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Vincent Sheean and the Spanish Civil War

John Simkin

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During the Spanish Civil War Vincent Sheean reported the conflict for New York Herald Tribune. He worked with a group of journalists that included Ernest Hemingway, William Forrest, Robert Capa, and Herbert Matthews. According to Paul Preston, the author of We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War: "Herbert Matthews, Robert Capa and Willie Forrest were among the last correspondents to leave Catalonia before the Francoists reached the French frontier. Sheean, Matthews, Buckley and Hemingway had been involved in a hair-raising crossing of the Ebro in a boat which was nearly smashed against some spikes."

Sheean was highly critical of the Non-Intervention policy of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain. In his book, Not Peace but the Sword (1939) he wrote about Chamberlain: "This strange, tardy awakening on the part of the Prime Minister was of no worth in the scales of history, and will do little to blind even his contemporaries to the true value of a man who has consistently put the interests of his own class and type above those of either his own nation or of humanity itself."


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