By Fay Anderson
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Additional info for An historian's life : Max Crawford and the politics of academic freedom
Despite this added burden, Crawford’s teaching allowed him to expand on the theme born in his early Spanish studies. In a general history tutorial paper presented in the following year and entitled, ‘The Decline of Spain’, his aim was to ‘see how far one can go in explaining Spain by examining the external conditioning’. The past, Crawford insisted, was fundamental to Spain’s 42 An Historian’s Life position on 11 June 1936; the main moments of its history and nature were a legacy of its experience.
Crawford’s fascination with Spain was by no means unusual. 138 The Spanish Civil War would be the great cause that captured the imagination and conscience of a literary and intellectual generation, both prominent Origins and Influences 41 and obscure, idealistic and cynical, of the right and the left. It provoked clichés of good and evil that fell easily into the two distinct ideological sides. As Cecil Day Lewis famously wrote, it appeared to be ‘the battle between light and darkness’. The historian Dante A.
Early in May 1936, the Popular Front of the left (made up of Republicans, Socialists, Anarchists and Communists) won a majority in the national elections. The Spanish electorate rejected dictatorship, the church and the monarchy. On 17 July, the Spanish generals rebelled, and the right decided to overthrow the elected Government. The country erupted in a prolonged and bitter civil war. Germany and Italy assisted Franco, while England and France adopted a non-interventionist policy, and Russia’s support for the republicans remained ambiguous.
An historian's life : Max Crawford and the politics of academic freedom by Fay Anderson