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Alvah Bessie's Spanish Civil War notebooks /
edited by Dan Bessie.
imprint
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c2002.
description
xi, 156 p. : ill., maps.
ISBN
0813122147 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c2002.
isbn
0813122147 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4640326
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Summaries
Publisher Fact Sheet
Hollywood screenwriter Alvah Bessie (who was later blacklisted as part of the Hollywood Ten) was a foot soldier with the Lincoln Brigade & kept a riveting handwritten diary of his activities during the Spanish Civil War in four pocket notebooks. Carefully transcribed for the first time, the journals are even more vivid than the memoir they inspired, Bessie's classic 1939 book Men in Battle.
Unpaid Annotation
From an American perspective, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade is arguably the most famous group of soldiers to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Hollywood screenwriter Alvah Bessie (who was later blacklisted as part of the Hollywood Ten) was a foot soldier with the Brigade and kept a riveting handwritten diary of his activities in four pocket notebooks. Carefully transcribed for the first time, these journals begin with his arrival in Spain in January of 1938, then depict his training, battlefield experiences, work on the battalion newspaper, and departure almost a year later. This never before published raw material formed the basis of Bessie's classic 1939 book Men in Battle, but in several ways these journals are even more vivid than that memoir.Bessie's notebooks reflect the fast pace of a soldier's life as he jots down impressions, often while under fire. He and his comrades stumble into a fascist camp and must flee for their lives. They endure the shelling and bombing from the forces commandedby General,Francisco Franco. Ernest Hemingway visits to provide moral support and cigarettes. The squad must lead Spanish recruits as young as fifteen into a sea of deadly fire. Bessie learns that his best friend has been killed.Not simply a combat record, the notebooks also record songs the soldiers sang, diagrams of loyalist and fascist positions and combat formations, arguments among the men about politics and the conduct of the war, opinions of their officers, and the desire of many to go home.Alvah Bessie's Spanish Civil War Notebooks lend a fresh perspective to one of the most important conflicts of the 1930s and to a historically crucial opening chapter of World War II.

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