The Salamanca Diaries: Father McCabe and the Spanish Civil War

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Merrion Press, Aug 23, 2019 - History - 260 pages
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In July 1936, an army-led coup against the democratically elected republican government ushered in the Spanish Civil War. Father Alexander J. McCabe was rector of the Irish College in Salamanca when General Francisco Franco seized power a few months later and established his GHQ in the medieval city.

McCabe recorded the arrival of the nationalist war machine in his diaries, vividly documenting the horror of the repression and his encounters with Franco, Nazi officers and diplomats, British and American spies and journalists, and adventurers and charlatans from around the world who flocked to Salamanca. He also observed the implosion of General Eoin O’Duffy’s ill-fated Irish Brigade, first as one of its chaplains and later mediating between the nationalist high command and O’Duffy. He unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade a disillusioned O’Duffy from returning to Ireland with the Irish Brigade in 1937.

Historian Tim Fanning uses McCabe’s diaries to provide a fascinating account of life in Spain before, during and after the war, as well as McCabe’s memories of growing up in Ireland at a time of momentous change. This is the troubling and enthralling story of an eyewitness to one of the most tragic episodes in twentieth-century European history.


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Map Acknowledgements
The Salamanca Student
The East End Curate
The Spanish Cauldron
The Road to Revolution
Escape and Return
The Irish Brigade
Franco Takes Charge
The Final Battle
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About the author (2019)

Tim Fanning is a writer and historian with a particular interest in Spain and Latin America. His critically acclaimed first book, The Fethard-on-Sea Boycott, was an Irish bestseller. His most recent book, Paisanos: The Forgotten Irish who Changed the Face of Latin America, which tells the story of the Irish emigrants who fought for Latin American independence, has been published in Irish, Argentinian, Colombian and US editions. He is also a contributor on Spanish and Latin American subjects to The Irish Times and Sunday Independent.

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