Conflict Landscapes by Salvatore Garfi

Conflict Landscapes by Salvatore Garfi – an Archaeology of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War – was a book I read for my studies. I read a lot on the Spanish civil war, so another take on the conflict, which focuses on the archaeology was really interesting for me. I had high expectations, but sadly the book didn’t live up to what should have been.

Conflict Landscapes by Salvatore Garfi

In the Spanish civil war trenches were used widely by both sides. There were lots of pauses in fighting, which allowed time for the trenches to be built, reinforced, extended. This book looks at the trenches used by the International Brigades.

The history part of the book is, sadly, lacking in the required amount of research. The first part of the book deals with the politics and why the war started, which is not presented accurately because of the author’s personal left-wing bias. He ignores, for example, what triggered the rebellion, which was a series of killings on both sides that were poorly managed by the government. He also has a rather unrealistic take on why the soviets “helped” the Spanish (they made a profit on weapon sales and used Spain for their propaganda). There was no need to go into the causes of the war anyway. It’s not like someone who never heard or read about the SCW would start with a book with the subtitle an Archaeology of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. This was, obviously, a book for people who were familiar with the topic.

Furthermore, he mentions “Eric Blair – George Orwell” quite a few times. Again, people who read this book are aware of Orwell’s real name. They might also be aware that Orwell was not an anarchist as he mentions in the book, but had communist sympathies, considering he joined POUM, with the M meaning Marxists.

Part two and three are better as they deal with archaeology, which was the reason I was reading the 21st book on the SCW, cover to cover I mean, as I looked at many more, but only chapters and so on. Those parts of the book are good, which is why I gave it 2.5 stars.

Conflict Landscapes by Salvatore Garfi

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: no
Published by:
Year it was published:
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – Spain
Pages: 156

About the author: Salvatore Garfi is a professional archaeologist who worked on various projects, from the prehistoric to the contemporary. He worked in Britain, Egypt, Southern Arabia, Spain. Since 2010, he has specialised in the archaeology of modern conflict, and his doctoral research was on the late 20th Century conflict in Western Sahara. He was a post-doctoral Leverhulme Fellow in the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Nottingham (2015-2018), and co-founder of the International Brigades Archaeological Project (IBAP), which ran from 2014 to 2015.
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