Fluid Facts

Another thing that annoys me in the book I’m reviewing is that the author allows her ideology to blind her to reality.

For instance, she states that Spain’s Valley of the Fallen is “the only shrine to an authoritarian leader in Europe.” Leaving aside the fact that the Valley isn’t a shrine to Franco and Franco’s body wasn’t there any more at the time of the book’s writing, there absolutely is a shrine to an authoritarian leader in Europe. Lenin’s Tomb (or Lenin’s Mausoleum) is still very much present in the Red Square and still houses Lenin’s corpse. So either Moscow is not in Europe, or the author is getting distracted from facts.

Another bizarre statement is that the Valley of the Fallen is a travel destination “for fascists, with 250,000 people visiting it every year.” The Valley is a tourist destination. It’s true that small fascist groups have visited it but there aren’t millions of them. I’m sure the author of the book has been there, and so have I. We are obviously not fascists, and neither are most of the visitors. Just like the people who go to the Red Square and have been inside the mausoleum aren’t all Communists.

This is supposed to be a scholarly volume, and one expects a bit of care to be taken with the facts.

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