Archive for the ‘History 299’ Category

Final Paper

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Here is my final paper on the Abraham Lincoln Brigaderesearch paper draft II

Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Fighting Fascism Before it was Cool

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Here is my recorded presentation of my talk on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade:


The Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Fighting Fascism Before it was Cool

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Here is my Prezi presentation on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.


Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Thompson writes what appears to me to be a Marxist history of the evolution of factories and capitalism during the industrial revolution.

Grafton & Footnotes

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The assigned reading by Grafton discussed the nature of the footnote and how it evolved. I didn’t see how the book was entertaining to read, but that may be for my own issues instead of the author. It is an interesting topic never the less, and cites different authors on how they progressively used the footnotes, sometimes even as criticism of the style. Personally, I hate the footnote. Sometimes I wish I lived in a culture that did not require such strict requirements when citing.


Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I had a tough time reading Braudel, and really didn’t understand what he was writing about. I got that the social sciences are important and connected, but unique at the same time. I really didn’t even get that much until after we discussed it in class, to be honest.

Sobul and Furet

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Both Sobul and Furet write about the French Revolution in two very different ways. Subul claims that the French Revolution was a turning point in Europe. Furet argues the opposite of Sobul, stating that it was just like any other event or uprising. Truth be told, I am indifferent on the whole event, French history has never appealed to me. I found myself agreeing with Furet however, war never changes.

David Cohen- law, Society, and Sexuality in Ancient Athens

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

I think Cohen’s thesis was that homosexuality was not as accepted as some would like to believe. He provides a lot of information on the subject, including laws and stories. Through our discussion in class, it seems that it was acceptable for a man playing the role of the male to have sexual relations with another man. It was looked down to be the role of the female. Regardless, Cohen’s evidence shows that it was a taboo subject, not as simple as some make it out to be.

Lit Review Final

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Communism and Literature Regarding the Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Abraham Lincoln Brigade Paper Proposal

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The Spanish Civil War is a conflict that has been relegated to the obscurity of history due to being overshadowed by the Second World War. Many only understand the Civil War in context of World War II as a small scale simulation that had Fascism and Germany pitted against Communism and the Soviet Union. It was much more complex, with many groups on the Left and Right forming alliances for different political, moral, and ethical reasons.  Both sides employed the use of foreign aid beyond the Nazis and Soviets. This is especially true for the Republican Left. People throughout the world saw strong, organized Fascist countries and militaries and felt obligated to rush to the aid of the Spanish Republic. While many organized divisions and fighting outfits came from Communist and liberal nations, many historians overlook one particular group of American men, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade consisted of around 2500 separate, untrained volunteers from the United States that were not backed by the government. The men of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteered for many different reasons, among including antifascist beliefs and fear of greater turmoil erupting in Europe.

To point out the Americans’ reasons for action in Spain during the Civil War is not as simple as it may initially sound. Men’s reasons for service cannot simply be placed into the box of fear of fascism and its possible effects on Europe. These men had many opinions that were not limited to their political affiliation and beliefs. The eventual outcome will be that even though volunteers came for various reasons, they all related back to antifascist views. Furthermore, the volunteers’ reasons for fighting could have changed or strengthened antifascist feelings after initially volunteering for the Republican war efforts.

There will be two main types of secondary sources used for this paper. The first group are narrative histories on the Spanish Civil War. These are useful for understanding the complexity of the Civil War, specific events, and notable people, as well as giving brief information regarding international brigades. The second, more specific group of monographs provide history specifically regarding American involvement in the Spanish Civil War. These will give information on what other historians have concluded about Americans fighting in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

The main type of primary source for this paper will be letters to home from American fighters in Spain. There are two books that are purely collections of letters organized by theme with brief introductions by the editor. Authors also come up again with multiple letters, showing an evolution of ideas and feelings while fighting for the Republicans. There are also letters selected from African American volunteers within a secondary source which provide a unique perspective of why they fight.

Other primary sources utilized will be telegrams and news accounts that are found within secondary sources. These show a more official and censored view of reasons to answer the call in Spain. In addition, interviews from radio programs, television broadcasts, and documentaries will provide another primary source similar to the letters, giving valuable firsthand accounts. A minor type of primary source used will be propaganda. These images and books will indicate what the Leftists of Spain and the world wanted international soldiers to fight for, and will provide an interesting comparison of the idea why foreigners came to fight versus the reality of why they came.

Each primary source, specifically letters and personal accounts, will receive a notation describing any reasoning that the authors mentioned for their decision to help in Spain. The hope is that after examining the primary sources, the thesis will be that male volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade signed up and continuously fought for the Republican forces because of antifascist ideals, regardless of US government support. This paper will focus on a very specific group of men whom fought a civil conflict overseas, but it will bring up points of broader implications. Many of these men later served in World War II. Perhaps they went to fight again for the same values. These volunteers reasons could also help understand the “Arab Spring”, and reasons for foreign volunteers’ effort to overthrow harsh regimes in the Middle East. The causes for Americans’ actions in the Spanish Civil War could help answer these questions by relating their hated for antifascism to others’ hate of fascist-like dictatorships.


Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. New York: Penguin Books, 2006.

Benét, James, interview by Monica Campbell. “American Veteran of Spanish Civil War Remembers Life Under Suspicion of Communism.” The World. Public Radio International, (August 6, 2012).

Bessie, Alvah. Men in Battle: A story of Americans in Spain. Chandler & Sharp Publishing, 1975.

Borkenau, Franz. The Spanish Cockpit. London: Faber and Faber LTD, 1937.

Bowers, Claude G. My Mission to Spain: Watching the Rehearsal for World War II. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954.

Carroll, Peter. The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1994.

Collum, Danny, ed. African Americans in the Spanish Civil War: “This Ain’t Ethiopia, but It’ll Do”. GK Hall, 1992.

Cortada, James W. A City in War: American Views on Barcelona and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Scholarly Resources Inc, 1985.

Cox, Geoffrey. Defence of Madrid. London: Victor Gollancz LTD, 1937.

Gannes, Harry, and Theodore Repard. Spain in Revolt. London: Vicotr Gollance LTD, 1936.

Geiser, Carl, Jules Pavio, Mo Fishman, George Sisanco, and Jack Shaferon, interview by Jerome Socolovsky. Spanish Civil War Volunteers Revisit Battlegrounds National Public Radio, (October 8, 2006).

Gellhorn, Martha, Ruth Davidow, Clarence Kailin, and Mo Fishman, interview by Amy Goodman. Fighting Fascism: The Americans-Women and Men- Who Fought in the Spanish Civil War Democracy Now, (April 30, 2007).

Gerassi, John. The Premature Antifascists: North American Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939: and oral history. Praeger, 1986.

Haynes, John Earl, and Harvey Klehr. “They Myth of “Premature Antifascism”.” New Criterion 21, no. 1 (September 2002): 19-27.

Hendricks, Jefferson, and Carly Nelson. Madrid 1937. London: Routledge, 1996.

Jellinek, Frank. The Civil War in Spain. London: Victor Gollancz LTD, 1938.

Keene, Judith. Fighting for Franco: International Volunteers in Nationalist Spain during the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. London: Leicester University Press, 2001.

Koestler, Arthur. Spanish Testament. London: Victor Gollancz LTD, 1937.

Landis, Arthur. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade. New York: Citadel Press Inc, 1967.

Nelson, Cary. Shouts from the Wall: Posters and Photographs Brought Home from the Spanish Civil War by American Volunteers. Waltham, Massachusetts: Universirty of Illnois Press, 1996.

Preston, Paul, and Ann Mackenzie. The Republic Besieged: Civil War in Spain 1936-1939. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997.

Richardson, Dan. Comintern Army: The international Brigades and the Spanish Civil War. Louisville: University Press of Kentucky, 1982.

Romero Salvado, Francisco. The Spanish Civil War. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Shepard, Richard F. “Lincoln Brigade Veterans Assemble.” New York Times, April 7, 1986.

Wolfe, D Bertram. Civil War in Spain. New York: Workers Age Publishers, 1937.