Paul Preston
Paul Preston CBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born 1946 in Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

) is a British historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 and Hispanist
A Hispanist is a scholar specialising in Hispanic studies, that is Spanish or Portuguese language, literature, linguistics, or civilization, and by extension, Basque, Catalan and Galician....

, specialized in Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 history, in particular the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

, which he has studied for more than 30 years.

He is currently based at the London School of Economics
London School of Economics
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...

, but is a frequent visitor to Spain, where his work appears in Spanish.
He speaks Spanish fluently.
He also speaks Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 and has been awarded Catalonia's Ramon Llull International Prize (2005) for supporting the return of the Salamanca Papers
Salamanca Papers
The Salamanca Papers refer to the 300,000 documents and 1,000 photographs confiscated from the Catalan government after the Spanish Civil War and transported in 12 railway freight wagons to the city of Salamanca to be stored in what was later to become Spain's Civil War Archive .The return of the...


He describes the final victory of Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's troops as "an international war that happened in Spanish fields, that wasn't decided in Spain but in the hands of the great powers.", going on to add that "after initial hesitation, Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism....

's involvement would escalate from the provision of transport aircraft to a point at which Italy was, in everything short of a formal declaration of hostilities, as war with the Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
The Second Spanish Republic was the government of Spain between April 14 1931, and its destruction by a military rebellion, led by General Francisco Franco....


He has produced an authoritative biography of Franco (Basic Books, 1994). Preston is quoted as saying that "Franco wasn't a fascist, but something much worse, as he brought the African mentality of repression and coldness, and treated the Spanish the same way as the natives of Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...


He has also published a biography of King Juan Carlos I (2003) and more recently books on the subject of foreign correspondents who reported on the Spanish Civil War and Franco's control of his generals.

External links

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