Much to be praised biography of the Spanish dictator Jun 22, 2008
It is still difficult and hurtful for Spanish people to get an objective, pasionless opinion on Francisco Franco. If I were to recommend a way to try and achieve that, I would suggest reading several good books on the matter, including this among them. I found it far more readable that Paul Preston's biography, and far more to the point. And, frankly speaking, in my opinion B. Bennassar is as impartial as humanly possible. I regret it that is has not been translated into English: this is a book in French. Indeed, I regret even more that it is also difficult to get hold of a Spanish edition. If you can read French or Spanish, please get it and read it.
Other books that I would reccomend on the Spanish Civil war [maybe I am wrong but I have the impression that the franquist regime as such will be a less rewarding subject for the American public] are : 1) also by B. Bennassar, "Le guerre d'Espagne et ses lendemains" [in Spain translated as "El infierno fuimos nosotros"[, i.e., "Hell was us"]; 2 and 3) Two compilations of short biographies of Spanish characters, men ("Las tres Españas del 36") and women ("Doves of war"); and 4) "The Collapse of the Spanish Republic, 1933-1936: Origins of the Civil War" by Stanley G. Payne (not yet read it, but also seems worth it the pain).