Juan Negrin: Physiologist, Socialist, and Spanish Republican War Leader (Canada Blanch/Sussex Academic Studies on Contemporary Spain)

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9781845193768: Juan Negrin: Physiologist, Socialist, and Spanish Republican War Leader (Canada Blanch/Sussex Academic Studies on Contemporary Spain)

Dr. Juan Negrin Lopez (1892-1956) was a man of immense talent, energy, and socialist convictions who served the Spanish people in different capacities: a physiologist of international reputation, chairman of the medical faculty of the Complutense University in Madrid during the 1920s, an active member of the Parliamentary wing of the Socialist Party (1931-1936), Minister of Finance in the Popular Front government led by Francisco Largo Caballero during the Civil War (1936-1937), and Prime Minister (1937-1939). In all these roles, Negrin was highly competent: improving the laboratories and experimental methods in physiology, obtaining scholarships for students, encouraging students to learn foreign languages, to read scientific literature in the original, and also to think of public health as a national public responsibility. As Minister of Finance he conceived of Spain's relatively large gold reserve as the only means by which the Republic could buy the quality of modern arms that were being supplied to General Franco by Hitler and Mussolini. In European politics of the mid-1930s, he understood much better than did the political classes of the English, French, and United States that Nazism and Fascism were a much greater threat to European democracy than was Soviet Communism. But the "appeasement" policy culminating in the Munich Pact of September 29, 1938 sealed the fate of the Spanish Republic, as well as that of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. From 1940 onward, Negrin was reviled in Franco's Spain for having supposedly delivered the Republic into the hands of the Communists. Many republican and socialist exiles also rejected him for continuing his Numantian policy of resistance when, after Munich, the military possibilities of the Republic were truly hopeless. Author Gabriel Jackson provides an understanding of the moral and political thinking of Dr. Juan Negrin, of those who supported him to the end, and of those who felt that the last months of the war merely prolonged the suffering of the population.

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About the Author:

Gabriel Jackson has published scholarly books and articles about modern Spain, medieval Spain, and twentieth-century Europe: also a short biography of Mozart, and three novels treating social and political problems. From 1983 to the present he has written opinion” articles regularly for the Spanish newspaper EL PAIS, and book reviews for EL PAIS and for La Revista de Libros.

Review:

“This bleak reality provides the context for Jackson’s portrayal of Negrín. For Negrín, like the second Spanish Republic, there was no happy ending. Continuing squabbles with Prieto over Republican money ensured that Negrín was effectively sidelined after 1945, and he died of a heart attack in 1956. In this new biography Jackson argues that Negrín was treated unfairly. Some may disagree but, at the very least, Jackson’s study clearly shows that Negrín’s role in the final year of the doomed Spanish Republic has been worthy of reappraisal.”   —Richard Baxell, author, British Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War

“One of Gabriel Jackson’s major achievements in this engrossing biography is to move beyond the mountains of stereotype, slander and half-truths, and to use all the available evidence to paint the portrait of complex man facing extremely complex circumstances; a fundamentally honest and decent human being who sacrificed his health, reputation, and academic career in a failed attempt to save his country from disaster. Jackson’s book covers the whole of Negrín’s life, with the bulk of the chapters dedicated to the years 1937–39. As a biographer, Jackson brings to the table not only years of painstaking research – including new archival materials and dozens of interviews with Negrín’s friends, family members, colleagues and their children, conducted over a forty-year time span – but also a significant dose of human understanding and intuition, mediated through his knowledge of Spanish history as much as his own life experience as non-Communist social democrat barely thirty years younger than his subject. (For a political biography, Juan Negrín is in fact a remarkably personal book.) Indeed, Jackson is forced to engage in a fair amount of speculation, given the limited evidence available: in contrast to many of his colleagues, Negrín, an extremely reserved man, kept no diary and his extant correspondence is too scant and impersonal to give much insight into his emotional, sentimental, and philosophical state of mind. The result is an eminently readable, refreshingly straightforward account of an accomplished scientist and cosmopolitan intellectual who in normal circumstances would have never had to become a politician, let alone take his country’s reins during the most difficult years of its long history. Jackson’s Negrín is a welcome addition to other recent reappraisals of the Prime Minister’s life and career.”  —Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies

“Jackson’s nicely written volume, interspersed with personal anecdotes, including his own experiences as a fellow traveller in the 1930s and his encounters with exiled Republican leaders, makes for compelling reading.”  —Bulletin of Spanish Studies

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Descripción Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dr Juan Negrin Lopez (1892-1956) was a man of immense talent, energy, and socialist convictions who served the Spanish people in different capacities: as a physiologist of international reputation and as chairman of the medical faculty of the Complutense University in Madrid during the 1920s; as an active member of the Parliamentary wing of the Socialist Party, 1931-1936; during the Civil War as Minister of Finance in the Popular Front government led by Francisco Largo Caballero (September 1936-May 1937); and as Prime Minister from late May until March 1939. In all these roles he was highly competent: improving the laboratories and experimental methods in physiology, obtaining scholarships for students, suggesting subjects for doctoral theses, encouraging his students to learn foreign languages and read scientific literature in the original, and also to think of public health as a national, public responsibility. As Minister of Finance he conceived of Spain s relatively large gold reserve as the only means by which the Republic could buy the quality of modern arms that were being supplied to General Franco by Hitler and Mussolini. In European politics of the mid-1930s he understood much better than did the English, French, and United States political classes that Nazism and Fascism were a much greater threat to European democracy than was Soviet Communism. But the appeasement policy culminating in the Munich Pact of 29 September 1938 sealed the fate of the Spanish Republic as well as that of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. From 1940 onward Negrin was reviled in Franco Spain for having supposedly delivered the Republic into the hands of the Communists; many republican and socialist exiles also rejected him for continuing his Numantian policy of resistance when, after Munich, the military possibilities of the Republic were truly hopeless. Gabriel Jackson sets out to understand the moral and political thinking of Dr Negrin -- of those who supported him to the end and of those who felt that the last months of the war merely prolonged the suffering of the population. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies. Nº de ref. de la librería AAG9781845193768

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Descripción Sussex Academic Press, 2010. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1845193768

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Descripción Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Dr Juan Negrin Lopez (1892-1956) was a man of immense talent, energy, and socialist convictions who served the Spanish people in different capacities: as a physiologist of international reputation and as chairman of the medical faculty of the Complutense University in Madrid during the 1920s; as an active member of the Parliamentary wing of the Socialist Party, 1931-1936; during the Civil War as Minister of Finance in the Popular Front government led by Francisco Largo Caballero (September 1936-May 1937); and as Prime Minister from late May until March 1939. In all these roles he was highly competent: improving the laboratories and experimental methods in physiology, obtaining scholarships for students, suggesting subjects for doctoral theses, encouraging his students to learn foreign languages and read scientific literature in the original, and also to think of public health as a national, public responsibility. As Minister of Finance he conceived of Spain s relatively large gold reserve as the only means by which the Republic could buy the quality of modern arms that were being supplied to General Franco by Hitler and Mussolini. In European politics of the mid-1930s he understood much better than did the English, French, and United States political classes that Nazism and Fascism were a much greater threat to European democracy than was Soviet Communism. But the appeasement policy culminating in the Munich Pact of 29 September 1938 sealed the fate of the Spanish Republic as well as that of the Republic of Czechoslovakia. From 1940 onward Negrin was reviled in Franco Spain for having supposedly delivered the Republic into the hands of the Communists; many republican and socialist exiles also rejected him for continuing his Numantian policy of resistance when, after Munich, the military possibilities of the Republic were truly hopeless. Gabriel Jackson sets out to understand the moral and political thinking of Dr Negrin -- of those who supported him to the end and of those who felt that the last months of the war merely prolonged the suffering of the population. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies. Nº de ref. de la librería AAG9781845193768

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