Arthur H. Landis
SPAIN the unfinished revolution
International Publishers, NY
Copyright ©1972 by Arthur H. Landis
All Rights Reserved
First Paperback Edition, 1975 by International Publishers
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging on Publicatio
To the memory of Lieutenant Colonel Julio
Mangada, loyal soldier of the Regular Spanish
Army, defender of Madrid, supporter without
reservation of the Popular Front of the
The Second Republic
April, 1931—July, 1936
The Revolt of the Fascist Military
The Intervention of the Great Powers
The Death of the Spanish Republic
(Note: Some omissions have been made by the transcriber of this work. The Notes section has been changed so that each page with footnotes has
them at the bottom, rather than at the ending of the book. The index was also removed since the page numbers do not match up to the numbers of
the book, though this is just about the entire book sans the previously mentioned omissions. Furthermore, I have altered some things slightly in
the event of typos or other errors. For what it's worth, the pages of the PDF intentionally do not line up to the pages of the book. Also, pictures
from the book are not included. I have not included the 5-page bibliography. – Transcriber, July 2009)
“People of Madrid! History has presented you in this hour with the great mission of rising before the world
as the obelisk of Liberty. You will know how to be worthy of so exalted a destiny. You will tell the world
how men defend themselves; how people fight; how Liberty triumphs. You will tell the world that only a
people that knows how to die for Liberty can live for freedom.
People of Spain! Put your eyes, your will, your fists at the service of Madrid. Accompany your brothers
with faith, with courage, send your possessions, and if you have nothing else, offer us your prayers. Here in
Madrid is the universal frontier that separates Liberty and Slavery. It is here in Madrid that two
incompatible civilizations undertake their great struggle: love against hate; peace against war; the
fraternity of Christ against the tyranny of the Church . . . .
Citizens of Madrid! Each of you has here on this soil something that is ash; something that is soul. It cannot
be! It shall not be that impious intruders trample the sacred tombs of our dead! The mercenaries shall not
enter as heralds of dishonor into our homes! It cannot be! It shall not be that the somber birds of
intolerance beat their black wings over the human conscience. It cannot be! It shall not be that the
Fatherland, torn, broken, entreat like a beggar before the throne of the tyrant. It cannot be! It shall not be!
Today we fight. Tomorrow, we conquer. And on the pages of history, Man will engrave an immense heart.
This is Madrid. It fought for Spain, for Humanity, for Justice, and with the mantle of its blood sheltered all
the men of the world. Madrid! Madrid!”
– Radio Appeal of Member of the Cortes, Juan Valera, November 7, 1936
For over a generation, scholars and artists have probed the ruins of the Spanish Republic.
Learned men have tucked elements of the tremendous tragedy of Spain's Civil War into
erudite footnotes, producing in the process 14,000 books. Innumerable works of fiction,
most of dubious historical value or aesthetic merit have accumulated. The cinema has
portrayed Robert Jordans and quaint guerrillas. Piccaso's lonely masterpiece Guernica
reminds us that artistic genius generally recognizes reality before the cautious scribes of
Now Arthur Landis, the chronicler of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, has written another
book, Spain the Unfinished Revolution. Given the alpine mass of books about modern Spain,
why should this one engage our attention? What are its special merits?
Firstly every generation rewrites its important history, not merely because new raw
evidence comes constantly under scrutiny or forgotten archives yield new secrets. The
main drive arises from the collective political experience of mankind. New insights are the
product not just of private intuitions but of widely shared historical experience of
multitudes. Landis reexamines the Spanish War because the pattern of revolution and
counterrevolution concealed in the chaos of the Spanish struggle is of terrible relevance
for the crises of today and tomorrow.
Victor Hugo wrote over a century ago: “That brilliancy called history is pitiless; it has this
strange and divine thing about it, that, all light that it is, and because it is light, it often
throws shadows over spots before luminous.” As we shift the temporal perspective of our
historical light, moving in accordance with the insights of new experience, we can uncover
precisely those parts of the landscape of the past previously in shadows that are most
important for tomorrow's historical actions.
Landis has reexamined and rethought the politics of a conflict that was both a civil war
and a revolution. He makes available to a generation that faces problems similar to those
that faced Spain in 1936, the experience and lessons learned by Spaniards between blood
transfusions and last rites. The response of the antifascist Republican forces to the revolt
of the generals demanded creative innovative actions for which there were no precedents.
Under the hammer blows of domestic and international counterrevolution, a people's
army was created; a society shackled to an obsolete and humiliating past turned its face
toward the future. Spain became a hand clasped about a revolutionary rifle. The heart and
soul of three years of resistance was supplied by the workers, peasants and intellectuals
of Spain. The record of these achievements, the triumphs and the defeats, defeats
engendered by incompatible versions of the politics of victory, are herein subjected to
careful analysis. This is most timely, considering the old and new legends that encumber
this subject. It has been fashionable of late for some of the political literati of the United
States and Great Britain to puff up the reports of Orwell and Borkenau to the status of
incontrovertible historical documentation—to fashion the mythic image of the anarchosyndicalists of Catalonia as the singular authentic heroes of Spanish proletarian revolution, true men done in by the robots of Stalin. Here, Landis carefully and candidly sets the record straight.
He shows how the iron hand of chaos that the anarchists laid on Spain squandered the
military and industrial resources of Catalonia and placed a crushing burden on the
disciplined columns of the Fifth Regiment, the International Brigades and the few units
organized by the regular officers loyal to the Republic. These were the units that wrote in
blood the epic of Madrid, and in the face of the betrayal by the bastions of Western
democracy, fought off the invading Axis forces.
Landis pays fraternal tribute to those brave men of the C.N.T. and F.A.I. who died with their
Bakunist faith unsullied by the defeatism or calculated betrayal that ultimately
undermined Republican resistance.
The revolution of the Spanish people was crushed by domestic and foreign
counterrevolutionary force; but revolutions arising from the historical experience of an
ancient people will reestablish roots in the very earth that temporarily serves as a shroud
for the entombed revolutionaries. Such now is the Spanish earth.
The decaying Falangist state proposes to preserve itself by replacing the future corpse of
Generalissimo Francisco Franco with the Bourbon cretin, Prince Juan Carlos. This planned
restoration is ardently supported by would-be Metternichs of Europe and America.
Readers of Landis' book will recognize that there is not enough napalm or holy water to
stabilize such a phantom monarchy. When Spain is reborn it will be as a revolutionary
Robert G. Colodny
University of Pittsburgh
https://espressostalinist.files.wordpre ... espana.pdf
392 pp at link
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Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations