This groundbreaking history of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) examines, for the first time in any language, how General Francisco Franco and his Nationalist forces managed state finance and economic production, and mobilized support from elites and middle-class Spaniards, to achieve their eventual victory over Spanish Republicans and the revolutionary left.
The Spanish Nationalists are exceptional among counter-revolutionary movements of the twentieth century, Michael Seidman demonstrates, because they avoided the inflation and shortages of food and military supplies that stymied not only their Republican adversaries but also their counter-revolutionary counterparts—the Russian Whites and Chinese Nationalists. He documents how Franco’s highly repressive and tightly controlled regime produced food for troops and civilians; regular pay for soldiers, farmers, and factory workers; and protection of property rights for both large and small landowners. These factors, combined with the Nationalists’ pro-Catholic and anti-Jewish propaganda, reinforced solidarity in the Nationalist zone.
Seidman concludes that, unlike the victorious Spanish Nationalists, the Russian and Chinese bourgeoisie were weakened by the economic and social upheaval of the two world wars and succumbed in each case to the surging revolutionary left.