THIS IS AN NJR, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS BLURB IN ITS RAW FORM.The response of the British left to the Spanish Civil War (1936-9) has stimulated considerable debate in recent years. A good deal of this debate centres around the nature of what some have deemed the 'Aid Spain movement'; activities undertaken at grassroots level in support of the Spanish Republic. The Spanish Civil War and the British Left takes the ways in which individuals acted in ostensible support for the Republic as its main theme. It explores the nature of grassroots support, its extent and depth, the motivations of activists, the institutions they operated through, their roles and the effects of their varying actions on the causes they supported. The role and effects of those within the British left who did not embrace the Republic's cause are also examined as are the consequences of these divisions for the labour movement at its different levels from grassroots to national. The role and impact of ideas on activism is the book's second key theme. Specifically, it examines the ways in which the popular (or people's) front strategy -to build a cross-party anti-fascist alliance- were interpreted and acted upon by grassroots activists and institutions. The analysis is primarily based on an exhaustively researched case study of the north-east of England, including oral evidence. But comparisons with South Wales, and other British cities and regions are also made where pertinent. By challenging a dominant discourse that tends to homogenise and sanitise, the book aims at achieving a firmer grasp of the complexities, incongruities and paradoxes of this topic. In doing this, The Spanish Civil War and the British Left provides new perspectives on an important period of twentieth-century British history, as well as contributing to key debates about the nature of the British left, grassroots activism, popular political engagement and the popular front policy in a contradictory epoch.
Spanish Civil War and the British Left, The
Political Activism and the Popular Front