Library Journal, July 2001 v126 i12 p109

Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War. Review by Zachary T. Irwin.

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* Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War. Yale Univ. (Annals of Communism). Jul. 2001. c.525p. ed. by Ronald Radosh & others. photogs. index. ISBN 0-300-08981-3. $35. HIST

Few events in the 20th century have evoked such bitter academic and personal controversy as the role of the Soviet-dominated Communist International(Comintern) in the Spanish civil war. As the introduction to this splendid collection of Comintern documents explains, "the difficulty ... has lain in proving the common allegation about Soviet intentions." This rich trove of archival correspondence between Soviet representatives and Moscow provides definitive answers. Perhaps least surprising is the obsessive concern on the part of the Communists with "Trotskyist" and anarchist allies of the Loyalist government. Comintern contempt for the Loyalist government and the "sectarian" Spanish Communist Party confirms Moscow's objective of domination before victory over the fascist rebellion. Indeed, Comintern leader Georgi Dimitrov advises that the "guise of defending the Republic" should not be compromised by premature efforts to install a "dictatorship of the proletariat." For historians, this correspondence offers detailed and multiple reports for the duration of the war. Soviet agents such as Dimitrov, Andre Marty, Ernest Gero, and Palmiro Togliatti anticipated Stalinist tactics in postwar Europe. The editors offer commentary that helps explain the complex panorama of the war and the impact of Soviet decisions on its outcome. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries. [July is the 65th anniversary of the civil war's beginning.--Ed.] --Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ., Erie