Pro-Franco history tops bestseller list
A revisionist history book praising the former Spanish dictator General Francisco Franco, whose regime liquidated tens of thousands of opponents over nearly 40 years, has shot to the top of the bestseller list in Spain as the country marks the 30th anniversary of his death.
"Franco should . . . receive the gratitude and recognition of the majority of Spaniards," writes Pio Moa in Franco: an historical review. The success of the book, which repeats old claims that Franco brought peace and prosperity while creating a country ready for democracy, has revealed an undercurrent of opinion happy to reject the idea that he was little more than a brutal, vengeful dictator.
"There was no alternative," Moa says, claiming that the Republican democracy overthrown by Franco's rebel forces during the bloody Spanish civil war had already failed beyond repair. "He left a prosperous and politically moderate country. The last 30 years of democracy have been possible thanks to that."
Moa, a former member of a violent leftwing group, is rejected by many professional historians as a pseudo-historian who has found a publishing goldmine as a modern Franco apologist. "What he writes is nothing less than an up-to-date repetition of what Franco's people have always said," commented the historian Santos Julia in El Pais newspaper.
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