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Joint launch of Forged in Spain and Perfidious Albion

On 15 June 2024, I joined Professor Sir Paul Preston at the Marx Memorial Library in London for a launch of our latest books, both published by The Clapton Press.

Both books are centred on Britain during the Spanish Civil War. Paul Preston’s Perfidious Albion is a collection of essays with three major themes. The first is the hypocricy of the British Goverment during the war, whose policy on ‘non-intervention’ was, Preston argues, driven not just by a willingness to sacrifice the Spanish Republic to preserve wider European peace, but by a sympathy among the establishment and political class that ‘leant more to the White than to the Red’. The second theme is the sacrifice of a number of medical workers from Britain who volunteered to help the beleagured democratic government of Spain. Finally, Preston turns to a number of writers and historians who have commented on the war, including George Orwell, Burnett Bolloten, Gerald Brenan and Herbert Southworth. Perfidious Albion was described by a reviewer as:

‘The perfect book for anyone seeking a dispassionate and scholarly introduction to the Spanish Civil War.’

John Green, Morning Star

Forged in Spain is a collection of ten biographies which tell the stories of a handful of extraordinary men and women, explaining why they went to Spain, what happened to them there and the lasting, often dramatic impact the war had on their lives. The subjects include several members of the International Brigades (including an artist and poet, two senior British Officers and a driver who later spied for the Soviet Union), a Surgeon, a Journalist, a young member of the ILP militia, an aid and refugee worker and, finally, a volunteer for Franco, who later served with distinction in the SOE during the Second World War.

    ‘These enthralling biographies give a picture of the passions of the age … Baxell’s research is meticulous … Forged in Spain is a serious and moving book that may inspire readers to fight the rise of a new fascism today.’

    Michael Eaude, TLS.

    Both Perfidious Albion and Forged in Spain can be obtained from all the usual outlets, or directly from the publisher, The Clapton Press.

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