1st Edition

Revolution and the State Anarchism in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

By Danny Evans Copyright 2018

    This book analyses the processes of revolution and state reconstruction that took place in the Republican zone during the Spanish civil war. It focuses on the radical anarchists who sought to advance the revolutionary agenda. Their activity came into conflict with the leaders of the libertarian organisations committed to the reconstruction of the Republican state following its near collapse in July 1936. This process implied participation not only in the organs of governance but also in the ideological reconstitution of the Republic as a patriarchal and national entity. Using original sources, the book shows that the opposition to this process was both broader and more ideologically consistent than has hitherto been assumed, and that, in spite of its heterogeneity, it united around a common revolutionary programme. This resistance to state reconstruction was informed by the essential insight of anarchism: that the function and purpose of the modern state cannot be transformed from within. By situating the struggles of the radical anarchists within the contested process of state reconstruction, the book affirms the continued relevance of this insight to the study of the Spanish revolution.


    1. Spanish Anarchists and the Republican State, 1931-1936

    2. Revolution and the State, July – December 1936

    3. Radical Anarchism: Programme and Alliance, January – April 1937

    4. May 1937: From a Second July to the ‘Spanish Kronstadt’

    5. The Spanish Revolution in Retreat, May – December 1937

    6. The Experience of Defeat, 1937-1939


    Appendix: Recurring Personages



    Danny Evans is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the History of Ibero-America at the University of Leeds. He has published on anarchism and anti-fascism in a special issue of the International Journal of Iberian Studies that he co-edited with James Michael Yeoman on "New Approaches to Spanish Anarchism" (2016). His interests include the anarchist commitment to internationalism and gender equality in Spain, and the post-revolutionary experiences of defeat and exile.

    "By drawing our attention to the various ways in which anarchist radicals challenged pro-statist elements in their own movement, the author has ably defended one of his working assumptions, namely that such resistance was more substantial and coherently expressed than previous historians have allowed for in their analysis of republican affairs" - George Esenwein, University of Florida, Anarchist Studies