• The International Brigades

  • Fascism, Freedom and the Spanish Civil War
  • By: Giles Tremlett
  • Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard
  • Length: 23 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Bloomsbury presents The International Brigades by Giles Tremlett, read by Laurence Bouvard. 

The first major history of the International Brigades: a tale of blood, ideals and tragedy in the fight against fascism. 

The Spanish Civil War was the first armed battle in the fight against fascism, and a rallying cry for a generation. Over 35,000 volunteers from 61 countries around the world came to defend democracy against the troops of Franco, Hitler and Mussolini.  

Ill-equipped and disorderly, yet fuelled by a shared sense of purpose and potential glory, disparate groups of idealistic young men and women banded together to form a volunteer army of a size and kind unseen since the Crusades, known as the International Brigades. These passionate liberal fighters from across Europe, China, Africa and the Americas would join the Republican cause, fighting for over two years on the bloody battlegrounds of Madrid, Jarama and Ebro. 

Were they heroes or fools? Saints or bloodthirsty adventurers? And what exactly did they achieve? 

This is a story rendered vivid in the writings of Orwell and Hemingway, the paintings of Picasso and the photographs of Taro and Capa. But here, in this magisterial history, award-winning historian Giles Tremlett tells for the first time the story of the Spanish Civil War through the experiences of this remarkable group of people. Drawing on the Brigades' extensive archives in Moscow, Comintern documents and first-hand accounts, Tremlett captures all the human drama of an historic mission to halt fascist expansion in Europe.

A fascinating history of resistance, The International Brigades shows just how far ordinary people will go to save democracy against overwhelming odds in a tale of European solidarity that resonates just as strongly today.

©2020 Giles Tremlett (P)2020 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"Magnificent. Narrative history at its vivid and compelling best." (Fergal Keane)

What listeners say about The International Brigades

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very strange timing

It almost seems like this is read by a computer. The pauses in the wrong places are really difficult to listen to. It’s such a shame because the story is fascinating. I found it unlistenable in the end

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  • Mr. S. A. Dominguez
  • 07-24-21

Very good

My great grandfather continued to fight Francis's facisists until 1942 in the mountains of Galicia. I just wanted to know what it was like and this book provided a really good guide to what it was like. Thank you!!

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  • Аmazon Customer
  • 01-30-21

An inspiring book

I really enjoyed the focus on some of the individual battles that are written about in this book. The trials and tribulations of some of the volunteers are fascinating to hear and of course the way in which the international community abandoned the republic was a disgrace and this is highlighted once again here. I really enjoyed learning about the post conflict influence of the volunteers as well. It’s not something I knew and it was very interesting to hear.

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  • ed
  • 01-03-21

Balanced and gripping account of those who fought

Only downside to listening as an audiobook is you really need a map. Nicely read and well paced. The accounts of the men and women are a combination of all human emotion. Suitable for those dipping their toes into 20th century history or those more familiar with Spain and the world of the '30s

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  • Tim
  • 08-16-21

Excellent

As I have said above this is excellent. I cannot find fault with it anywhere, but it’s only the first of many readings.