In 1937 and 1938, Ernest Hemingway made four trips to Spain to cover its civil war for the North American News Alliance wire service and to help create the pro-Republican documentary film The Spanish Earth. Hemingway’s Second War is the first book-length scholarly work devoted to this subject.
Drawing on primary sources, Alex Vernon provides a thorough account of Hemingway’s involvement in the Spanish Civil War, a messy, complicated, brutal precursor to World War II that inspired Hemingway’s great novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Vernon also offers the most sustained history and consideration to date of The Spanish Earth. Directed by Joris Ivens, this film was a landmark work in the development of war documentaries, for which Hemingway served as screenwriter and narrator.
Contributing factual, textual, and contextual information to Hemingway studies in general and his participation in the war specifically, Vernon has written a critical biography for Hemingway’s experiences during the Spanish Civil War that includes discussion of the left-wing politics of the era and the execution of José Robles Pazos. Finally, the book provides readings of For Whom the Bell Tolls both in historical context and on its own terms.
Marked by both impressive breadth and accessibility, Hemingway’s Second War will be an indispensable resource for students of literature, film, journalism, and European history and a landmark work for readers of Ernest Hemingway.
For more information, please visit the author's website.
“Hemingway’s Second War is a much-needed and terrific book. Whether shedding critical light on Hemingway’s experiences during the Spanish Civil War, explaining his role in the filming of The Spanish Earth, or clarifying his political positions during this period, Alex Vernon intelligently and comprehensively delivers, providing much-needed factual details in the process. I do not know of any other book, either already published or in process, that matches the thorough and keen treatment of this subject. It will easily be the definitive work on Hemingway and the Spanish Civil War.”—James H. Meredith, president, Ernest Hemingway Foundation and Society