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Sir Paul Preston CBE (born 21 July 1946 in Liverpool) is an English historian and Hispanist, biographer of Franco, specialist in Spanish history, in particular the Spanish Civil War, which he has studied for more than 30 years. He is the winner of multiple awards for his books on the Spanish Civil War.[1]

Paul Preston on a visit to Spain in 2008

Since 1991 Professor Preston has taught at the London School of Economics, where he is Príncipe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies and director of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.

He is a frequent visitor to Spain, where his work appears in Spanish and Catalan. He speaks both Spanish and Catalan.[2]

He has a wife, Gabriella, to whom he dedicated The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain.[3]


Early lifeEdit

Preston was born in 1946 in Liverpool. Preston said in an interview that he has sympathy for the Second Spanish Republic: "I came from a fairly left-wing family. You could not really be from working-class Liverpool and not be left-wing. Emotionally, in my feeling for the Republic I think there is an element of indignation about the Republic's defeat, solidarity with the losing side. Maybe that's why I support Everton, although Everton wasn't the losing side in my day."[4]


Preston has produced a biography of Franco (Basic Books, 1994). He has also published a biography of King Juan Carlos I (2003).

Recent books include ones on the subject of foreign correspondents who reported on the Spanish Civil War and Franco's control of his generals. In 2012 he published the English edition of the Spanish Holocaust.[5] This book represents a challenge to the pact of forgetting,[6] examining the many deaths and atrocities associated with the Spanish Civil War, and following the Francoist repression into the early 1950s.[7]


  • Paul Preston (2016). The Last Days of The Spanish Republic. London, William Collins. ISBN 978-0-008-16340-2
  • Paul Preston (2013). El zorro rojo – La vida de Santiago Carrillo. Debate. ISBN 978-8-49-032422-6.
  • Paul Preston (2012). The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain. London, UK: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0002556347.
  • Paul Preston (2008). We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War. London, UK: Constable and Robinson. ISBN 978-1845299460.
  • Paul Preston (2006). The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution and Revenge. London, UK: Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0-00-723207-9.
  • Paul Preston (2004). Juan Carlos: A People's King. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-255632-3. Published in the US with the subtitle: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy.
  • Paul Preston (2002). Doves of War: Four Women of Spain. London, UK: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-255633-0.
  • Paul Preston (2001). Revolution and War in Spain, 1931-1939. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-09894-6.
  • Paul Preston (1999). ¡Comrades! Portraits from the Spanish Civil War. London, UK: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-00-255635-9.
  • Paul Preston (1995). Franco: A biography. London, UK: Fontana Press. ISBN 978-0-00-686210-9.
  • Paul Preston (1978). The Coming of the Spanish Civil War: Reform, Reaction and Revolution in the Second Republic 1931-1936. London, UK: Macmillan.
  • Paul Preston (ed.) (1976). Leviátan: Antologia. Ediciones Turner.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Paul Preston (ed.) (1976). Spain in Crisis: Evolution and Decline of the Franco Regime. London, UK: Branch Line.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)

Awards and honoursEdit


  1. ^ Night Waves, BBC Radio Three, 6 March 2012
  2. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) 2007 Cadena SER interview Archived 20 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, accessed via El País website
  3. ^ The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain, pg. 530
  4. ^ "The man who can't say no: Preston is working harder than ever". 2013.
  5. ^ Spanish and Catalan editions appeared in 2011. España masacrada, El País.
  6. ^ Treglown (February 2012). "The Spanish Holocaust by Paul Preston: review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  7. ^ Tremlett, Giles (March 2012). "The Spanish Holocaust by Paul Preston – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  8. ^ Alison Flood (5 October 2012). "Six books to 'change our view of the world' on shortlist for non-fiction prize". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
  9. ^ ACN (12 November 2012). "La Fundació Lluís Carulla atorga el Premi d'Honor a l'historiador Paul Preston". Vilaweb. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  10. ^

External linksEdit