Canadians in the Spanish Civil War

eBook - 2008
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Univ of Washington Pr

Between 1936 and 1939, almost 1,700 Canadians defied their government and volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War. They chose to leave behind punishing lives in Canadian relief camps, mines, and urban flophouses to confront fascism in a country few knew much about. Four hundred died there.

Michael Petrou has drawn on recently declassified archival material, interviewed surviving Canadian veterans, and visited the battlefields of Spain to write the definitive account of Canadians in the Spanish Civil War. It reveals who these men and women were, why they volunteered, how they lived and died in Spain, and how the Canadian government and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reacted to their decision to illegally join another country’s war.

Renegades is an intimate and unflinching story of idealism and courage, duplicity and defeat. It will appeal to anyone interested in the history of Canada, the Spanish Civil War, and the struggle between democracy and totalitarianism in the 1930s.

Book News
Petrou, a senior writer for Maclean's Magazine, drawing on recently declassified archival information, chronicles the roughly 1,700 Canadians who defied their government and volunteered to fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. The book is, essentially, a group biography, but captures some of the individual participants as well. During the course of the book, readers will come to understand the war, which began in 1936, and the political and social circumstances that ignited it in a country that had been passed over during the reforms that had changed much of Europe at the time. In addition to archival information, the author interviewed veterans to establish who they were and why they chose to fought a war in an unfamiliar country so far away. He also discusses the Canadian government's response to its citizens who entered another country's way illegally. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Vancouver [B.C.] : UBC Press, Ă2008
ISBN: 9780774856157
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxii, 282 pages, [32] pages of plates) : illustrations, maps, portraits


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Dec 22, 2012

I learned a good deal about that war Canadians whose role may have been exagerrated.
I would rate it at 3 stars, whereas this author's next book, "Is this your first war?" is excellent.

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