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Talk: “Looking Back on Operation X: the Soviet Union and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939,” by Daniel Kowalsky

Fri, November 8, 2013 | GAR 1.102

12:00 PM

“Looking Back on Operation X: the Soviet Union and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939”

by Daniel Kowalsky, Queen’s University-Belfast

This talk offers a critical reassessment of Soviet military assistance to the Spanish Republic - code-named “Operation X” - based on recent scholarship, declassified official documents and an array of other sources, including newsreels, feature films, poster art, photographs, letters and the press. The discussion will not only interrogate the broad historiographical consensus that reduces Soviet intervention in the Spanish Civil War to a sinister and nefarious force, but intends to disentangle the multiple strands of that historiography, and track its development over the past seven decades. After fleshing out the many layers of this singular and improbable coming together of the Slavic and Hispanic worlds, the talk will close by evaluating the broader consequences of Operation X on Spain, the Soviet Union and the world.
Daniel Kowalsky studied at the University of Oregon and the University of New Mexico prior to receiving his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before taking his current position in the School of History and Anthropology at Queen’s University-Belfast, he taught at Washington University in St. Louis, The American University in Cairo and Bristol University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the civil war in Spain, including Stalin and the Spanish Civil War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), La Unión Soviética y la guerra civil española (Barcelona, Editorial Crítica, 2003), and is co-editor of History in Dispute: The Spanish Civil War (Detroit: St. James Press, 2005).
From a farm in County Down, Ireland, he is now writing a new book on Interwar Europe that Continuum Press will publish in 2016.

Sponsored by: Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, CES

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