Many things have been written about Santiago Carrillo: some positive, and others negative. A new biography of the Communist leader by Paul Preston will be firmly filed under the latter. And given that Preston is not a crafty former party member or a revisionist, but one of the greatest specialists in 20 th -century Spanish history, his devastating and controversial portrait of the main leader of the anti-Franco opposition will bring out a few rashes. The Spanish Communist Party PCE was the backbone of that movement which, despite its brave attempts, was unable to stop the Nationalist advance. The finished product is demystifying and corrosive.
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In an old ghost in new clothes began to stalk Europe: Eurocommunism. The term was invented by a journalist to denote a novel type of Western communism, somewhat liberal, almost social democratic and anyway nicer, cosier and more stylish than the traditional Soviet brand not a difficult enterprise. The term was soon adopted by the leaders of the communist parties of Italy Enrico Berlinguer , France Georges Marchais and Spain Santiago Carrillo , who met in Madrid in March of that year to affirm and reaffirm their commitment to Western democracy.
The ghost scared only those who were easily scared or whose job it was to pretend to be scared by leftists the secret services, Kissinger and such like. Eurocommunism annoyed the Russians, since it suggested that to win elections in the West one had to distance oneself from the East. Less than a decade later the phenomenon evanesced.
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Paul Preston’s “J’accuse” to Santiago Carrillo