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. New aircraft, new weapons, new tactics and strategy all emerged in the war in Spain. Indiscriminate destruction raining from the sky became a dreaded reality for the first time in the history of conflict. On the more positive side, the doctors and nurses who volunteered to serve with the Republicans in the war devised major advances in battlefield surgery and front-line blood transfusion. In those ways, and in many others, the Spanish Civil War served as a test bed for World War II, and for the entire 20th century. This book is a dramatic, richly-detailed work of narrative history containing the powerful and interwoven stories of the reporters, writers, doctors who witnessed the atrocities.