Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

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9780374172992: Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

A spellbinding story of love amid the devastation of the Spanish Civil War

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe―a conflict one writer will call "the decisive thing of the century"―six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes that this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, want to capture history in the making and are inventing modern photojournalism in the process. And Arturo Barea, chief of the Spanish government's foreign press office, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause―a struggle that places both of them in peril.
Beginning with the cloak-and-dagger plot that precipitated the first gunshots of the war and moving forward month by month to the end of the conflict. Hotel Florida traces the tangled and disparate wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history: a moment that called forth both the best and the worst of those caught up in it. In this noir landscape of spies, soldiers, revolutionaries, and artists, the shadow line between truth and falsehood sometimes became faint indeed―your friend could be your enemy and honesty could get you (or someone else) killed.
Years later, Hemingway would say, "It is very dangerous to write the truth in war, and the truth is very dangerous to come by." In Hotel Florida, from the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, the celebrated biographer Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it, telling it, and living it―whatever the cost.

*INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS

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Review:

Amanda Vaill

Five Things I Learned About Hemingway While Writing Hotel Florida by Amanda Vaill

1) He was a classical music maven.

Although I knew his mother had been an aspiring opera singer and had taught piano and voice in the Hemingways' Oak Park, Illinois home, I didn't realize that classical music was Hemingway's go-to soundtrack for relaxation and distraction. But when shells were whistling over the Hotel Florida in Madrid, where he and Martha Gellhorn were staying during the Spanish Civil War, what did Hemingway put on the Victrola to drown out the bombardment? Chopin's Opus 33 mazurka, number 4, and the ballade in A-flat minor, opus 47.

2) He was an agent of the KGB.


In public Hemingway had always strenuously resisted the idea of writing anything from "a Marxian viewpoint" – something he derided as "so much horseshit." But in 1937, when he was in Spain covering the Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance and writing the script for Joris Ivens's documentary film, The Spanish Earth, Ivens had tried to enlist him as a propagandist, and possibly more, for the Communist Party, which had been supporting the Spanish government against Franco's rebels. And according to internal KGB files studied by a former Soviet agent, Alexander Vassiliev, Hemingway was recruited by the KGB in 1941 and given the code-name "Argo." It was hoped he could report on Nazi activity in Cuba and the Caribbean during World War II, but he never generated any useful intelligence and his cover was terminated in 1950.

3) He couldn't cook paella.


In April of 1937, at a Rioja-fueled lunch party at the Madrid restaurant Botin, a spot Hemingway loved (and had celebrated in The Sun Also Rises), the writer insisted on leaving the table – where the company included the photographer Robert Capa and Capa's beautiful girlfriend and professional partner Gerda Taro –- and going into the kitchen to help prepare paella. "Less skillful in the kitchen than at the typewriter," was the tactful verdict of the restaurant's owner, Emilio Gonzales.

4) His affair with Martha Gellhorn was less than a great romance.


He might have run off with Gellhorn to Spain, beginning an affair that culminated in marriage three years later, after he divorced his second wife, Pauline; but apparently the Gellhorn-Hemingway romance could have used some couples therapy. Gellhorn later claimed her "whole memory of sex with Ernest [was] the invention of excuses and failing that, the hope that it would soon be over." Which it was, by 1944, when Gellhorn scooped her husband by getting a ride on a hospital ship to the D-Day beaches while he gazed at the coast through binoculars from the deck of an attack transport.

5) He originally began the manuscript of his most successful novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, which draws on his experience in the Spanish Civil War, in the first person.


He changed his mind, choosing the detachment of a narrative in which the protagonist is "he," not "I." It was the best and most truthful decision he could have made. To understand why, of course, you have to read the book. Or books. His, and mine.


About the Author:

Amanda Vaill is the author of the bestselling Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara MurphyA Lost Generation Love Story, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography, and Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. In addition to her screenplay for the Emmy– and Peabody Award–winning public television documentary Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About, she has also written features and criticism for a range of journals from Allure to The Washington Post Book World. She lives in New York City.

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Vaill, Amanda.
Editorial: FSG. 1 Cloth(s) (2014)
ISBN 10: 0374172994 ISBN 13: 9780374172992
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Descripción FSG. 1 Cloth(s), 2014. hard. Estado de conservación: New. Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Author of the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Everybody Was So Young, Amanda Vaill chronicles the interactions between Ernest Hemingway—amassing the material he will use to write For Whom the Bell Tolls—and Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious and attractive journalist; Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers who are inventing modern photojournalism; and Arturo Barea, chief of the Spanish government's foreign press office, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, whose struggle to tell the truth is at odds with loyalty to their cause."A highly original, beautifully written, and utterly compelling account, by turns gripping and heartbreaking, of the intrepid—and sometimes crazy—journalists who risked everything to report on the Spanish Civil War."—Amanda Foreman 437. Nº de ref. de la librería 70033

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Vaill, Amanda
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Descripción Farrar Straus Giroux, U.S.A., 2014. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe -- a conflict one writer will call "the decisive thing of the century" -- six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage gone sour, hopes that this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, want to capture history in the making, and the invent modern photojournalism in the process. And Arturo Barea, the chief of the Spanish government's foreign press office in Madrid, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, struggle to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause -- an effort that places both of them in peril. Beginning with the cloak-and-dagger plot that precipitated the first gunshots of the war and moving forward month by month to the end of the conflict, HOTEL FLORIDA traces the tangled and disparate wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history: a moment that called forth both the best and the worst from those caught up in it. In this noir landscape of spies, soldiers, revolutionaries, and artists, the shadow line between truth and falsehood sometimes became faint indeed -- your friend could be your enemy, and honesty could get you (or someone else) killed. Years later Hemingway would say, "It is very dangerous to write the truth in war, and the truth is very dangerous to come by." In HOTEL FLORIDA, from the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, the celebrated biographer Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it, telling it, and living it -- whatever the cost. THERE IS A BLACK "CLOSEOUT/REMAINDER" MARK ON THE TOP PAGE EDGES. Nº de ref. de la librería 000142

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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Nº de ref. de la librería 97803741729920000000

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Descripción 2014. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería VV-9780374172992

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Descripción MacMillan Publishers. Estado de conservación: New. Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 0374172994

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Descripción Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0374172994 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Nº de ref. de la librería NATARAJB1FI729154

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Vaill, Amanda
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Descripción Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. 1st Edition. New, pristine, unmarked. 1st edition. Fascinating and well-researched study of three journalist couples during the Spanish Civil War, Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, and Arturo Barea and Ilse Kuchar (who ran the government press office). The true story behind Capa's "falling soldier" photograph is just one of numerous revelations. // Shipped carefully packed in a sturdy box. Nº de ref. de la librería 011083

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Descripción 2014. HRD. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IB-9780374172992

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Descripción Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014. Hardcover, illus. Estado de conservación: New. Estado de la sobrecubierta: New. First Edition; First Printing. Book and DJ New. No names, notes or ANY markings. New DJ not price clipped I$30) ; Ships in a box, USA; 436 pages. Nº de ref. de la librería 56528

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Descripción Farrar, Straus and Giroux, United States, 2014. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A spellbinding story of love amid the devastation of the Spanish Civil War Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe--a conflict one writer will call the decisive thing of the century --six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes that this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, want to capture history in the making and are inventing modern photojournalism in the process. And Arturo Barea, chief of the Spanish government s foreign press office, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause--a struggle that places both of them in peril. Beginning with the cloak-and-dagger plot that precipitated the first gunshots of the war and moving forward month by month to the end of the conflict. Hotel Florida traces the tangled and disparate wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history: a moment that called forth both the best and the worst of those caught up in it. In this noir landscape of spies, soldiers, revolutionaries, and artists, the shadow line between truth and falsehood sometimes became faint indeed--your friend could be your enemy and honesty could get you (or someone else) killed. Years later, Hemingway would say, It is very dangerous to write the truth in war, and the truth is very dangerous to come by. In Hotel Florida, from the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, the celebrated biographer Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it, telling it, and living it--whatever the cost. *INCLUDES 16 PAGES OF BLACK-AND-WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780374172992

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