A War Of Words

Episodes

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0120120806

On 17th July 1936, an uprising began in Spanish Morocco that was to lead to nearly three years of civil war and the deaths of tens of thousands of Spaniards. It was a struggle fundamentally of Right versus Left, and Spain was to become a rehearsal for the World War to come.

From all over the world a host of men and women came to Spain, prepared to fight and die for one cause or the other. Some followed Franco's armies - Americans such as William P Carney and Hubert Knickerbocker and Brits such as Sefton Delmer and Harold Cardozo. But it was the left-wing Republican side that attracted the many famous literary names - George Orwell, Laurie Lee, W.H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway went there as a journalist, reporting for the North American Newspaper Alliance, alongside his wife-to-be Martha Gellhorn who was writing for the American magazine Collier's Weekly.

These five programmes tell the stories of the correspondents who risked their lives to report on the Spanish war. The resulting journalism was in some cases extraordinary: the unemotional prose of Steer reporting on the horrific destruction of Guernica; the poignant writing of Gellhorn as she observed the gruesome effects of Franco's bombardments of Madrid; the fabrications of writers pre-empting Rebel victories.

In episode one, John Simpson explores some of the great pieces of journalism that were to come out of the Spanish Civil War from Times correspondent George Steer, The Nation writer Louis Fischer and Collier's contributor and Hemingway's wife-to-be Martha Gellhorn.

Producer: Neil Rosser

A Ladbroke production for BBC Radio 4.

John Simpson tell the stories of the correspondents who reported on the Spanish Civil war.

0220120807

On 17th July 1936, an uprising began in Spanish Morocco that was to lead to nearly three years of civil war and the deaths of tens of thousands of Spaniards. It was a struggle fundamentally of Right versus Left, and Spain was to become a rehearsal for the World War to come.

In the second episode John Simpson examines one of the knotty problems faced by foreign correspondents in wartime - how, or whether, to be objective. Chicago Daily Tribune Jay Allen is in the spotlight and John focuses on Allen's famous interview with General Franco.

Producer: Neil Rosser

A Ladbroke production for BBC Radio 4.

John Simpson examines the issue of objectivity for foreign correspondents in wartime.

0320120808

On 17th July 1936, an uprising began in Spanish Morocco that was to lead to nearly three years of civil war and the deaths of tens of thousands of Spaniards. It was a struggle fundamentally of Right versus Left, and Spain was to become a rehearsal for the World War to come.

John Simpson examines the writings of the journalists who reported on the Spanish Civil War, men and women who, unlike today's correspondents, got involved in a dirty war.

In the third episode, John looks at the right wing journalists who followed the Rebel armies, in particular Sefton Delmer of the Daily Express and Hubert Knickerbocker of the Hearst press.

Producer: Neil Rosser

A Ladbroke production for BBC Radio 4.

John Simpson looks at the right wing journalists reporting on the Spanish Civil War.

0420120809

On the 17th of July 1936 an uprising began in Spanish Morocco that was to lead to nearly three years of civil war and the deaths of tens of thousands of Spaniards. It was a struggle fundamentally of Right versus Left, and Spain was to become a rehearsal for the World War to come.

Having heard in yesterday's programme that some of the right wing journalists fabricated reports of Republican losses, in this fourth episode John Simpson turns his attention to the left wing promulgation of untruth by Communist correspondent, Claud Cockburn.

Producer: Neil Rosser

A Ladbroke production for BBC Radio 4.

John Simpson on Claud Cockburn's left-wing promulgation of untruth in Spain's Civil War.

05 LAST20120810

On the 17th of July 1936 an uprising began in Spanish Morocco that was to lead to nearly three years of civil war and the deaths of tens of thousands of Spaniards. It was a struggle fundamentally of Right versus Left, and Spain was to become a rehearsal for the World War to come.

In these five programmes, John Simpson tell the stories of the correspondents who risked their lives to report on the Spanish war.

The final episode returns to Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway. John also explores some of the recordings in the Imperial War Museum and assesses the importance of another female journalist, Virginia Cowles, and Republican censor Constancia de la Mora.

Producer: Neil Rosser

A Ladbroke production for BBC Radio 4.

John Simpson explores recordings from the Spanish Civil War in the Imperial War Museum.