November 14, 2005


Pro-Franco history tops bestseller list (Giles Tremlett, November 14, 2005, The Guardian)

A revisionist history book praising the former Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco, whose regime liquidated tens of thousands of opponents over nearly 40 years, has shot to the top of the bestseller list in Spain as the country marks the 30th anniversary of his death.

"Franco should ... receive the gratitude and recognition of the majority of Spaniards," writes Pío Moa in Franco: an historical review. The success of the book, which repeats old claims that Franco brought peace and prosperity while creating a country ready for democracy, has revealed an undercurrent of opinion happy to reject the idea that he was little more than a brutal, vengeful dictator.

"There was no alternative," Moa says, claiming that the Republican democracy overthrown by Franco's rebel forces during the bloody Spanish civil war had already failed beyond repair. "He left a prosperous and politically moderate country. The last 30 years of democracy have been possible thanks to that."

With the possible exception of Switzerland, no European country came through the WWII period and after better.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 14, 2005 2:49 PM

Republican democracy? Is that Spanish for communist dictatorship?

Posted by: erp at November 14, 2005 3:51 PM

The same can be said for Pinochet in Chile and Chiang Kai-shek and his son in Taiwan. Compare what they did for their countries with the legacies left by Peron in Argentina and Mao in China, and anyone who's reasonably objective will have to conclude there's no comparison.

Posted by: X at November 14, 2005 4:30 PM


No matter how hard you try, I don't think Harry is coming back. He got mad when somebody told him his views on Terri Schiavo would have been quite different if her last name had been Silverstein (or something like that).

Posted by: ratbert at November 14, 2005 5:39 PM

I haven't seen a post since I deleted one where he said Bonhoffer didn't oppose Hitler.

Posted by: oj at November 14, 2005 5:44 PM

We all miss that guy. He made us feel like samurai testing the sharpness of our swords.

Re Franco. There a story about "Republican" atrocities somewhere in the old Baltimore Catechism we used in grade school in the Fifties. about. It had to do with children being murdered by the Communists because their father, a Nationalist general, refused to surrender. I surely wouldn't call that book "revisionist." It's going on my "to be read" list.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 14, 2005 9:54 PM

Lou Gots:

There's more where that came from.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 15, 2005 2:20 AM


If you are to be believed, however, Harry went out with his usual flourish.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at November 15, 2005 4:21 AM