Books: Disasters of War, 1936-39

THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR (720 pp.)—Hugh Thomas—Harper ($8.50).

"Oh, old Europe," wrote a French correspondent in his diary, "God grant that all this blood does not choke you."

The time was 1938 and the place Madrid. By the numbers of the dead alone (600,000 on both sides), the Spanish Civil War might have been enough to choke Europe in a more civilized century; but it proved to be only an hors d'oeuvre for World War II. It was also a war in which the issues, decided and undecided, were stated with some clarity. It had...

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