Memories of Resistance


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Women`s Voices from the Spanish Civil War

Shirley Mangini

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During the Spanish Civil War, women—long oppressed in Spain—were active both on the front and in the rear guard. This book is the first to focus on Spanish women's contributions to the war effort and the social and psychological implications of this radical change in their traditional role.

Quoting extensively from such "memory texts" as oral testimonies, diaries, autobiographies, and letters, Shirley Mangini considers the status of women before, during, and after the war. She discusses the factors that provoked the war and how they affected Spanish women--both the "visible" women who during the turbulent 1920s and 1930s tried to become part of mainstream politics and the "invisible" women who came to the fore during the revolutionary years of the Second Spanish Republic from 1931 to 1936 and became activists in the protest against the military insurrection of 1936. She describes the incarceration and exile of women after the war and examines how they dealt with their lives during the long years of persecution and silence under the Franco regime from 1939 to 1975.

Shirley Mangini is professor of Spanish and director of the Center for Humanities at California State University, Long Beach.

"A memorable and eloquent book, drawn from the literature, memoirs, and political writings of the period, that captures both the political coming-of-age of Spanish women and the terrible price many paid for their role in the Spanish Civil War."—Robert Kern, University of New Mexico

"A unique, compelling, insightful recording of the experiences of a diverse group of Spanish women bound together by their participation in the politics of the Republic, their defense of their ideals in the Civil War, and their endurance of the imprisonment and exile that followed."—Joan C. Ullman, University of Washington

"In the true spirit of women's studies, Memories of Resistance cuts across the disciplines, offering scholars of gender studies, autobiography, women's history and politics, cultural studies and criminology an absolutely new field of investigation, which is almost boundless in potential."—Susana Cavallo, NWSA Journal

"An American scholar has collected stories about Spanish women, describing patriarchal abuse before the civil war and suffering and heroism during the war. Feminist theory seeks to interpret these authentic voices, poignant and rare in themselves."—Foreign Affairs

"Mangini's work is most welcome. . . . By moving beyond the heroic to look at the meaning and legacy of prison and exile, Mangini has made a significant contribution to theoretical understanding of the memory and meaning of war. An important addition to any library."—Choice

"Mangini collects memoirs, histories, and interviews of dozens of women who fought for their place in a society dominated by the forces of conservatism . . . who have poignant and horrifying tales to tell. The author weaves them into a powerful and coherent narrative which fills the reader with admiration, shame, and disgust. Women contributed powerfully to the social advances of 20th century Spain."—Virginia Quarterly Review

"Shirley Mangini sets the experiences of Spanish women from 1936 onwards in the context of their traditional role in Spanish society, subordinated by law to the state, the church and their menfolk. . . . This is a fine and often moving book, and a real addition to the historiography of the Spanish tragedy, and of women's history."—Jim Fyrth, Labor History Review

"Memories of Resistance weaves the memories of vanquished women into a rich and disturbing tapestry of voices with the expressed intent of breaking through the decades of silence that has enveloped their lives as activists. . . . Shirley Mangini has written a powerful book that won't allow us to forget."—Alda Blanco, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

"[This] book abounds in illuminating insight."—Paul Preston, Journal of Modern History

ISBN: 9780300058161
Publication Date: March 20, 1995
234 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
36 b/w illus.