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This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the Spanish Civil war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. During this time, history writing itself became a battleground, and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. Graham has provided an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how the effects of this regime continue to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond.
The Spanish Civil War was one of the pivotal events of the twentieth century. For many it was the prelude to the Second World War, for others the 'last great cause' where the prevailing ideologies of the time clashed in mortal combat. The complex nature of the issues and participants has led modern histories to speak of a 'series of Spanish wars' rather than the bi-polar 'two Spains'. Consequently, the Civil War has generated a massive, often controversial, historiography, and interest in the war has not abated. Rather than just another introductory history, Andy Durgan provides a clear overview and critical evaluation of the key debates and recent published research on the origins, outbreak, course and implications of the Spanish Civil War. Durgan covers: - the causes of the war - the course of the conflict itself - the impact of foreign powers and the internationalism of the war - the socio-political situation in the opposing zones - the reasons for Republican failure and Nationalist success - the nature of the emerging Franco regime. Featuring a helpful Chronology, maps and a Select Bibliography to aid study, this is an essential guide for anyone with an interest in one of the most terrible conflicts of modern times.
The years of the Spanish Civil War filled twentieth-century Spain with hope, frustration and drama. Not only did it pit countryman against countryman, and neighbour against neighbour, but from 1936-39 this bitterly contended struggle sucked in competing and seemingly atavistic forces that were soon to rage across the face of Europe, and then the rest of the world: nationalism and republicanism; communism and fascism; anarchism and monarchism; anti-clerical reformism and aristocratic Catholic conservatism. The 'Guerra Civil' is of enduring interest precisely because it represents much more than just a regional contest for power and governmental legitimacy. It has come to be seen as a seedbed for the titanic political struggles and larger social upheavals that scarred the entire twentieth century. In elegant and accessible prose, Julian Casanova tells the gripping story of these years of anguish and trauma, which hit the country with a force hitherto unknown at any time in Spain's history. Charting the most significant events and battles alongside the main players in the tragedy, he provides answers to some of the pressing questions (such as the roots and extent of anticlerical violence) that have been asked in the seventy years that have passed since the painful defeat of the Second Republic.
The study of the Quaternary ice age has revolutionized ideas about Earth system change and the pace of landscape and ecosystem dynamics. The Ice Age: A Very Short Introduction looks at evidence from the continents, the oceans, and the ice core records, and the human stories behind it all. Jamie Woodward examines the remarkable environmental shifts that took place during the Great Ice Age of the Quaternary Period. He explores the evolution of ideas, evaluates the contributions of the leading players in the great debates, and presents some of the ingenious methods that have been used to retrieve information about the recent geological past. In an era of warming climate, the study of the ice age past is now more important than ever. This book examines the wonders of the Quaternary ice age - to show how ice age landscapes and ecosystems were repeatedly and rapidly transformed as plants, animals, and humans reorganized their worlds. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The monarchs of the Tudor period are among some of the most well-known figures in British history. John Guy presents a compelling and fascinating exploration of the Tudors in the new edition of this Very Short Introduction. Looking at all aspects of the period, from beginning to end, he considers Tudor politics, religion, and economics, as well as issues relating to gender and minority rule, and the art, architecture, and social and material culture of the time. Introducing all of the key Tudor monarchs, Guy considers the impact the Tudor period had not only at the time, but also the historical legacy it left behind. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Humour has been discovered in every known human culture and thinkers have discussed it for over two thousand years. Humour can serve many functions; it can be used to relieve stress, to promote goodwill among strangers, to dissipate tension within a fractious group, to display intelligence, and some have even claimed that it improves health and fights sickness. In this Very Short Introduction Noel Carroll examines the leading theories of humour including The Superiority Theory and The Incongruity Theory. He considers the relation of humour to emotion and cognition, and explores the value of humour, specifically in its social functions. He argues that humour, and the comic amusement that follows it, has a crucial role to play in the construction of communities, but he also demonstrates that the social aspect of humour raises questions such as 'When is humour immoral?' and 'Is laughing at immoral humour itself immoral?'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The image of a job captures our imagination from an early age, usually prompted by the question 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'. Work — paid, unpaid, voluntary, or obligatory — is woven into the fabric of all human societies. For many of us, it becomes part of our identity. For others it is a tedious necessity. Living is problematic without paid work, and for many it is catastrophic. Steve Fineman tells the fascinating story of work - how we strive for security, reward, and often, meaning. Looking at how we classify 'work'; the cultural and social factors that influence the way we work; the ethics of certain types of work; and the factors that will affect the future of work, from globalization to technology, this Very Short Introduction considers work as a concept and as a practical experience, drawing upon ideas from psychology, sociology, management, and social history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Making good decisions under conditions of uncertainty requires an appreciation of the way random chance works. In this Very Short Introduction, John Haigh provides a brief account of probability theory; explaining the philosophical approaches, discussing probability distributions, and looking its applications in science and economics.
China's decade-long Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shook the politics of China and the world. Even as we approach its fiftieth anniversary, the movement remains so contentious that the Chinese Communist Party still forbids fully open investigation of its origins, development, and conclusion. Drawing upon a vital trove of scholarship, memoirs, and popular culture, this Very Short Introduction illuminates this complex, often obscure, and still controversial movement. Moving beyond the figure of Mao Zedong, Richard Curt Kraus links Beijing's elite politics to broader aspects of society and culture, highlighting many changes in daily life, employment, and the economy. Kraus also situates this very nationalist outburst of Chinese radicalism within a global context, showing that the Cultural Revolution was mirrored in the radical youth movement that swept much of the world, and that had imagined or emotional links to China's red guards. Yet it was also during the Cultural Revolution that China and the United States tempered their long hostility, one of the innovations in this period that sowed the seeds for China's subsequent decades of spectacular economic growth.
The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the abduction of Helen and the decade-long Trojan War, has fascinated mankind for millennia. Even today, the war inspires countless articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, movies, television documentaries, even souvenirs and collectibles. But while the ancients themselves believed that the Trojan War took place, scholars of the modern era have sometimes derided it as a piece of fiction. Combining archaeological data and textual analysis of ancient documents, this Very Short Introduction considers whether or not the war actually took place and whether archaeologists have really discovered the site of ancient Troy. To answer these questions, archaeologist and ancient historian Eric H. Cline examines various written sources, including the works of Homer, the Epic Cycle (fragments from other, now-lost Greek epics), classical plays, and Virgil's Aeneid. Throughout, the author tests the literary claims against the best modern archaeological evidence, showing for instance that Homer, who lived in the Iron Age, for the most part depicted Bronze Age warfare with accuracy. Cline also tells the engaging story of the archaeologists--Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann--who found the long-vanished site of Troy through excavations at Hisarlik, Turkey. Drawing on evidence found at Hisarlik and elsewhere, Cline concludes that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place during the Late Bronze Age, forming the nucleus of a story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into final form by Homer. But Cline suggests that, even allowing that a Trojan War took place, it probably was not fought because of Helen's abduction, though such an incident may have provided the justification for a war actually fought for more compelling economic and political motives. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.
Photographs are an integral part of our daily lives from sensationalist images in tabloid papers and snapshots, to art photograpy displayed in galleries and sold through international art markets. In this thought-provoking exploration of the subject, Edwards combines a sense of the historical development of photography with an analysis of its purpose and meaning within a wider cultural context. He interrogates the way we look and think about photographs, and considers such issues as truth and recording, objectivity and fine art, identity and memory. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
A vivid account of the literary culture of the Spanish-speaking Americas from the time of Columbus to Latin American Independence, this Very Short Introduction explores the origins of Latin American literature in Spanish and tells the story of how Spanish literary language developed and flourished in the New World. A leading scholar of colonial Latin American literature, Rolena Adorno examines the writings that debated the justice of the Spanish conquests, described the novelties of New World nature, expressed the creativity of Hispanic baroque culture in epic, lyric, and satirical poetry, and anticipated Latin American Independence. The works of Spanish, creole, and Amerindian authors highlighted here, including Bartolom? de las Casas, Felipe Guaman Poma, Sor Juana In?s de la Cruz, and Andr?s Bello, have been chosen for the merits of their writings, their participation in the larger literary and cultural debates of their times, and their resonance among readers today. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Warfare is the most dangerous threat faced by modern humanity. It is also one of the key influences that has shaped the politics, economics, and society of the modern period. But what do we mean by modern war? What causes modern wars to begin? Why do people fight in them, why do they end, and what have they achieved? In this accessible and compelling Very Short Introduction, Richard English explores the assumptions we make about modern warfare and considers them against the backdrop of their historical reality. Drawing on the wide literature available, including direct accounts of the experience of war, English provides an authoritative account of modern war: its origins, evolution, dynamics, and current trends. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The massive disorder and economic ruin following the Second World War inevitably predetermined the scope and intensity of the Cold War. But why did it last so long? And what impact did it have on the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World? Finally, how did it affect the broader history of the second half of the twentieth century - what were the human and financial costs? This Very Short Introduction provides a clear and stimulating interpretive overview of the Cold War, one that will both invite debate and encourage deeper investigation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
From 1789 in France to 2011 in Cairo, revolutions have shaken the world. In their pursuit of social justice, revolutionaries have taken on the assembled might of monarchies, empires, and dictatorships. They have often, though not always, sparked cataclysmic violence, and have at times won miraculous victories, though at other times suffered devastating defeat. This Very Short Introduction illuminates the revolutionaries, their strategies, their successes and failures, and the ways in which revolutions continue to dominate world events and the popular imagination. Starting with the city-states of ancient Greece and Rome, Jack Goldstone traces the development of revolutions through the Renaissance and Reformation, the Enlightenment and liberal constitutional revolutions such as in America, and their opposite--the communist revolutions of the 20th century. He shows how revolutions overturned dictators in Nicaragua and Iran and brought the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and examines the new wave of non-violent "color" revolutions-the Philippines' Yellow Revolution, Ukraine's Orange Revolution--and the Arab Uprisings of 2011-12 that rocked the Middle East. Goldstone also sheds light on the major theories of revolution, exploring the causes of revolutionary waves, the role of revolutionary leaders, the strategies and processes of revolutionary change, and the intersection between revolutions and shifting patterns of global power. Finally, the author examines the reasons for diverse revolutionary outcomes, from democracy to civil war and authoritarian rule, and the likely future of revolution in years to come. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
Helen Graham here brings together leading historians of international renown to examine 20th-century Spain in light of Franco's dictatorship and its legacy. Interrogating Francoism uses a three-part structure to look at the old regime, the civil war and the forging of Francoism; the nature of Franco's dictatorship; and the 'history wars' that have since taken place over his legacy. Social, political, economic and cultural historical approaches are integrated throughout and 'top down' political analysis is incorporated along with 'bottom up' social perspectives. The book places Spain and Francoism in comparative European context and explores the relationship between the historical debates and present-day political and ideological controversies in Spain. In part a tribute to Paul Preston, the foremost historian of contemporary Spain today, Interrogating Francoism includes an interview with Professor Preston and a comprehensive bibliography of his work, as well as extensive further readings in English. It is a crucial volume for all students of 20th-century Spain.
It was the stuff of Capa, Hemingway, Orwell, Picasso, Rodoreda, Sender, and a host of others working in Catalan, German, Irish and Spanish from both sides of the Atlantic. It is also very difficult to teach, not only because the Spanish Civil War is perceived as the precursor to World War II but also because it has been heavily romanticized. This collection of articles and resources cuts to the events and their real impact on history, literature and the arts and includes commentary on contexts, rhetoric, ideology, writing, film, music, iconography and the visual, memory and displacement. This stands alone as a series of accounts of the ways the war was and is represented, giving narratives of such elements as the memories of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the uses of allegory, but it is also particularly valuable through its lists of resources and course syllabi.
The enormous loss of life and physical destruction caused by the First World War led people to hope that there would never be another such catastrophe. How then did it come about that there was a Second World War causing twice the 30 million deaths and many times more destruction as had been caused in the previous conflict? In this Very Short Introduction, Gerhard L. Weinberg provides an introduction to the origins, course, and impact of the war on those who fought and the ordinary citizens who lived through it. Starting by looking at the inter-war years and the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, he examines how the war progressed by examining a number of key events, including the war in the West in 1940, Barbarossa, The German Invasion of the Soviet Union, the expansion of Japan's war with China, developments on the home front, and the Allied victory from 1944-45. Exploring the costs and effects of the war, Weinberg concludes by considering the long-lasting mark World War II has left on society today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This is the history of an unprecedented deception operation - the biggest KGB deception of all time. It has never been told in full until now. There are almost certainly people who would like it never to be told. It is the story of General Alexander Orlov. Stalin's most loyal and trusted henchman during the Spanish Civil War, Orlov was also the Soviet handler controlling Kim Philby, the British spy, defector, and member of the notorious 'Cambridge Five'. Escaping Stalin's purges, Orlov fled to America in the late 1930s and lived underground. He only dared reveal his identity to the world after Stalin's death, in his 1953 best-seller The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes, after which he became perhaps the best known of all Soviet defectors, much written about, highly praised, and commemorated by the US Congress on his death in 1973. But there is a twist in the Orlov story beyond the dreams of even the most ingenious spy novelist: 'General Alexander Orlov' never actually existed. The man known as 'Orlov' was in fact born Leiba Feldbin. And while he was a loyal servant of Stalin and the controller of Philby, he was never a General in the KGB, never truly defected to the West after his 'flight' from the USSR, and remained a loyal Soviet agent until his death. The 'Orlov' story as it has been accepted until now was largely the invention of the KGB - and one perpetuated long after the end of the Cold War. In this meticulous new biography, Boris Volodarsky, himself a former Soviet intelligence officer, now tells the true story behind 'Orlov' for the first time. An intriguing tale of Russian espionage and deception, stretching from the time of Lenin to the Putin era, it is a story that many people in the world's intelligence agencies would almost definitely prefer you not to know about.

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