Book Beginnings: Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild

Not only does Gilion host the European Reading and TBR 22 in 22 on her Rose City Reader blog but also Book Beginnings on Friday. While I’m no stranger to her European Reading Challenge, only recently I decided to participate in Book Beginnings on Friday. This week I’m back with another post.

For Book Beginnings on Friday Gilion asks us to simply “share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book that caught your fancy and you want to highlight.”


Daybreak, April 4, 1938. Shivering, exhausted, and naked, two bedraggled swimmers climb out of the freezing water and onto the bank of Spain’s Ebro River, which is swollen with melted snow from the Pyrenees. Both men are Americans.

Last week I featured Stuart Jeffries’s 2016 Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School and the week before it was the 2022 memoir Free: Coming of Age at the End of History by Lea Ypi. This  week it’s Adam Hochschild’s 2016 book Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939.

While not one of my original 20 Books of Summer I’m looking forward to applying Spain in Our Hearts towards Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge. Back in April I featured his excellent 1998 book King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. So far Spain in Our Hearts has been as good as, or perhaps even better than his earlier book. Chances it, both it and King Leopold’s Ghost will end up making my year-end list of Favorite Nonfiction. It also goes well with a gin and tonic.


15 thoughts on “Book Beginnings: Spain in Our Hearts by Adam Hochschild

  1. Ooh that’s quite an opening! People keep telling me about how amazing it is to swim in ice-cold water first thing in the morning, but I just don’t think I have the perseverance for it! I do, however, am a big fan of a G&T with a good book 😉 I hope you continue to enjoy it and that you have a lovely weekend 🙂
    Juli @ A Universe in Words


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