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¡Guerra!: Living in the Shadows of the Spanish Civil War
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¡Guerra!: Living in the Shadows of the Spanish Civil War

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
As in his acclaimed Duende and Andalus, Jason Webster journeys across Spain, this time to explore the lasting effects of the Spanish Civil War. Could the divisions that led to the conflict still be simmering under the surface, and is it possible they could erupt again?

From the Hardcover edition.
Paperback, 309 pages
Published August 22nd 2006 by Doubleday UK (first published 2006)
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Sep 08, 2013 Paul rated it did not like it
I’ve picked up Duende many times while in book shops, but have never been convinced enough to buy it. However, while helping my brother redecorate his house he offered me a few books he was getting rid of, including Guerra and Sacred Sierra, by Jason Webster, the author of Duende.

A chance encounter with his neighbour in the mountains (Guerra comes after Sacred Sierra) leads Webster to look into the Spanish Civil war, and Guerra is his recounting of the events, intersped with his travels around h
Ballyroan Reads
The author Jason Webster is an American living in Spain for 12 years at the time of the publication of this book. He is a travel writer and has written several books on different aspects of life in Spain and also several crime novels. “Guerra”, however, gives an account of the Spanish Civil War, the build up to it and its effects which are still felt today in Spanish society, sometimes under the surface but they are always there.

The author alternates between visiting important sites and cities f
Dec 05, 2010 Jim added it
Shelves: travel
A travelogue surrounding a research of the Spanih Civil War, it seemed that the author was trying to find examples of conflict that exist in today's Spain which might help explain why their civil war happened. So he constantly finds examples of where he's treated badly by bar staff, taxi drivers, policemen and Spaniards in general, examples of him not fitting in or being accepted by the Spain he's adopted and loves. Which was interesting, because most of these books want to tell how shite Britai ...more
Oct 03, 2011 Sydne rated it really liked it
Usually, if in any way possible, I try to read books on big historic events or wars by countrymen of the relevant country. It just feels more natural, more from within. Somehow also as if the person has the right to write these accounts more than an outsider.
I all too happily followed Jason Webster's accounts of the Spanish Civil War though. One reason is that he is very open about his position as an outsider and his writing feels very honest. In his style, he progresses from somebody who doesn
Sandra Danby
May 20, 2013 Sandra Danby rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-of-spain
The fist-fight described in the first chapter is quite a shock, and sets the tone for this excellent assessment of a search in modern Spain for the truth about the Civil War. Always a touchy subject in Spain, and one we never broach with our neighbours here, Webster stumbles on evidence near to his home north of Valencia. His journey takes him to key locations such as Burgos, Madrid and Guernica as he alternates chapters between now and the 1930s. His style is easy to read, populated as it is eq ...more
I love this genre of what I call "history travels", where authors write about the history of a person, place, or event, alongside their present-day visits to locations pertinent to that history. This is a pretty good entry in that genre. I learned a lot about the Spanish Civil War,of which I had known very little, so that accounts for my 4-star rating. His modern day travels were less substantive to me--he mainly was upset to find that his beloved adopted country has such a checkered past, and t ...more
Claire Lawrence
Feb 21, 2013 Claire Lawrence rated it really liked it
Great book if you want to get an overview of the Spanish Civil War. There are so many stories within the story of the war itself, such as what happened in Toledo, that it's a great place to get an idea of bits you might like to find out more about. I'm very familiar with Spain, and Spanish language and culture are passions of mine - I could definitely relate to some of his tales of Spain but it does paint an overall pessimistic image of the country in modern times! Slightly dubious as to whether ...more
May 09, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: gone, john, library, spain
I have just read through other people's reviews and I agree with the couple of people who have left comments - I'm skipping over quite a lot of the civil war history parts (because I prefer to hear about them from a proper historian and not a cut and paste from other sources) and quite enjoying the personal bits - although I think he is being a bit shifty about not knowing anything at the beginning. After 12 years in Spain that is a bit weird. The number of people who have put 4 or 5 stars on wi ...more
Apr 09, 2015 Lesley rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars. An engrossing book due to the nature of the events Webster recounts, and competently written and well- structured. He attempts to find a correlation between the terrible events of the Civil War and the darker side of contemporary Spain, through a series of personal anecdotes. These are interesting enough in themselves, but not particularly convincing evidence of any deeper or darker underside. Not all of his anecdotes ring true. Try "Ghosts of Spain" by Giles Tremlett for ...more
Oct 23, 2008 Deborah rated it it was ok
This book deals with the Spanish Civil War and its affects on modern day Spain. I found the treatment of the Civil war was rather dry and could not see how the parts that dealt with modern day Spain related. I think he was trying to say how Spain is not just a country of smiling peasants and paella. But I cant believe he has lived so long in Spain and only just found this out.
Rob Innis
Jul 18, 2012 Rob Innis rated it liked it
My first Webster and I enjoyed it - easy going style, informative but his personal take as against a purely factual historical account of the war. Could have done without the chapter on Orwell (better to read Homage to Catalonia) but overall enjoyed it and looking forward to the next one.
Mar 18, 2013 Susan added it
I like some of Webster's other books, but this one was just "ok". His look into the history of the Spanish Civil war. It dragged...
Andy Griff
Andy Griff rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2015
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Jan 24, 2014
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Jul 12, 2014
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Mar 16, 2013
Robert Pallas
Robert Pallas rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2014
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Jun 17, 2015
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Catherine Baum rated it it was amazing
Jun 14, 2012
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Sep 08, 2015
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Apr 20, 2014
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Nov 11, 2007
Henrietta rated it really liked it
Mar 04, 2012
Elized rated it it was ok
Oct 10, 2013
Cherry Radford
Cherry Radford rated it it was amazing
Aug 10, 2011
Olly rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2011
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Andrew Robins rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2012
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Devon Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2015
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Jason Webster is a highly acclaimed Anglo-American author and authority on Spain whose work ranges from biography to travel, crime fiction and history. His books have sold in over a dozen countries, including the US, the UK and China, and have been nominated both for the Guardian First Book Award and the Crime Writers’ Association New Blood Dagger Award. He has been favourably compared with writer ...more
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