Coming to terms with the truth about the Spanish Civil War seems more than ever to pose insurmountable difficulties for those intellectuals—perhaps the majority—who were brought up to believe that Spain in the Thirties was the one great cause in that “low dishonest decade,” as Auden called it, which need never be either reconsidered or repented. Yet the publication of two new anthologies on the fiftieth anniversary of the war—Valentine Cunningham’s Spanish Front and John Miller’s Voices Against Tyranny—together with the discussion they have generated come as a sober reminder that this is a subject that remains part of the unfinished business of recent intellectual history.1 “No episode in the 1930s,” Paul Johnson has...


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