Features

Aking Chan, a Chinese Volunteer in the Basque Army

May 13, 2021
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Aking Chan, a Chinese Volunteer in the Basque Army

A found manuscript in the Basque Country leads to a surprising correspondence.
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Remembering in a Time of Lockdown

May 11, 2021
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Remembering in a Time of Lockdown

In July last year a small group gathered—socially distanced—at the memorial to the International Brigades in London. As Jeremy Corbyn spoke of the “incredible sense of solidarity with people around the world” to a camera in a near-deserted Jubilee Gardens, I uploaded a short video as a personal act of remembrance on the International...
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What Do We Know About Salaria Kea’s Irish Husband?

May 11, 2021
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What Do We Know About Salaria Kea’s Irish Husband?

Salaria Kea, the only woman among the close to 100 African American volunteers who left for Spain from the United States, married an Irish ambulance driver. Who was John O’Reilly?
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Sydney Harris, UK-born Lincoln Vet

May 11, 2021
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Sydney Harris, UK-born Lincoln Vet

Born in Leeds, England, Syd Harris ended up in a Chicago orphanage when he was five. Fifteen years later, he volunteered for the Lincoln Battalion. After the war, as a well-known labor photographer and journalist, he was targeted by the FBI. A former boxer, he also acted as Paul Robeson’s personal bodyguard when the...
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What Happened to Maurice Wolf?

May 11, 2021
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What Happened to Maurice Wolf?

Colleen Darby never met her uncle, who died in Spain five years before she was born. A reconstruction of his life and the circumstances of his death.
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“There’s a Solid Bedrock of Violent Racism in the US”—Richard Sennett, Sociologist

May 11, 2021
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“There’s a Solid Bedrock of Violent Racism in the US”—Richard Sennett, Sociologist

Richard Sennett was in his late twenties when he found out his father had served in the International Brigades defending the Spanish Republic. So, it turned out, had his uncle.
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Never More Alive: Kate Mangan’s Spanish Memoir

February 4, 2021
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Never More Alive: Kate Mangan’s Spanish Memoir

One of the most compelling first-person accounts in English from the Spanish Civil War languished in the archives for more than 80 years. Artist and model Kate Mangan (1904-77) was a keen observer of character with a sharp nib on her pen. After traveling to Spain in 1936 in search of her lover, Jan...
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Voices from the Spanish Earth

Voices from the Spanish Earth

The Volunteer is proud to present these translated excerpts and images from Las voces de la tierra, a new book in which thirty-three writers pen brief texts about everyday objects recovered during the exhumations of the mass graves of Franco’s victims. The photographs are by the renowned photographer José Antonio Robés, who also curated...
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The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War in U.S. History Textbooks

February 4, 2021
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The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War in U.S. History Textbooks

How do the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the broader American response to the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 appear in introductory college-level United States history textbooks? A survey of a dozen highly regarded textbooks published in the past quarter century reveals a mixed picture. Some ignore altogether the American volunteers who fought alongside the...
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Poetry Feature Homage to the Spanish Flu: A Found Poem*

February 4, 2021
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<em>Poetry Feature</em> Homage to the Spanish Flu: A Found Poem*

I resented the world for having taken my mother away from me, explains journalist James Benét, who went to war to fight against fascism in Spain, and no doubt part of my radicalism was that, he says, proud having chosen the right target, the ills of society. I feel that everyone should feel that...
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