Poisoned of body and soul

The university opposition to the Franco period in Madrid (1939-1970)

Jose Alvarez Cobelas
The title of the book comes from a phrase pronounced by admiral Carrero Blanco in a speech in The Spanish Parliament (XXIst Century of Spain Publishers)

Had the students who had faced the dictatorship done it to establish a diet of freedoms similar to that of western Europe or were aspiring to another thing? To answer to this question José Alvarez Cobelas has investigated during a decade, has handled the legal and clandestine press, has dived in the official, private files and of foundations and has interviewed direct protagonists. The author, for his age, has not been a witness of the events that he analyzes, what allows him a suitable distancing of the facts, foreign to ideological or personal influences.

In the introduction the author says: "Childbearing of the hypothesis of which the Student movement of the sixties in the University of Madrid tried, not the attainment of a democracy western type, but coming to a socialism of diffuse and contradictory characters, in consonance with the student movements of different countries for which it was influenced. Although, it supported an autonomous and parallel development, it did not prevent the coexistence with political practices of western democratic sign“.

Along the book the evolution of the different protagonists is observed, the position of the Diet is studied with the University in the different epochs, as well as the attitude of the academic authorities, the professorship and the pupils. From the circular letter of December 7, 1936, which was establishing the treatment of all those that had helped to spread the ideology of the Popular Front, the university of Madrid spent for different stages: the 40s, scantly difficult, partly for being the students children of the winners of the war; the disturbances of 1956 immediately after a declaration authorized to claim Gibraltar; the answer of the second half of the 60, with the change of mentality that supposed the French May and the Mexican September, the appearance of radical movements and anarchists.

On the pages of Poisoned of body and soul groups and institutions are analyzed: the contradictions and crisis of the SEU, the strategies of the CPS, the influence of the Front of Popular Liberation ("Felipe"), the creation of the Democratic Trade union of Students, the role of the biggest schools. There is revised the performance of the key figures: Pedro Laín Entralgo, in the first years; Enrique Tierno Galván, José Luis López Aranguren and Agustín García Calvo, three expelled professors; Enrique Múgica and Jorge Semprún (alias Federico Sánchez), leaders of the CPS; and also Christian Democrats as Ruiz Gallardón or differing Falangists as Dionysius Ridruejo.

We are before a well based work and exhaustively documented. An essential, not alone book to understand better an epoch but also to understand partly why we have come where we are. There will not like those who suffer interesadamente from amnesia historical; not to those who earlier were serving in a party and later they preferred to retrain to other with more possibilities of reaching the power; not to those who were in the shade of the dictatorship and today they are democrats of the whole life.

Presentation of the book:

Circle of Fine arts of Madrid (Spain), Ramón Gómez de la Serna Salts
On November 16, 2004 at 19:30.
They will intervene:
Manuel Pérez Ledesma
Agustín García Calvo
José Alvarez Cobelas

Category: Books

To send Buzz Wikio
On Sunday, the 14th November, 2004

2 comments to “Poisoned of body and soul”

  1. marmarfil on On Monday, the 5th September, 2005 at 9:53 pm

    I am glad that books like that are already going out.

  2. Rafa on Friday, the 8th September, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    Very interesting, and with an unbeatable rigor. Without place to doubt, a few years to remember of our university that it should be more studied. After all, the university is a perfect thermometer of the political situation of the country. Fortunately he does not forget the role of the biggest schools. We wait for more essays

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