In this text based on a presentation delivered in 1985 at a conference on the POUM held in Madrid, the former leader of the Iberian Communist Youth, and the last general secretary of the POUM, reviews the history of the POUM and discusses the background of its leading militants in anarchosyndicalism and Spanish communism, its leading role in the founding of the Workers Alliance and the October 1934 insurrection in Asturias, it founding in 1935, the Popular Front and the February 1936 elections, its fight against Stalinist repression and its persecution under the Negrín government during the civil war, and the fates of the party’s militants underground and in exile.
First published in France in 1974, a “critical analysis of the bureaucratization of the CNT, with regard to both the political as well as the economic terrain”, bureaucratization which the author claims was “total and complete”, with discussions of certain historical turning points and watershed moments (e.g., the militarization of the militias, the May Events and the overthrow of the Council of Aragon), and extensive passages quoted from eyewitness accounts (e.g., Marcel Ollivier’s Les journées sanglantes de Barcelone), newspaper articles and official documents that have not previously appeared in English translation.
Second volume of José Peirats' extensive work on the Spanish anarchist union the CNT, which in this volume focuses on the battles raging at both the front and rear guards. Additionally, a biographical chapter, "The Life and Struggles of José Peirats" gives a great deal of insight into this CNT fighter and historian.
Written by a lifelong member of the CNT, this is the most comprehensive, critical history of the Spanish Civil War and the role played in it by the CNT-FAI, the anarcho-syndicalists and anarchists. Beginning with an overview of the Spanish working class movement stretching back to the 19th Century and ending with the defeat of the revolution this should be required reading.