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'Red Ellen' WilkinsonHer ideas, movements and world$
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Matt Perry

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087202

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087202.001.0001

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‘The hope of the world’: Spain in revolution and war, 1933–39

‘The hope of the world’: Spain in revolution and war, 1933–39

(p.299) 7 ‘The hope of the world’: Spain in revolution and war, 1933–39
'Red Ellen' Wilkinson

Matt Perry

Manchester University Press

The sheer scope and complexity of Wilkinson's involvement on behalf of Republican Spain is striking. Her attitude towards Spain was the result of entangled relationships with Spanish leaders, her own party, her union, and more than the British Communist Party itself, and the Münzenberg-Katz circle. These pulled her in different directions in campaigning and ideological terms. What attracted Wilkinson to Spain was not so much the defence of a liberal democracy, though her antifascist commitment could not be doubted, but the ebb and flow of a great social movement. At moments, her writings on Spain exhibit a great intimacy and profound affinity with that movement and its revolutionary capacities. Yet the implications of her transnational networks and her advocacy of a Popular Front policy pulled her away from the base of that movement into the reception events for foreign visitors, the hotels filled with some of the world's most celebrated novelists and journalists. Foremost, Spain was an experience of defeat and nobody connected to it could escape its emotional cost or its challenge to one's political assumptions.

Keywords:   Asturias, Spanish Civil War, bombing, humanitarianism, international brigades

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