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Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany, and World War II, by Stanley G. Payne

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Pp. viii, 328. Notes, biblio., index. $30.00. ISBN:0300151225.

Stanley G. Payne, the leading American authority on modern Spain , and among the most even-handed students of the subject, presents a very detailed, careful analysis of the relations between the Spanish Caudillo and the German Fuhrer during World War II. 
 
The work is divided into three parts. About a fifth of the book deals with the period from the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War to that of World War II, the second, and longest part, deals with the period of Spanish "non-belligerence," during which Franco tilted strongly toward the Axis, and the third, also about a fifth of the text, covers his disengagement from Axis ties.   

The work covers Spain' s military, diplomatic, and economic relations with Germany and, to a lesser extent, Italy , as well as war planning by both sides, the internal politics of the Franco regime, and Franco's curious but generally positive actions during the Holocaust. Payne also has many interesting word-portraits of people prominent in these events. 

Although often criticized as being sympathetic to the Spanish Right, Payne clearly holds little affection for Franco, pointing out his prejudices, blunders, and opportunism. 

An important read for anyone interested in the diplomatic and strategic aspects of the war or in Spanish history and politics.
 

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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