Crosses of Memory and Oblivion : The Monuments to the Fallen in the Spanish Civil War (1936-2021) book cover
1st Edition

Crosses of Memory and Oblivion
The Monuments to the Fallen in the Spanish Civil War (1936-2021)

  • Available for pre-order on June 23, 2023. Item will ship after July 14, 2023
ISBN 9781032212876
July 14, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
432 Pages 53 B/W Illustrations

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USD $170.00

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Book Description

This book explores the history and legacy of monuments to the fallen from the Francoist side in the Spanish Civil War. Del Arco Blanco studies thousands of monuments in towns and cities across Spain to provide a detailed account of the history and memory of the Civil War, Francoism and the transition to democracy.


Chapters in the book focus on the myth of those said to have "fallen for God and for Spain"—a phrase that encapsulated and shaped the dichotomy between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Spaniards. They also focus on the use of monuments to control political and ideological ideals and to legitimize the Francoist dictatorship. Further chapters study Spanish society’s struggle to deal with its past of mass killing, denial and exclusion. Del Arco Blanco also pays attention to the way the Francoist authorities used monuments and memory for their political and ideological advantage and to control people, power as well as the political agenda.


The book draws on extensive research to reconstruct both the specific history of monuments scattered throughout the country and their role within manipulative Francoist memory of the Spanish Civil War. In these ways monuments helped shape the Francoist narrative and memory, but they also became part of the landscape of contemporary Spanish history.


This book is an excellent resource for postgraduate students and professional researchers studying the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and the influence of monuments on the construction of national memory, culture, and society in Spain both at the time and through to the present day.

Table of Contents

Part One: The ‘Crusade’ and the Monuments To The Fallen ‘For God And For Spain’ 1. The Final Hour: The Civil War and the Birth of the Myth of the Fallen 2. Stone on Stone: The Construction of Memorials to the Fallen Part Two: Meanings and Aesthetics of Monuments 3. Monuments to the True Spain: Meanings and Style 4. The Profile of the Spanish Nation: Typology of Monuments 5. Stone and omnipresence: materials and spaces 6. The National Monument to the Fallen for Spain: the Valley of the Fallen Part Three: History of The Memorials to the Fallen Between the Franco Regime and Today (1939-2021) 7. The fallen and monuments under Franco (1939-1959) 8. The first cracks: decadence and conflict over monuments between Franco's regime and democracy (1960-2000) 9. Memorials to the Fallen and the Battles for Memory (2000-2021) Conclusion: Crossroads and echoes of memory and oblivion

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Miguel Ángel del Arco Blanco is Associate Professor in the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Granada. His work centres on the study of Fascism, the Spanish Civil War and post-war Francoism. His works translated into English include Right Wing Spain in the Civil War Era: Soldiers of God and Apostles of the Fatherland, 1914-45 (2012), Mass Killings and Violence in Spain, 1936-52, Grappling with the Past (2014), and Franco’s Famine. Malnutrition, Disease and Starvation in Post-Civil War Spain (2021).