The Spanish Civil War and the British Labour Movement

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Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2008-08-28
Publisher(s): Cambridge University Press
List Price: $47.99

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Summary

This book draws on a mass of documentary material to provide a major reinterpretation of British labour's response to the Spanish Civil War. It challenges the view that the labour leadership ' betrayed' the Spanish Republic, and that this polarised the movement along 'left' versus 'right' lines. Instead, it argues that the overriding concern of the major leaders was to defend labour's institutional interests against the political destabilisation caused by the conflict, rather than to defend Spanish democracy. Although the main advocates of this position were trade union leaders associated with the labour right such as Walter Citrine and Ernest Bevin, the book argues that their dominance reflected the centrality of the trade unions to labour movement decision-making rather than the abuse of union power to achieve political goals.

Table of Contents

'The best that could be done at the time...': Non-Intervention, 17 July-28 October 1936
Breaking with Non-Intervention: October 1936-October 1937
The failure of the left: October 1937-April 1939
'A demonstration of solidarity and sympathy...': The Spanish Workers' Fund and its competitors
Opposition: Catholic workers and the Spanish Civil War
Rank-and-file initiatives
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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