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The Victorious Counterrevolution
The Nationalist Effort in the Spanish Civil War
Michael Seidman

The first social and economic history of Franco's war effort in the Spanish Civil War

This groundbreaking history of the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) examines how General Francisco Franco and his Nationalist forces managed state finance and economic production, and mobilized support from elites and middle-class Spaniards, to achieve their eventual victory over Spanish Republicans and the revolutionary left.

The Spanish Nationalists are exceptional among counter-revolutionary movements of the twentieth century, Michael Seidman demonstrates, because they avoided the inflation and shortages of food and military supplies that stymied not only their Republican adversaries but also their counterrevolutionary counterparts—the Russian Whites and Chinese Nationalists. He documents how Franco’s highly repressive and tightly controlled regime produced food for troops and civilians; regular pay for soldiers, farmers, and factory workers; and protection of property rights for both large and small landowners. These factors, combined with the Nationalists’ pro-Catholic and anti-Jewish propaganda, reinforced solidarity in the Nationalist zone.

Seidman concludes that, unlike the victorious Spanish Nationalists, the Russian and Chinese bourgeoisie were weakened by the economic and social upheaval of the two world wars and succumbed in each case to the surging revolutionary left.

Michael SeidmanMichael Seidman is professor of history at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He is author of Republic of Egos: A Social History of the Spanish Civil War, The Imaginary Revolution: Parisian Students and Workers in 1968, and Workers against Work: Labor in Paris and Barcelona during the Popular Fronts (1936–1938).

2010 Spanish edition: La Contrarevolución Victoriosa: La Zona Nacional, published by Alianza Editorial


“Michael Seidman has forged a reputation as an iconoclastic social historian of the Spanish Civil War. . . . Readers eager for rich detail on the organization of the Franco war effort will find many nuggets in this book.”
European History Quarterly

“Seidman's book builds upon his earlier efforts to cast the course and outcome of the Spanish Civil War in a new light; future scholars of the conflict will have no choice but to address the findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this important book.”
Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese HIstorical Studies

“Seidman offers here a historical analysis that must be included in any contemporary consideration of the Spanish Civil War.”
The Journal for Modern History

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The cover of Seidman's book is based on a Spainish political poster. A hand holds a rife aloft.

February 2011

LC: 2010014291 DP

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Paper $29.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-24964-9
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“This work is unique. Seidman persuasively argues that the victory of Franco’s Nationalists cannot be fully explained by military, political, and cultural factors. By examining everyday experience in the Nationalist zone, particularly material and economic conditions, he accounts for the stability and efficiency of the Nationalist war effort.”—Sasha Pack, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York


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Updated June 28, 2010

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