The ability of communism, its allies and associated opportunists to appear as chic and intellectually fashionable – at least among the feeble-minded and the easily impressionable – has always been one of its strong suits especially since the advent of mass media and its ability to deceive. While the morally and intellectually crippled like Norman Bethune and Ernest Hemingway would forever by swayed to the left by the war the brighter and more able thinkers like George Orwell and John Dos Passos would come to realize that if the right did not have the answers the left wasn’t even asking the right questions. We have just gone through our most recent orgy of this kind of nonsense where an avowed communist and practising terrorist has been buried with all the pomp and circumstance of a great statesman. When – or for that matter if – the masses will ever learn discernment are questions that turn the hair grey of those who have.
Facing fascism : New York and the Spanish Civil War Peter N. Carroll & James D. Fernandez, editors New York : Museum of the City of New York : NYU Press, c 2007 Softcover. vii, 223 p. : ill. ; 26 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 206-207) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936, loosely affiliated groups of writers, artists, and other individuals sympathetic to the communist cause emerged in New York City to give voice to anti-fascist sentiment by supporting the Spanish Republic. Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War examines the participation of New Yorkers in the political struggles and armed conflict that many historians consider a critical precursor to World War II.
Nearly half of the 2,800 Americans who volunteered to fight in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade against Generalissimo Francisco Franco came from the New York area. Fundraising, propaganda, and deployment for anti-fascists everywhere in America were orchestrated through New York City. At the same time, powerful voices in New York expressed sympathy for the anti-communist side.
The fighting in Spain brought to the surface the complex ideological and ethnic identities always present in New York politics. Facing Fascism examines the full range of this experience, including that of the New Yorkers who supported Franco. It addresses the role of doctors, nurses, and social workers who left New York hospitals to provide assistance to the defenders of the Spanish Republic, as well as those who remained active on the home front. The book also describes the involvement of students in the war, the key role of writers and the media, and the contributions made by members of New York’s art and theater communities.
Facing Fascism serves as the catalog to an exhibition of the same name appearing at the Museum of the City of New York. The book and exhibition both make use of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives’ extensive holdings, which range from historical documents to video recordings of oral histories. Numerous other libraries, archives, museums, and private collectors have also been consulted to make this the most complete exhibition of its kind ever mounted. The exhibition also appeared in Spain.