(Diplomatic) Historians and the Open Wounds of the Spanish Civil War, ,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 7 Issue 3, June 2013: 610-615.

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(Diplomatic) Historians and the Open Wounds of the Spanish Civil War, ,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 7 Issue 3, June 2013: 610-615.

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  organizations, actors carrying multiple passports, multinational enterprises, andforeign-run Hollywood studios, at the end of the day, it is difficult to discern tostate what, exactly, is really American about American culture. Sentences such as“Although[Theodore]ThomashadbeenborninGermany,hecametotheUnitedStatesasachild,andhewassufficientlyAmericantograsptheconnectionbetweenthe box office and classical music” (p.  101 ) sound like a faint hint to the immigra-tion literature of the fifties. Equally important, while uproar is a theme for Pells,resistance is not at all even though we know from earlier episodes of foreigninfluences in the United States that producers, performers, and unions oftenformed a seamless front in an effort to shun out foreign talent and foreigninfluences.Pells’taleofAmericareadslikeearliertakesofU.S.culturalimperialismturnedonitshead:Devoidofprofoundinspirationandneedfulofcash,Americanshadnochoice but to embrace modernism (read: European foreign influences) and thenadapt it to their own needs (read: publicize and commercialize it). This may beoverstating the point but it also points to a real gap in the literature of globaliza-tion: in all the recent tales of cultural hegemony and globalization, the UnitedStates has rarely been assessed as a recipient (read: formerly victim). Yet that story of reception began in sync with fearful discourses of the Americanization of the world. What is more, it echoes the behavior of other empires of import, such asSpain in the early modern period.Import may be one of the hallmarks of hegemony. Armed with analyses of  America as a global super power as well as a dose of antipathy to the great soup-bowl story of American immigration, we may not like it but it is a story that needsto be told. With a book characterized by a most entertaining prose, a keen eye fordetail,andahostofanecdotesandsmallerarguments,Pellshasmadethefirststep. doi:10.1093/dh/dht027 Advance Access publication on May 8, 2013 f r a n c i s c o j . r o d r ı´  g u e z j i m e´  n e z (Diplomatic) Historians and the Open Wounds of the SpanishCivil War  Michael Chapman,  Arguing Americanism: Franco Lobbyists, Roosevelt’s Foreign Policy, and theSpanish Civil War  . Ohio: Kent State University Press,  2011 .  288  pp. $ 34 . 95 . JoanM.Thoma `s,  Roosevelt, Franco, and the End of the Second World War  .NewYork:Palgrave Macmillan,  2011 .  243  pp. £ 58 . 00 Our understanding about relations between the United States and Spain in thetwentiethcenturyhasgrownconsiderablyinthepastdecades.MichaelChapman’s 610  : d i p l o m a t i c h i s t o r y   b  yP  a  b l   oL  e  on-A g ui  n a  g a  onM a  y2 2  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /   d h  . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om   Arguing Americanism  and Joan M. Thoma `s’s  Roosevelt, Franco, and the End of theSecond World War  , both contribute to that knowledge while still leaving room forfurther research and debate. Chapman’s analysis focuses on American society andits responses to the Spanish Civil War (SCW), and concludes in  1938 ; Thoma `s’sstoryline beginsin 1943 and deals moredirectlywiththe Department ofStateandthe American Embassy in Madrid’s, sometimes different policies toward Francoregime.Chapman demonstrates that not all American pro-Franco lobbyists were“Fascist Crackpots,” spurred on by a powerful “Catholic hierarchy” (p. xii), ashas been suggested by much of the literature published to date. In his book, hehighlights important nuances, such as the fact that “the Catholic newspaper Commonweal   opposed Franco, the  Catholic Worker   sympathized with theLoyalists, and the  Catholic World  ’s editor James M Gillis was critical of bothsides” (p.  218 ). TheCatholicfactormighthavehadsomeinfluenceonthedecisionofPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt to sign the Neutrality Act of   1937 . However, in the tumul-tuous domestic and international context of the thirties, there were other reasons,including the powerful isolationist sentiment present among the American peopleand inCongress after World War I, aninclination ofAmericans toward followingBritain’s appeasement policy,and Roosevelt’slack ofinterest in“decadent Spain,”in contrast with a sort of fascination toward “exotic China’s Chiang Kai-shek”(p.  81 ).  Arguing Americanism  explores the motives of U.S. citizens who defendedGeneral Franco with great zeal, devoting their time and sometimes even theirown money (pp.  42 ,  101 ). The anticommunist initiatives of protagonists JohnKelly, Meie `re Hildreth, William Forbes, and other liberal Republicans did not have governmental support,in contrast to what happened during the twenties andfifties Red Scares. These Americans thought that “what has happened in Spain[allegedly a communist revolution] can also happen in our own country” andtherefore, they reacted to avoid the danger of a similar revolution happening inUnited States (p.  40 ). Opposing them were those other Americans, who leanedmore to the left, for which the SCW was the  Wound in the Heart  . 1 Each of thesegroups built its own “romanticized, mental map” of Spain (pp.  106 – 8 ), idealizingthe favored side and turning a blind eye to the crimes which that side committed. The SCW encouraged a heated debate in some sectors of American society. It  wasfollowedcloselyinmajornewspapers 2 acrossthecountry,promptingpollsanddatagathering,usingthenewestmediatools.Inthissense,theSCWservedsome-how as a sort of rehearsal for the types of opinion surveysthat would be employedmoresystematicallyduring WorldWar II.However,itmustnotbe forgottenthat  1 . Allen Guttmann,  The Wound in the Heart: America and the Spanish Civil War   (New York, 1962 ). 2 . Chapman’s book appendix,  226 – 27 .Book Reviews :  611   b  yP  a  b l   oL  e  on-A g ui  n a  g a  onM a  y2 2  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /   d h  . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  isolationist sentiments 3 continued to hold sway over the American people as a whole, as evidenced by reactions to Franklin Delano Roosevelt “quarantine”speech and to other happenings prior to Pearl Harbor.Chapman examines how some Americans went from “villains to heroes,” and vice versa, in barely five or six years. Kelly was investigated by the FBI and con- victedin 1943 forhisallegedunpatrioticandpro-fascistactivities.Lateron,duringthe McCarthy era, his name was restored. In contrast, much of the AbrahamLincoln brigade—many of them related to the Communist Party of the UnitedStates of America—went from being rated as advocates for democracy to com-munist suspects, under the euphemistic name of “premature Antifascists.” 4 Clearly,therewasabattlebetweentwocompletelydifferentwaysofunderstanding what Americanism and America should be, which led shortly after to the “ColdWar liberal consensus.” This is a stimulating and innovative thesis, whichChapman brilliantly explains by using new archival evidence.Chapman assures the reader in the introduction that he does not identify withthe views of his pro-Franco actors. In some parts of the text, however, he forgetsthis promise and seems to accept some of the pro-Franco myths, which have per-sisted down to the present. He states at one point that “there was widespread,systematic government-tolerated anarchy and anticlericalism, culminating in themurderofoppositionleaderJose´ CalvoSotelobythePopularFront’sownsecurity forces” (p.  59 ). He also defines the  1936  coup d’etat as a “counterrevolutionary insurgency” (p.  217 ). He exaggerates the importance of the Spanish Communist PartybeforeJuly  1936 5 (pp. 39 , 74 , 249 ).However,hedoesnotforgettheAsturianrevolution of   1934 , provoked by a part of the working class in order to protest thedecline in the reforms launched in  1931 . 6 OntheimportantsubjectofthemassacreofBadajoz,whichFranco’sapologistshave traditionally claimed that the pro-Loyalist press exaggerated, Chapman ap-parentlyholdsanequidistantview.Theninotherpartsof thetext,heexplainsthat mostoftheargumentsofpro-SRjournalistJayAllenwerehearsay,critiquingPaulPreston and others. He then states, “historians agree today to point out that theNationals killed about   1000  people” (p.  237 ). He turns a deaf ear to HelenGraham’s comment that “Badajoz was undoubtedly a message aimed specifically at those in Madrid contemplating resistance” and Antony Beevor’s argument that “the nationalists exaggerated their losses in the battle.” As Francisco Espinosa has 3 . DavidKennedy,  Freedom from Fear  (NewYork, 1999 ), 399 ;GeorgeHerring,  From Colony toSuperpower   (New York,  2008 ),  507 . 4 . John Gerassi,  The Premature Antifascists   (New York,  1986 ). 5 . British military intelligence knew, from the interception of part of the Komintern’s com-munications,thattherewasnotanyplanofcommunistrevolutioninSpain,A ´ngelVin ˜ as,  LaSoledad de La Repu´blica  (Barcelona,  2006 ),  142  and  La Conspiracio´n del General Franco  (Barcelona,  2011 ). 6 . Julia´n Casanova,  Repu´ blica y guerra civil   (Madrid,  2007 ). 612  : d i p l o m a t i c h i s t o r y   b  yP  a  b l   oL  e  on-A g ui  n a  g a  onM a  y2 2  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /   d h  . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  thoroughly documented (thoughthe total number ofvictims will never beknown,due to mass incineration of corpses), Allen’s first estimate of around  1 , 800  wasmore probably quite low. In the region, Extremadura, as a whole there werearound  12 , 000  killed by Franco supporters versus around  1 , 400  by Republicanones. 7 Chapmanissilentonthefactthatroughlyhalfofallviolentdeathsinthespringof   1936  were due to intervention by government forces. Data at odds with the“government-tolerated anarchy” is cited above. As Payne wrote in  1999 , in someof the clashes between militants of the different parties “the number killedby Falangists was probably greater.” 8 He also ignores the fact that the July   13 assassination of Calvo Sotelo 9 —execrable as any murder—was not a random act,but rather one of retaliation for the murders of two officers of the SR, by aFalangist squadron the day before. By affirming these and similar notions without explaining the nuances provided by historians in recent decades, Chapman comesperilously close to repeating Francoist mythology, condemned repeatedly by pro-fessional historiography.Why such a biased use of available resources? The first reaction would be toconsider it as part of what Mario del Pero has described as “the risk of insularism”ofsomeU.Shistorianswhopayscarceattention“toanypublicationsinalanguageother than English.” 10 However, this hypothesis is proved wrong when one seesthenumeroustimesinwhichChapmandrawsupontheSpanish-languageworksof Franco propagandists such as Ramon Salas Larrazabal, Joaquı´n Arrara´s, Luis Marı´a de Lojendio, and Luis Bolı´n. Simultaneously, another pillar of Chapman’s narrative on the SCW lies with Stanley G. Payne, quoted throughout the book, who once said “the left destroyed much of democracy before July  1936 .” 11 Considering all the above, Joan M. Thoma `s’s appraisal of   Arguing  Americanism  as an “excellent book, of which one might only question the absenceof Spanish historiography on the Spanish Civil War” appears overly generous. 12 7 . Forsomereason,Chapmanforgetstomentiontheotherjournalistswhoalsoairedthenews(Mario Neves, Dany, and Derthet), but relies on pro-Franco story   The Legend of Badajoz . HelenGraham,  The Spanish Republic at War,  1936  - 1939  (New York,  2002 ),  116 ; Antony Beevor,  TheBattle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War,  1936  - 1939  (New York,  2006 ),  91 ; Francisco Espinosa , LaColumna de la muerte  (Barcelona,  2003 );  Proyecto Memoria Histo´rica en Extremadura , director Julia´nChaves. 8 . Chapman utilizes Stanley Payne’s works of   2004 ,  2006 , and  2008  but not   Fascism in Spain, 1923 - 1977  (Madison,  1999 ),  190 . 9 . Calvo Sotelo as the first martyr of the  Cruzada in  Josefina Cuesta,  La odisea de la memoria (Madrid,  2008 ),  243 – 46 . 10 . Mario del Pero, “On the Limits of Thomas Zeiler’s Historiographical Triumphalism,” The Journal of American History  95 , no.  4  ( 2009 ):  1079 – 82 . 11 . Stanley Payne,  The Collapse of the Spanish Republic   (New Haven,  2006 ),  368 . 12 . Available at  http://digitalcommons.asphs.net/bsphs/vol 36  /iss 1  / 21 .Book Reviews :  613   b  yP  a  b l   oL  e  on-A g ui  n a  g a  onM a  y2 2  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /   d h  . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om  Less problematic, but also less innovative, is Thoma `s’ book. He examines thepolicy of the U.S. government toward the Franco dictatorship from  1943  to theend of World War II. Of particular interest is seeing the divergent, sometimescontradictory, attitudes toward the Spanish  Caudillo  inside the American foreignpolicy machinery. The historian and ambassador to Spain during that periodCarltonJ.H.Hayeswaslatercriticizedforshowinganexcessivedegreeofempathy and affinity toward the Francoist dictatorship. On the other hand, the StateDepartment’s approach was in general much less lenient. Overall, one finds vary-ing degrees of hostility, depending on each agency or situation. AccordingtoThoma `s,Hayes’sclosenesstoFrancomightbedescribedasasort of “diplomatic Stockholm syndrome” (p.  98 ). During his ambassadorship, Hayesreplies to his critics by arguing that he just wanted “to keep Spain out of the warand eventually win her to the Allied cause” (p.  25 ). Was he really pro-fascist? Or was he simply a diligent diplomat, who temporarily camouflaged his democraticcredentials just to gain Franco’s trust and thus achieve American goals? The debate is far from resolved. One of the most controversial issues is that regarding Hayes’s role in helping refugees in Spain who were escaping from Nazipersecution. Thoma `s writes, “a more collaborative attitude by Hayes could havecontributed to saving more Jews and other refugees” (p.  127 ). Historian Emmet Kennedy  13 has stated, “I dotry torehabilitateHayes’reputation.” However,noneof these historians appears to have paid attention to the outstanding piece by Carlos Collado  Espan˜ a, refugionazi  ,  2005 .What does not appear open to doubt is that Hayes, like those other Americansdepicted by Michal Chapman, had a fascination for authoritarian regimes. Thisdoes not necessarily mean he was a hardcore fascist. Thoma `s point out that Hayesand the British ambassador to Spain, Samuel Hoare, concurred that, in Spain,power shouldandmustremain inthehandsofGeneral Franco,becauseotherwiseanarchy would prevail.Itisnoteworthy howthissort ofpaternalismseems tohavebeen quite resistant to the past of time. Thoma `s provides a comprehensive assessment of the battle for wolfram, whichlastedfromJanuarytoMayof  1944 .TheAlliesandGermanycompetedtoacquire,through preemptive purchases, as much as possible of the Spanish production of this mineral, a war material that Secretary of State Cordell Hull’s defined as “steelthat killed our soldiers” (p.  96 ). However, combined pressures from the Americanand British governments proved not to be very successful. Some smugglers con-tinued to send wolfram to Germany, in spite of the Allies’ vigilance. By avoidinganswers and delaying the implementation of ultimatums, the Franco regime 13 . EmmetKennedy,“AmbassadorCarltonJ.H.Hayes’sWartimeDiplomacy:MakingSpaina Haven from Hitler,”  Diplomatic History  36 , no.  2  ( 2012 ):  237 – 260 . Kennedy’s use of Francoist propaganda material should have been corroborated more thoroughly. 614  : d i p l o m a t i c h i s t o r y   b  yP  a  b l   oL  e  on-A g ui  n a  g a  onM a  y2 2  ,2  0 1  3 h  t   t   p :  /   /   d h  . oxf   or  d  j   o ur n a l   s  . or  g /  D o wnl   o a  d  e  d f  r  om
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