Famous Faces of the Spanish Civil War by Steve Hurst

Famous Faces of the Spanish Civil War by Steve Hurst* is a book on, as the subtitle suggests, writers and artists in the conflict of 1936-1939. I will start with the good parts, which were many, hence the 4 stars. The book deals with the Spanish civil war as a part of their lives and it’s not the focus, which is great, as that was the topic of the book; the people who were involved. I was expecting a balanced mix of both left and right artists, but the book is mainly about the ones on the left, which is a bit of a shame, but not too important overall.

Famous Faces of the Spanish Civil War by Steve Hurst

In most chapters he talks about a person or a couple, starting with their lives before the war and what they did after the war. That was really great. I didn’t know much and it was really interesting to learn about them. The people mentioned in the book are, for example, Arthur Koestler, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, George Orwell, and include spies too, like Kim Philby. There are maps and pictures to create a more comprehensive visualization of the story.

I will end with the negative bits, to explain why I took a star out, giving it 4 out of 5. As he is not a trained historian, I was expecting a bit more notes. On top of that he mentions someone’s political bias while ignoring his very own obvious political bias. I imagine not everyone would be bothered by bias nor wanting to check the notes, but that’s what I was bothered by in this book.

Famous Faces of the Spanish Civil War by Steve Hurst

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Pen & Sword Military
Year it was published: 2009
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History
Pages: 240

About the author: Steve Hurst comments on war in the 20th Century in both writing and sculpture. Born in Egypt, he was educated in England during the Second World War. He trained as a sculptor and bronze caster after National Service in Malaya. He and his wife Sylvie have a studio and foundry near Oxford.
Another book by him is The Public Schools Battalion in the Great War.
Website & Social Media Links: Pen and Sword

*I was sent a copy of Famous Faces of the Spanish Civil War by Steve Hurst for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

1 thought on “Famous Faces of the Spanish Civil War by Steve Hurst”

  • Hi Anca,

    World History was one of my favourite subjects at school, although I only completed it to GCE standard, even if I did get a top grade. I can honestly never remember focusing any time on the Spanish Civil War, although it appears to have been such an important time and played such a vital part in World events. I do recall the vital roles that Hemingway and Orwell played in events though, so reading about those in a bit more detail would be good. I have quite a number of reference books like this, covering a wide and varied range of subjects, which I can dip in and out of, and this one looks like it might be a good addition to my collection.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Yvonne xx

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