Ernest Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War
Department of History
Next year will mark 80 years since the outbreak in 1936 of Spain’s Civil War. This brutal war lasted for nearly three years (July 1936-March 1939), claiming at least one-half million lives and sending another one-half million refugees into exile. For Ernest Hemingway, the fight against General Francisco Franco became a cause of utmost importance. In March 1937, he traveled to Madrid to observe conditions firsthand. Reporting on the war for the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), Hemingway penned 31 dispatches from Spain. He also helped to produce a pro-Republican film, "The Spanish Earth." His experiences during the civil war provided the material for what many consider to be Hemingway’s most famous novel, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940). This presentation touches on debates related to Hemingway’s presence in Spain and his actions on behalf of the Republic.
Dale Graden is a professor of history at the University of Idaho. He has taught courses on the Spanish Civil War at the UI, as well as for the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) at the University of Alicante, Spain.