The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) engaged an extraordinary number of exceptional artists and writers: Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, John Dos Passos, to name only a few. The idealism of the cause - defending democracy from fascism at a time when Europe was darkening toward another world war - and the brutality of the conflict drew from them some of their best work: Guernica, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Homage to Catalonia. Paralleling the outpouring of writing and art, the war spurred breakthroughs in military and medical technology. So many different countries participated directly or indirectly in the war that Time magazine called it the 'Little World War'; Spain served in those years as a proving ground for the devastating technologies of World War II, and for the entire 20th century.
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