New Perspectives on Franco

Episode 40 with Stanley Payne

Francisco Franco ruled Spain as dictator for almost 40 years from 1939-1975. He is thus one of modern European history’s most important, and most controversial, figures, and his long life spanned periods of colonial conflict, civil war, world war and post-war economic growth. Prof. Stanley Payne joins the podcast to discuss some of the insights he offers on Franco’s life and times in his recent biography of the dictator.Drawing on sources from Franco’s personal archive and interviews with family members, Payne weighs in on some of the debates surrounding the dictator such as how good of a general he was, how close he came to joining World War II and how much of a role he had in the rapid changes that took place in Spanish society late in his life.

The Episode

The Guest

Stanley G. Payne is Hilldale-Jaume Vicens Vives Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has published more than twenty books on the history of Spain and of Modern Europe.  Among the most recent are The Spanish Civil War, the Soviet Union and Communism (2003), The Collapse of the Spanish Republic 1933-1936: Origins of the Civil War (2006), Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany and World War II (2008), Spain: A Unique History (2009), Civil War in Europe 1905-1949 (2011), The Spanish Civil War (2012), and (with Jesús Palacios) Franco. A Personal and Political History (2015).  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and corresponding member of the Spanish Royal Academies of History and of Moral and Political Sciences.  He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and the Gran Cruz de Isabel la Católica by the Spanish government.  From 1999 to 2016 he was co-editor of the Journal of Contemporary History.

Suggested Readings

  • Bennassar, Bartolomé. Franco. Enfance et adolescence. Paris: Éd. Autrement,1999.
  • Guirao, Fernando. Spain and the Reconstruction of Western Europe 1945-1957. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
  • Jensen, Geoffrey. Franco: Soldier, Commander, Dictator. Dulles: Potomac Books,2005.
  • Kleinfeld, Gerald R. Hitler’s Spanish Legion: The Blue Division in Russia. Amsterdam: Feffer & Simons,  1979.
  • Payne, Stanley G. Collapse of the Spanish Republic 1933-1936: Origins of the Civil War. New Haven: Yale University Press,2006.
  • ———. Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany and World War II. New Haven: Yale University Press,2008.
  • ———. The Spanish Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,2012.
  • Payne, Stanley G. and Jesús Palacios. Franco: A Personal and Political Biography. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018.
  • Preston, Paul. Franco. A Biography. London: HarperCollins,1995.
  • Seidman, Michael. The Victorious Counterrevolution: The Nationalist Effort in the Spanish Civil War. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,2011.

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