Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Rowman & Littlefield International
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-78348-368-6 • Hardback • July 2016 • $147.00 • (£113.00)
978-1-78348-369-3 • Paperback • February 2018 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-78348-370-9 • eBook • July 2016 • $42.50 • (£33.00)
Ruth Sanz Sabido is Reader in Media and Social Inequality at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.
Acknowledgements / List of Illustrations / List of Tables / Participants / 1. Introduction: Memory, Conflict and the Rural Context / 2. Memory, Politics and Lived Experience / 3. Critical Ethnography of Memory / 4. ‘There was no war here’: Repression and the Civil War / 5. Class, Ideology and Local Community / 6. Rojas: Women and the Anti-Fascist Struggle / 7. Final Remarks: From Local Memories to Spain’s Politics of Oblivion / References / Index
With thousands of books published on the Spanish Civil War, Sanz Sabido’s twist is to preserve memories of residents of the small Andalusian village of Arroyomolinos de León to challenge the war’s contemporary legacy. Using memory studies, critical ethnography, and oral history, 22 in-depth interviews capture ordinary people’s recollections of local events to confront the official, state-sponsored construction of public memory about the bloody conflict. Emotionally charged accounts of active and passive resistance give a rural perspective on Franco forces’ repressive acts of accusations, arrests, internments, and executions. Local customs, traditional moral expectations, and close social networks where accusations and personal grudges mix frame the villagers’ memories of day-to-day struggles to survive the wartime atrocities and years of hunger that followed. Sanz Sabido juxtaposes such local memories with Spain’s Amnesty Act of 1977, which effectively silenced official discussions about such contentious issues to assist the post-Franco transition to democracy. The book’s seven chapters advance hope that the Spanish state will eventually recognize the past and acknowledge its failures of historical memory.
— Choice Reviews
Ruth Sanz Sabido recovers the stifled voices of the victims of fascism and excavates the buried trauma of past and present generations in a powerful monograph based on first- and second-hand testimonies of survivors in a small village in southern Spain. [The author] nobly illuminates the dark origins of Spanish fascism in a compelling microcosmic study – one that will hopefully turn the historiography further toward the resurrection of politically interred remembrances and ultimately realign history with veracity.
— LSE Review of Books
In this reflective oral history enquiry into the popular memory of the civil war in Spain, Ruth Sanz Sabido offers us pertinent and fascinating insights into the now disappearing world of village Spain, where the war is still being fought over. But as her study reminds us, this war is not so much the one actually waged in the late 1930s, as the one made and embedded discursively afterwards by the victorious and long-lived Franco dictatorship, a regime whose cultural and social power has lasted into the present day. This theoretically literate but still highly accessible account opens up for us the granular texture of local life and language, while also providing the crucial broad explanatory context to the memory wars raging in Spain today.
— Helen Graham, Professor of Spanish History at Royal Holloway, University of London
Ruth Sanz Sabido’s book makes a compelling case for treating Spain’s collective dementia regarding its Civil War by contrasting the experiences of specific people and places with the myths created by the Franco regime and perpetuated by post-Franco governments. Her message comes none too soon. Time is running out for the generations that remember those experiences.
— Richard Barker, Spanish Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
In its analysis of oral testimonies, Memories of the Spanish Civil War offers a superb combination of scientific rigour, empathy and sensitivity. By recuperating silenced voices from a community that is marked by the experience of Francoist violence, Ruth Sanz Sabido provides an essential insight into the complexity of individual and collective memory.
— Ángela Cenarro, Professor in the Department of Modern and Contemporary History,Universidad de Zaragoza
Redirects the broad international and theoretical perspectives on the civil war towards a more localized and ‘lived’ approach
Offers an account of the conflict grounded in oral testimonies from the survivors, their relatives and friends.
Puts class struggles at the centre of the discussion with a particular focus on women in this socio-economic context.