The Asturias Rebellion of 1934: A Community Revolution

Episode 34 with Matthew Kerry

The Revolution of October 1934 in Asturias is the most famous episode of Spain’s Second Republic period, but it is more often the subject of legend and propaganda than historical study. In this episode, Matthew Kerry, a lecturer at the University of Stirling and the author of the recent book Unite, Proletarian Brothers!: Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, discusses the history of the local mining communities behind the uprising and how they radicalized within the turbulent context of the 1930s in Europe. In so doing, he considers larger questions about the nature of ideas like community, radicalism and revolution. As part of our Historias for BSPHS partnership, this episode accompanies a review of Kerry’s book in the Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies.

The Episode

The Guest

Matthew Kerry is Lecturer in European History at the University of Stirling. He received his PhD from the University of Sheffield in 2015, held research fellowships at York University, the Institute for Social Movements (Bochum) and the Centre for Ibero-American History (Leeds), and has taught at the universities of Durham and Loughborough. He is the author of Unite, Proletarian Brothers! Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, 1931-1936, which was published in open access by the University of London Press. His work has also appeared in the English Historical Review, European History Quarterly and Cultural & Social History.

Suggested Reading

  • Bunk, Brian D., Ghosts of Passion: Martyrdom, Gender, and the Origins of the Spanish Civil War. Durham, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.
  • Chamberlin, Foster. “Policing Practices as a Vehicle for Brutalization: The Case of Spain’s Civil Guard, 1934–1936.” European History Quarterly 50, no. 4 (2020): 650-668.
  • Kerry, Matthew. Unite, Proletarian Brothers! Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, 1931–1936. London: University of London Press, 2020.
  • Radcliff, Pamela. From Mobilization to Civil War. The Politics of Polarization in the Spanish City of Gijón, 1900–1937. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • Ruiz, David. Insurrección defensiva y revolución obrera. El octubre español de 1934. Barcelona: Labor, 1988.
  • Shubert, Adrian. The Road to Revolution in Spain: The Coal Miners of Asturias, 1860–1934. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1987.
  • Taibo II, Paco Ignacio. Asturias, octubre 1934. Barcelona: Planeta, 2013.

First-Hand Observer Accounts

  • Corman, Mathieu. Incendiarios de ídolos: un viaje por la revolución de Asturias. Trans. Carlos García Velasco. Oviedo: Cambalache, 2009 [1935].
  • Llano Roza de Ampudia, Aurelio. La revolución en Asturias, octubre 1934: pequeños anales de quince días. Oviedo: Altamirano, 1935.

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