Julián Casanova is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Zaragoza.
He has been visiting professor at prestigious universities across the world including Queen Mary College (London), Harvard, Notre Dame and New School for Social Reserarch (in the U.S.) and Central European University (Budapest).
Casanova is a regular contributor to El Pais, regular commentator for Onda Cero and Historical Advisor and host of The War – an eight hour documentary series on the Spanish Civil War, broadcast on TVE in 2006.
In 2008 he was elected, on the proposal of Baltasar Garzon and relatives of missing persons during the Spanish Civil War, to help find mass graves of victims under General Franco’s rule.
What initially sparked your interest in The Spanish Civil War?
It is the border line of the twentieth-century in Spain. An international war, with many wars inside that covers history, literature, art and memory.
Which individuals, events or forces are especially important in your area of history?
Social movements, ordinary people, leaders, Wars, revolutions and regimes.
Which areas of your field most urgently need further exploration?
I would say biographies that provide a comparison between wars and daily life under dictatorship.
Which figure in history would you like to go back in time to meet and why?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, because he proved that there was an exit, non-violent, to the crisis of capitalism.
What is your favourite book?
If I had to choose a novel it would be Truman Capote's In Cold Blood; as a work of history, The Making of the English Working Classes by E.P. Thompson. ■
The Spanish Civil War and Republic (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
Anarchism, the Republic and Civil War in Spain: 1931-1939 (Routledge,2005)
Morir, Matar, Sobrevivir (Critica, 2004)