People - Paul Preston

Historian

Paul Preston is a British historian who has been researching the Spanish Civil War for more than 30 years. A few years ago he published an updated version of his book The Spanish Civil War where he describes the final victory of Franco's troops as "an international war that happened in Spanish fields, that wasn't decided in Spain but in the hands of the great powers." Perhaps the novelty of this book is the idea that "the presence of Italy in Spain wasn't by accident, as one could consider the German troops, but it must be understood as a non-formal declaration of war from Italy to the Republican Government".

As for his ideas on Franco, Preston is quoted as saying that "Franco wasn't a fascist, but something much worse, as he brought the African mentality of repression and coldness, and treated the Spanish the same way as the natives of Morocco".

Paul Preston has been awarded the professorship of the Hispano-Britannic chair at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. He is the fourth professor to hold this position. Thanks to this agreement, pupils at the UCM have received classes by Ian Michel and Edmund Valpy Fitzgerald (University of Oxford) as well as Alan Dashwood (University of Cambridge). At the time of writing, Preston has undertaken to teach two PhD courses. This work will be complemented by a series of conferences which Paul Preston will give at various Spanish colleges and universities.

 

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