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Anarchism, Revolution and Reaction: Catalan Labor and the Crisis of the Spanish State, 1898-1923

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Volume 8

International Studies in Social History

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Anarchism, Revolution and Reaction

Catalan Labor and the Crisis of the Spanish State, 1898-1923

Angel Smith

418 pages, 11 tables, 5 figs, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-176-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2007)

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


The major and significant achievement of Ángel Smith’s exhaustively researched monograph is to provide a balanced and intelligent explanation for the tremendous influence of anarchism amongst the Catalan working class and the Barceloneses in particular that was so evident in the first heady months of the Spanish revolution from July 1936… Ángel Smith has produced an exemplary study that will surely establish itself as the core text on the growth and development of Catalan anarchism, but which also contributes much to a more profound understanding of the broader course of twentieth century Spanish history.  ·  Social History

“This detailed work provides a valuable account of the factors which destabilized Spain in the period up to 1923. In essence this is an excellent reference work to the complicated labour and political situations which existed in early twentieth-century Spain, and it should find a place on the shelves of libraries and historians of contemporary Spain.”  ·  Bulletin of Spanish Studies

“In sum this is an invaluable work, which no historian of modern Spain, anarchism or European labour can afford to do without.”  ·  History

“[this] outstanding study enriches…our understanding of Catalan anarchism and syndicalism..”  ·  International Socialism


The period from 1898 to 1923 was a particularly dramatic one in Spanish history; it culminated in the violent Barcelona “labor wars” and was only brought to a close with the coup d’état launched by the Barcelona Captain General, Miguel Primo de Rivera, in September 1923. In his detailed examination of the rise of the Catalan anarchist-syndicalist-led labor movement, the author blends social, cultural and political history in a novel way. He analyses the working class “from below” and the policies of the Spanish State towards labor “from above.” Based on an in-depth usage of primary sources, the authors provides an unrivalled account of Catalan labor and the Catalan anarchist-syndicalist movement and thus makes an important contribution to our understanding of early twentieth-century Spanish history.

Angel Smith in Senior Lecturer in Spanish History at the University of Leeds. He has worked extensively in the areas of Spanish labor and Spanish nationalisms. His books include An Historical Dictionary of Modern Spain (Scarecrow Press, 1996), Clare Mar-Molinero and Angel Smith (eds), Nationalism and National Identity in the Iberian Peninsula. Competing and Conflicting Identities (Berg, 1996), Angel Smith and Emma Dávila-Cox (eds), The Crisis of 1898. Colonial Redistribution and Nationalist Mobilization (Macmillan, 1999), Stefan Berger and Angel Smith (eds), Nationalism, Labour and Ethnicity, 1870-1939 (Manchester University Press, 1999), Angel Smith (ed), Red Barcelona. Social Mobilization and Labour Conflict in the Twentieth Century (Routledge, 2002).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Sociology Political and Economic Anthropology
Area: Southern Europe


List of Figures and Tables
List of Acronyms
A Note on Language Usage



Chapter 1. Industrial Structure, Technological Change and the Labour Process
Chapter 2. Gender, Skill and Class: Hierarchy and Solidarity within the Catalan Working-Class Community
Chapter 3. The State, Employers and Organised Labour: Political Marginalisation, Social Control and Resistance


Chapter 4. Anarchism, Socialism and the General Strike, 1898 to 1909
Chapter 5. Workers against the State: Anarchism, Republicanism, Popular and Working-Class Protest, 1898 to 1909
Chapter 6. The Foundation of the CNT, 1910 to 1914


Chapter 7. The War-Time Economy and the Rise of the Sindicats Unics, 1915 to 1918
Chapter 8. Between Reform and Revolution: The Catalan CNT and the Left-Wing Challenge to the Restoration Regime, 1915 to 1918
Chapter 9. 1919: The Apogee of the Catalan CNT and the Employer-Military Counteroffensive
Chapter 10. The Road to Dictatorship: The Destruction of the Catalan CNT and the Fall of the Restoration Regime, 1920 to 1923


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