No Other Way by Liz Woolley

No Other Way by Liz Woolley, Christopher Farman, and Valery Rose is a short but interesting book on Oxford’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War. All of Oxford – town and gown – was affected by what was happening in Spain. Because of its focus on individuals, the book offers another way of thinking of this conflict. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the subject and, maybe, those who are interested in why some people decided to put their lives on hold and go and fight. They were students, factory workers, journalists, doctors, nurses, an actor, and two lords.

No Other Way by Liz Woolley

The first half of the book offers a quick overview of what was happening in Oxford at that time. I thought it was interesting to learn about the political issues raised by the war and how much impact they had on the campaign. The second half of the book is about 31 men and women who travelled to Spain to fight.

As there are just above 50 pages for the 31 people, each gets a quick description of their life, but it is long enough to offer a sense of their interests and life. Of course many of them were communists, which was to be expected. A few of them died, others were injured. There are lots of photos included and that was great to see.

No Other Way by Liz Woolley

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: Oxford IBMC
Year it was published: 2015
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History
Pages: 124

About the author: Liz Woolley is a historian specialising in aspects of the history of Oxfordshire and Oxford. She is particularly interested in the city’s “town” (as opposed to “gown”) history, and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county, chiefly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
She completed an MSc in English Local History (with Distinction) at the University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education in 2009, having gained a Diploma (also with Distinction) in the same subject in 2007. She is an experienced speaker, guide, tutor, researcher and writer who is keen to help individuals and groups to enjoy finding out about the history of their local area.

Christopher Farman was born in 1937. He was a journalist and historian, spending most of his life in London and being published in The Guardian and other papers and periodicals. He died in 2020.
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2 thoughts on “No Other Way by Liz Woolley”

    • It was written by 3 historians with close connections to Oxford, so I imagine local history was their main focus. I didn’t find out a lot about the historians involved in this book. The book has a very narrow focus indeed, which is why I enjoyed it. Next one I’ll review will be about Spain too, but not only relating to the Spanish Civil War.

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