War and Revolution in Catalonia, 1936-1939 (Historical Materialism Book)
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Pagès i Blanch demonstrates the extent to which the war was lost when the Republican leaders, in order to ‘unify’ the left against Franco and fascism, turned their backs on the social revolution. This translation of Pagès i Blanch's landmark study is the first full-length monograph in English to focus on Catalonia's experience during the war
intentions explicit. Two years later, in October 1933, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of the 1920s dictator, created the Spanish Phalange (Falange Española) after meeting Mussolini. The JONS and the Phalange united in February 1934, and by the end of the year they had clarified their tactical and strategic objectives, and their new philosophy would soon become the ‘dialectic of fists and pistols’.14 On the question of ‘responsibilities’, then, it is very clear where one ought to look to find
who was to blame. After the October Revolution, the path to conflict was irreversible. The first consequence of the revolution was repression: in addition to those killed during the events themselves, especially in Asturias, tens of thousands of revolutionaries landed in jail. In February 1936 the number rose to thirty thousand. In Catalonia, far fewer were arrested – three thousand four hundred in December 1934 – but they included the entire Catalan government (the Generalitat), even President
Around midday, the forces were ready to begin their march. The bulk of the column lined up between Provenza Street and the Pi i Margall monument. Commander Pérez Farràs and the CNT leader Buenaventura Durruti directed the preparations from one of the trucks distributing supplies to the militias. A military band from the Thirteenth Regiment helped raise the enthusiasm of the expedition’s members.
Tarradellas took his responsibilities so seriously that many years later he bluntly stated, ‘I created Catalonia’s war industry’.4 Indeed, from the Catalan war industry’s beginning until its end, Tarradellas played a key role. From his position in the Generalitat he did everything possible to make the war industry a reality. Tarradellas proposed the creation of the War Industry Commission to direct and regulate the industry, and he presided over 2. García Oliver 1978, pp. 205–6. 3. García Oliver
everything that determined the history of those two-and-a-half years of war in Catalonia. I have attempted to present this history from a perspective that is both critical and self-critical, that hides no details, and that makes no concessions to the heightened emotions this history stirs. This is not a book that makes any attempt to play to the gallery. One last thing. The 2007 edition of the book, of which this edition is a translation, has little in common with the Catalan edition of 1987. In