Republic of egos: a social history of the Spanish Civil War - Michael Seidman

Michael Seidman's bold interpretation of the Spanish Civil War builds on the project of his earlier monograph, Workers Against Work: Labor in Paris and Barcelona during the Popular Front (1991), to "bring back the individual" into historical studies.

Submitted by subprole on September 9, 2011

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888

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by 888 on September 9, 2011

Individuals don't exist. Individualists, go back to reading Ayn Rand

subprole

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on September 9, 2011

What do you want to tell us with this comment?

subprole

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on September 9, 2011

I don't know why the post has been changed but the introduction above was taken from this site:

http://www.historycooperative.org/cgi-bin/justtop.cgi?act=justtop&url=http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/109.2/br_167.html

Bonaventura

12 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Bonaventura on May 16, 2012

Seidman's book - (alongside with Sandie Holguín's "Creating Spaniards. Culture and National Identity in Republican Spain") is reviewed by Helen Graham in the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Vol. 4/2003. The review (in English) is online at
http://muckracker.wordpress.com/hammer/gegen-die-arbeit/
(you have to scroll down ca. half the page).

Her review is devastating, »what we get in this book is not really a historical analysis at all but rather a skidding across the surface, a descriptive compendium of archival or bibliographically derived snippets that lead nowhere in particular. The primary and secondary referencing is at times careless (some of the archival references are very odd indeed) and the frequent use of superannuated Anglo-American bibliography is unacceptable when an extensive specialist Spanish historiography is now readily available«.

And: Seidman's "Republic of Egos" is »a defence of neo-liberal economic individualism«.

I also recommend Helen's review of "Workers Against Work" (International Review of Social History, Vol. XXXVII, 1992, p. 276 - 281), which can be obtained here:
http://muckracker.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/helen-graham-seidman.pdf

Spikymike

11 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on July 15, 2012

As someone critical of the more romantic and ideologised anarchist versions of the revolutionary content of Spain in 1936 and the ensuing civil war period (and a former member of Subversion quoted by Skraeling on the other related thread) I had hoped to get something more useful out of this book which I managed to plod through on my recent holiday.

True it did reinforce my understanding of how ideological militancy cannot on it's own overcome the influence of material conditions both historical and immediate and did perhaps suggest that many ordinary workers understood that the 'game was up' long before the committed ideological miltants, but beyond that it was a severe disapointment and I have to thank Bonavertura for the linked critical reviews which I find little to disagree with.

NannerNannerNa…

11 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by NannerNannerNa… on March 22, 2013

I'm glad we all realize Seidman is a fucking idiot.