Madrid 1937

Madrid 1937 : Letters of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade From the Spanish Civil War

4.14 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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First Published in 1996. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 624 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 40.64mm | 1,021g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0415914086
  • 9780415914086

Back cover copy

These letters will lift your spirit and break your heart. They will take you back to a time when 2,800 Americans took up arms and confronted Hitler's Condor Legion, Mussolini's Black Shirts, and Franco's fascist cavalry on the battlefields of Spain. Here are the actual letters that Abraham Lincoln Brigade members wrote home from 1936 to 1939. Here are accounts of their combat experiences, the love letters they wrote under fire, tales of the friendships they formed among themselves and with their Spanish comrades, and their reports of history's first saturation bombing of civilian targets in Madrid and Barcelona. It was the eve of World War II, and these men and women saw clearly the danger the world was facing. Now, both those who died and those who lived tell us their stories for the first time.
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Review quote

"Madrid 1937 is a crowning achievement. Not only are the letters living documents, palimpsests of flesh and blood and spirit, they are tender and wild flowers awakening our sense to the past and also to the present." -- The Nation
"The Lincoln Brigade was the only American Fighting force in this century made up entirely of volunteers... These letters from survivors and non-survivors reveal the fears and frustrations and hardships, the surprises, the ironies and the heroics, of any military front... What makes these letters special is that they were all written by men and women who had freely chosen to risk their lives in a cause they believed was worth it." -- Ring Lardner, Jr.
"These letters are the real thing: heroism and idealism from the folks who volunteered to fight Hitler and Mussolini before it was popular to do so." -- Pete Seeger
"The[se] letters are poignant, powerful, unforgettable." -- Howard Zinn
"We usually talk about war from the standpoint of Generals, but as these letters written from the field by Lincoln Brigade members show, the words of ordinary people who were actually involved are much more meaningful--both emotionally and historically." -- Stephen Jay Gould
"Collected from one of the most literate battalions ever mustered, these are the very personal dispatches from Somebody Else's War against Fascism that was about to become everybody's. Funny, sad, and moving." -- John Sayles
"There is no way to understand the present or chart the course of the future without understanding the past. Some would keep the past in darkness. Others would illuminate it, putting us in touch with our past and thereby helping us design a better future. Such a light comes from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade letters. Everybody should read them." -- Harry Belafonte
"For me, these letters constitute a remarkable and valuable historical document. They are wonderfully innocent, truthful, and strangely without self-consciousness." -- Howard Fast
"[These letters] provid[e] an invaluable insight into the well-spring of hope that sent forth these Americans -- a racially integrated, cross-section of our nation -- to prevent the onset of a larger war that would, in time, engulf the world." -- Ronald V. Dellums, Congressman, 9th District, California and Former Chairperson, Armed Services Committee
"The heroic valor of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade has been overshadowed in history by the rest of World War II. This book will help to give us the remainder of the story." -- Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis
". . . a memorial for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade more beautiful and everlasting than any monument cast in bronze or carved in marble or enduring granite. With these letters the members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who were able to pen them from the battlefields of Spain leap to life as full human beings with all their hopes, dreams and fears set down in their own words . . . When we are no longer here to speak for ourselves, the veterans who wrote these letters will speak for us. . . . our voices will be heard again and what we saw and what we wrote about in Spain will steel our children and our grandchildren to make a stand and to be able to say ultimately, successfully, 'They shall not pass. They did not pass. They never shall pass'." -- Robert G. Colodny, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh and veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
"Ranging from the incendiary to the lyrical to the borscht belt, the correspondance provides a rare glimpse into the mental universe of Thirties radicalism . . ." -- Lingua Franca
"These letters are an important addidion to the literature of the Lincoln Brigade." -- The Chicago Tribune
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About Cary Nelson

Cary Nelson is Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jefferson Hendricks is Associate Professor of English at Centenary College of Louisiana. Their previous work together includes the coedited Collected Poems of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion's poet laureate, Edwin Rolfe.
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Rating details

7 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 29% (2)
4 57% (4)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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