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The idea of writing a narrative history based in archival research of Stalin's intervention in the Spanish Civil War was first suggested to me over lunch on the terrace of the University of Wisconsin faculty club in summer 1994. I recall clearly that witheringly humid August afternoon, one that seemed capable of defeating even the most intrepid and hearty Midwestern soul. My lunch partner, however, was not deterred. Working with a series of paper napkins and a cheap ballpoint pen, he proposed to me a multi-year, two-continent research project whose goal was to illuminate one of the most enigmatic problems in modern European history. That I at that point possessed neither the academic background, linguistic abilities, nor financial resources for this undertaking seemed of only minor concern to my host, who in the space of an hour convinced me to make this thorniest of topics my own. The man sitting opposite me that day was my doctoral advisor, Professor Stanley Payne. Though in effect sending me into the wilderness on a long and solitary investigative project, Professor Payne has remained by my side throughout the arduous research and write-up stages of this book—when not physically present, then always in spirit. For nearly a decade, Professor Payne has been the guiding light of this project, providing equal and regular doses of discipline and encouragement, and preventing its abandonment on multiple occasions. Whatever strengths this study possesses, they are no doubt the result of Professor Payne's active involvement; the remaining faults are mine alone.

In addition, this book was made possible by the assistance and collaboration of scores of individuals and institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. For their invaluable assistance during my stay in Moscow, I would like to single out the generosity and wisdom of Dr. Colonel Yuri Ribalkin, Dr. Alexander Khozanovsky, Dr. S. P. Pozharskaia, and Adelina Abramson. In St. Petersburg, Dr. Masha Rodina and Dr. Boris Rodin provided me with a helpful orientation. My research in Russia was funded in part by a National Security Education Program Graduate Enhancement Fellowship, while my introduction to the Russian federal archival system was made possible by the Center for the Study of Russia and the USSR, today known as Praxis International, where I was helped by Prof. J. Arch Getty and Prof. Jeffrey Burds as well as the rest of their excellent staff.

In Spain, extended work in archives and libraries was supported by a Fulbright fellowship, two separate grants from the Commission for Cultural Cooperation Between the United States and Spain, and a Tinker-Nave travel grant from the University of Wisconsin's Latin American and Iberian Studies program. I would like to give special thanks to the director of the Spanish Fulbright program, Patricia Zahniser, who offered me unflagging support and kindness throughout my Iberian sojourn and, indeed, up to the present day. At the Salamanca archive, I received a warm reception and invaluable assistance from Antonio San Roman Sevillano and Miguel Mayoral Gui, among many others. For cheerful and efficient help in the Filmoteca Nacional in Madrid, I wish to thank Margarita Lobo and Trinidad del Rio, as well as the rest of the staff in the library and archive.

Wherever I have gone on the Iberian Peninsula, I have counted on the sage counsel of my frequent collaborator Kenneth Estes. The military aspects of the dissertation were greatly enhanced by my participation in the West Point Summer Seminar in Military History. In addition, I am grateful for grants and fellowships from the Bradley Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education Title VI (Foreign Language and Area Studies), and the University of Wisconsin History Department. I would also like to mention the generous support I received in 1999-2000 as the George L. Mosse Teaching Fellow in European History at Wisconsin, in 2001-02 from the Department of History at Washington University in St. Louis, and in 2002-03 from the Department of History at the American University in Cairo.

For his support at the very beginning of my trajectory through higher education, I wish to thank Professor Joseph Fracchia of the University of Oregon. Professor Robert Kern, my MA advisor at the University of New Mexico, was the inspiration behind my first interest in Spanish history. In Madison, I received kind assistance from Professors Larry Dickey, David McDonald, Vance Kepley, and Alda Blanco. I am also indebted to my Wisconsin classmates who lent their assistance in reading and correcting various versions of the manuscript, including Jordi Getman-Eraso, Sean Perrone, Luca De Capraris, Brian Bunk, and especially Sasha David Pack. Elsewhere, the colleagues, friends, or relations I would most like to thank for their suggestions and advice are: Dennis Showalter, David Fischer, Margaret Garb, Adrian Shubert, Stephen Jacobson, Tomas Rodriguez Cano, Charles McClelland, Richard Robbins, Chris O'Sullivan, David Turnbull, Jeannie Monk, Tim Blust, Tanya Hammer, Jacquie Gertz, Jay Marble, Michael Kackman, Antonio Vázquez, Enrique Sanabria, Jennifer Fay, Morgan Hall, Eva Maria Woods, Geoffrey Jensen, Nigel Townson, Ian Douglas, David Sweet, Dominique Kaschak, Mark Sedgwick, and Carlos Madrid. For her many kindnesses, I would like to thank the late Judy Cochran, tireless advocate of several generations of Wisconsin history students.

I also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to all of those connected with the Gutenberg-e project at Columbia University Press, the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia and at the American Historical Association. Let me single out for their consistent support and patience Kate Wittenberg, Sean Costigan, Gordon Dahlquist, Meagan Cooke, Lisa Hamm, Karen Sabino Desiderio, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Arnita Jones, as well as the person who conceived of this series in the first place, Professor Robert Darnton of Princeton University. Among those who helped ensure that the book was the best it could be, I wish to express my thanks to Ronald Meyer of Columbia University's Harriman Institute, who expertly proofed all Russian transliterations, and Paul Erickson, for his thorough and excellent copyediting. Finally, I would like to thank my brother David for his unwavering confidence and friendship. This book is for him.

    Daniel Kowalsky
    Paris, December 2003


Stalin and the Spanish Civil War