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PostBolloten-Southworth Feud (Henry Levin, USA, 09/01/12 4:17 am)
David Pike (31 August) tells a very sad tale. I never met Southworth, but had dinner and discussions with Bolloten and enjoyed a demonstration of his ballroom dancing with his wife, sometime in the 1980s. He was a gentleman through and through. I never heard him cast a disparaging comment on anyone. He stuck to what he considered to be his evidence.
My mother-in-law's family was Spanish monarchist; my father-in-law was an anarchist. Both suffered for it. Both were thrown in jail, and my father-in-law only got out by joining the División Azul and taking a bullet, starvation, physical abuse and frostbite while providing cannon fodder for the Nazi blitzkrieg that bogged down on the Eastern Front. Franco or Stalin were both monsters to be detested. It is sad that there can be such antagonism in any contest to prove that one subhuman monster is more evil than another detestable human.
JE comments: "It is sad that there can be such antagonism in any contest to prove that one subhuman monster is more evil than another detestable human." Very, very wise words.
(Robert Whealey, USA
09/01/12 12:16 PM)
I never have had the privilege of meeting Henry Levin (1 September). I spoke to Bolloten on the telephone, about 1971, in which he congratulated me for writing an essay for Raymond Carr's edited book. I met Southworth and his wife five or six times.
Southworth's criticism of Bolloten was primarily academic, not personal. I respected the scholarship of both older men. Southworth called Franco a liar, not a monster. Southworth was some kind of socialist. He thought Bolloten's sympathy for Spanish anarchists 1933-37 led his post-war research into excessive anti-Stalinist directions. Southworth's hero was Juan Negrín.
Bolloten wrote three editions of his classic book on the Spanish Civil War. The anti-revolutionary tone on Spain increased over the years. I have written a long review of Southworth's work, which I hope JE will publish.
JE comments: Be glad to.