In this first book-length study of the role women played in two of the most momentous revolutions of the twentieth century, Tabea Alexa Linhard provides a comparative analysis of works on the Mexican Revolution (circa 1910–1919) and the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Linhard was inspired by the story of the “Trece Rosas,” about thirteen young women who, after the Spanish Civil War ended with the Nationalists’ victory, were executed. One of the women, Julia Conesa, was particularly influential. In a letter she wrote to her mother a few hours before she faced the firing squad, she said, “Do not allow my name to vanish in history.” Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War is Linhard’s attempt to respond to Julia’s last request.
Although female figures such as the soldaderas of the Mexican Revolution and the milicianas of the Spanish Civil War are abundant in writings about revolution and war, they are often treated as icons, myths, and symbols, displacing the women’s particular and diverse experiences. Linhard maintains a focus on these women’s stories, which until now—when presented at all—have usually been downplayed in literary canons, official histories, and popular memories. She addresses several existing gaps in studies of the intersections of gender, revolution, and culture in both the Mexican and the Spanish contexts.
The book is grounded in transatlantic studies, an emerging field that bridges disciplinary boundaries between Peninsular studies and Latin American studies. In this case, the connection between the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War is a natural consequence of the disjointed conditions out of which arose the cultural texts in which fearless women appear.
Fearless Women in the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War will be especially valuable to scholars of early twentieth-century Peninsular and Mexican literature and culture. It will also be a useful resource in gender studies and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of revolution, war, and culture.