Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

by Amanda Vaill

Picador | March 31, 2015 | Trade Paperback

Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.

"Whether or not you're a history buff, you'll be fully immersed in Vaill's chronicle of the band of journalists-including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn-who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War."-Entertainment Weekly

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, are inventing modern photojournalism as they capture history in the making. And Arturo Barea, Madrid's foreign press chief, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause-a struggle that places both of them in peril. Hotel Florida traces the tangled wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history.
From the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it out, telling it, and living it-whatever the cost.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.96 × 6.01 × 0.78 in

Published: March 31, 2015

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1250062446

ISBN - 13: 9781250062444

Found in: History

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hotel Florida A great travelogue. Difficult enough to portray characters anytime but during war. The personalities shown well, the events handled as part of and not the whole aspect of story. Learned more about those times !!Glad were here and now.
Date published: 2015-06-24

– More About This Product –

Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War

by Amanda Vaill

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 480 pages, 8.96 × 6.01 × 0.78 in

Published: March 31, 2015

Publisher: Picador

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1250062446

ISBN - 13: 9781250062444

Read from the Book

July 1936: Madrid  Arturo Barea lay on the brown, pine-needled floor of a forest in the Sierra de Guadarrama, northwest of Madrid, with his head in his mistress’s lap. It was midafternoon on Sunday, July 19, and the resinous air was loud with the sound of cicadas. Tall, thin, with slicked-back dark hair, the eyes of an El Greco saint, and the mouth of a sensualist, Barea was drowsy with the heat, the wine he and Maria had had with their picnic lunch, and the lovemaking afterward; he longed to close his eyes and give himself over to sleep. But Maria had other ideas. She wanted to talk. Not, this time, about how much she wanted him to leave his wife and children and make an honest woman of her after six years as his secretary and occasional bedmate, a subject that usually ended in stalemate and tears. Today she wanted to know where Barea had been last night, all night: what he had been doing that had kept him both away from home and away from her bed. But the events and sensations of the last twelve hours were too raw, too immediate to discuss; he sensed that the equipoise of his life was about to spin irrevocably out of control, and he was too exhausted to deal with the consequences.At thirty-eight, Barea had constructed a life that was a delicate balancing act. He’d grown up poor: his father, an army recruiter, dead at forty, had left his family penniless; his mother had had to wash soldiers’ dirty laundry in the Manzanares—breaking the ice with her wooden beater on cold win
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Table of Contents

Maps x
Chronology xiii
Principal Characters xvii
A Note on Spelling xxi
Author's Note xxiii
Prologue 3
Part I: "They are here for their lives" 9
Part II: "You never hear the one that hits you" 105
Part III: "La Despedida" 283
Epilogue 355
Notes 367
Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations 407
Bibliography 409
Acknowledgments 415
Index 417

From the Publisher

"Whether or not you're a history buff, you'll be fully immersed in Vaill's chronicle of the band of journalists-including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn-who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War."-Entertainment Weekly

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage sour, hopes this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, are inventing modern photojournalism as they capture history in the making. And Arturo Barea, Madrid's foreign press chief, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, are struggling to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause-a struggle that places both of them in peril. Hotel Florida traces the tangled wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history.
From the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it out, telling it, and living it-whatever the cost.

About the Author

Amanda Vaill is the author of the bestselling Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy-A Lost Generation Love Story, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography, and Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. In addition to her screenplay for the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning public television documentary Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About, she has also written features and criticism for a range of journals from Allure to The Washington Post Book World. She lives in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

"An electric collective portrait." -The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)"Whether or not you're a history buff, you'll be fully immersed in Vaill's chronicle of the band of journalists--including Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn--who covered the upheaval of the Spanish Civil War." -Entertainment Weekly"Hotel Florida adds to the cold hard facts--as well as to the enduring mystique--of the Spanish Civil War." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air"A vivid, well-paced story of the awfulness of war and of the complex motives of those who report on it." -The Wall Street Journal"Hotel Florida plunges us into the complex struggle that pitted the Spanish Republic against the rebel forces of General Francisco Franco . . . An ambitious, entertaining page-turner." -Newsday"Hotel Florida gathers literary giants among the international volunteers for Spain's civil war of everyday dreamers. In this masterful narrative, with unfailing judgment and artistry, Amanda Vaill captures heartache and obsession on a vast but intimate scale before the era of national-security states." -Taylor Branch, author of The King Years"A highly original, beautifully written, and utterly compelling account, by turns gripping and heartbreaking, of the intrepid--and sometimes crazy--journalists who risked everything to report on the Spanish Civil War." -Amanda Foreman, author of The Duchess"Combining a historian's meticulous research with her accomplished skills as a biographer, in Hotel Florida Amanda
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Bookclub Guide

Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by a civil war that many fear will cross borders and engulf Europe--a conflict one writer will call "the decisive thing of the century"--six people meet and find their lives changed forever. Ernest Hemingway, his career stalled, his marriage gone sour, hopes that this war will give him fresh material and new romance; Martha Gellhorn, an ambitious novice journalist hungry for love and experience, thinks she will find both with Hemingway in Spain. Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, idealistic young photographers based in Paris, want to capture history in the making, and invent modern photojournalism in the process. And Arturo Barea, the chief of the Spanish government's foreign press office, and Ilsa Kulcsar, his Austrian deputy, struggle to balance truth-telling with loyalty to their sometimes compromised cause--an effort that places both of them in peril.
Hotel Florida traces the tangled wartime destinies of these three couples against the backdrop of a critical moment in history. As Hemingway put it, "You could learn as much at the Hotel Florida in those years as you could anywhere in the world." From the raw material of unpublished letters and diaries, official documents, and recovered reels of film, Amanda Vaill has created a narrative of love and reinvention that is, finally, a story about truth: finding it, telling it, and living it--whatever the cost.
We hope that the following discussion topics will enrich your reading group's experience of this spellbinding story of love amid the devastation of the Spanish Civil War.