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The Last Days of the Spanish Republic

Friday 31 March 2017

1 Hour


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Ticket price

The leading historian of 20th-century Spain Professor Paul Preston explains how flawed decisions in the final days of the Spanish Civil War led to a humanitarian tragedy in which thousands died and tens of thousands of lives were ruined.

The story is of a military coup launched in March 1939 by the arrogant and selfish Colonel Segismundo Casado against the government of Juan Negrin. Casado wanted to go down in history as the man who ended the civil war and claimed that the government was a puppet of Moscow and that a Communist coup was imminent. Instead, Preston explains, his actions led to a bitter conflict in Madrid and Franco’s final victory.

Preston is Principe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish History and director of the Cañada Blanch Centre of Contemporary Spanish Studies at the London School of Economics. His works include Franco: A Biography; Comrades; Doves of War: Four Women in Spain; Juan Carlos; The Spanish Civil War; The Spanish Holocaust; and The Last Stalinist. He was awarded a Comendador de la Orden del Mérito Civil and a Gran Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Católica by King Juan Carlos.