ambitious account of the massive violence unleashed in the wake of the 1936 coup, is as polemical as it is well-pondered. It reflects a conscious attempt on Preston’s part to reframe how we think about the war in Spain and its...
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Posted in Features, Reviews | 5 Comments »

Justice for the Disappeared

June 13, 2012
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Justice for the Disappeared

My interest in Guatemala began when I was a student, when I learned that in 1954, the United States had engineered a coup against Guatemala’s elected president, Jacobo Árbenz, and installed a military dictator, beginning cycles of destruction and repression. A small guerrilla army grew up in the 1960s to challenge this repressive and...
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The Civil War Begins: Savage Coast (Costa Brava)

March 9, 2012
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The Civil War Begins: Savage Coast (Costa Brava)

On July 18, 1936, at the age of 22, the American poet Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) traveled to Barcelona, on assignment for the British magazine Life and Letters Today, to report on the People’s Olympiad (Olimpiada Popular). An anti-fascist alternative to Hitler’s Berlin Olympics, the popular games were canceled when the outbreak of the Spanish...
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The truth about Guernica: Picasso and the lying press

March 9, 2012
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The truth about Guernica: Picasso and the lying press

What inspired Picasso to paint his Guernica? The great cultural tradition that links Picasso with artists like Goya has always been the High Road towards the masterpiece. But exploring the Low Road of newspapers, pamphlets and street posters can also provide surprisingly rich pickings, allowing us to reconstruct a street view of Picasso...
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Teaching Human Rights and the Spanish Civil War

March 9, 2012
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Teaching Human Rights and the Spanish Civil War

As we begin the fifth year of ALBA’s teaching programs for high school instructors, we are detecting positive patterns in the anonymous evaluations each teacher is asked to complete at the end of the program. Last December in Chicago, for example, a male world history teacher indicated that he had begun the session with...
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2012 ALBA Puffin Human Rights Award honors struggle for accountability in Latin America

March 9, 2012
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2012 ALBA Puffin Human Rights Award honors struggle for accountability in Latin America

Two winners share the honors of this year’s ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, splitting $100,000 to continue their fight for justice in Latin America. (Read the full press release here. En castellano; order tickets here). Both Fredy Peccerelli, Executive Director of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation, and Kate Doyle, Senior Analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America...
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Fanny, Queen of the Machine Gun

December 4, 2011
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Fanny, Queen of the Machine Gun

Fanny Schoonheyt, the tall, blond “queen of the machine gun,” was the only Dutch woman to join in the battle action during the Spanish Civil War. Her life is shrouded in mystery. Could she have been the only female foreign official in the Republican Army? What was her involvement in the events of May...
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Luis Buñuel, chameleon: Revelations from the “Red Decade”

December 4, 2011
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Luis Buñuel, chameleon: Revelations from the “Red Decade”

Luis Buñuel: The Red Years, 1929-1939, due to be published next month with the University of Wisconsin Press (excerpt, order), reveals scores of unknown facts about the life and work of Luis Buñuel during a crucial decade not only in the filmmaker’s life but in the history of film and photography—as well...
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Buñuel and the outbreak of the war

December 4, 2011
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Buñuel and the outbreak of the war

Among the sources of information about Buñuel's activities during the first few weeks of the war: is a receipt signed dated 25 August 1936, for a loan of £490 granted by Leo Fleischman, an engineer from New York who enlisted in the Fifth Regiment and died in combat in October 1936.
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