An unexpected detour into non-fiction
Abandoning Beevor, continuing the writing project

Hate-reading Antony Beevor's Battle for Spain

In a moment of weakness, I decided to purchase Antony Beevor's The Battle for Spain.  I figured I should at least be familiar with his arguments and that he might have something to add to my research.

So far, it's not looking good.

I'm continuing to read him almost out of spite, because when I give him a one-star review, it want it punctuated with numerous glaring errors, not just the few I've already found.

That's one of the differences between fiction and non-fiction.  With fiction, you might press on because the story or setting is interesting and you want to see if the author can turn it around.

But with non-fiction, once you catch the author screwing things up, the whole point of the work is compromised.

Already Beevor has downplayed the pre-and post-election violence in 1936, and completely omitted the fact that upon obtaining power, the new Popular Front immediately forced re-votes in areas it lost.  Surprise!  They swept the new elections and thus their bare majority right after the election became a 2/3 super-majority once they finished.

This is the kind of blatant corruption that destroys confidence in democracy and Beevor doesn't even mention it.

I'm also already sick of his anti-Catholic bigotry.  He writes that on the eve of the war, Spain had 30,000 priests "most of whom were poor and very uneducated, incapable of any other employment."

What is that supposed to mean?  Should priests be rich?  Is he implying that only mentally retarded people join the clergy?  

More importantly, where is a research citation backing this up? 

Beevor's already downplayed the scale of the murders against the clergy, implying that the Church had it coming because the...wait for it...SPANISH INQUISITION.

Hugh Thomas also harbored anti-Catholic sentiment, but at least he reported all the facts he could find.  His book is biased, but its data is invaluable.

I'm getting a sense that Beevor's is best used as a doorstop, or perhaps to level a broken couch.

I'm going to try to speed-read this garbage, because I don't like being angry and my time is better used doing meaningful research.


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80's music fan

I linked here from your nic on Ace.

I'm also already sick of his anti-Catholic bigotry. He writes that on the eve of the war, Spain had 30,000 priests "most of whom were poor and very uneducated, incapable of any other employment."

I'm Catholic and had a dose of this bigotry when I attended a wedding ceremony at a Protestant church wherein the celebrant made a crack about a "non-professional clergy." No wonder they didn't serve alcohol at the reception.

Thanks for your comments at the HQ. Thanks for your candor regarding an author's spent credibility.

Philip Sells

This is the post I should have read before asking my question in the other thread half an hour ago! Sorry.

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