341 CHRONICLESnof government, Franco came to viewnMussolini’s Italy as something of anmodel. He was always careful to insist,nhowever, that the Falange (Phalanx),nSpain’s native fascist movement, wasnsui generis.nFounded in 1933 by Jose AntonionPrimo de Rivera, eldest son of thenmilitary officer who governed Spain inna dictatorial but benign fashion fromn1923 to 1930, the Falange was anradical and nationalist movement.nThanks in part to the personality ofnJose Antonio (as he is known), however,nit was far less prone to violence thannwere other fascist movements. Indeed,nit dutifully proclaimed its allegiance tonCatholicism, even as it repudiated thenclericalism of the right. Not that itnmattered much, for the Falange neverncaptured the Spanish imagination; innthe elections of February 1936, it wonnonly 44,000 votes, 0.7 percent of thennational total.nThe movement received an evenngreater blow when the Republican governmentnexecuted Jose Antonio onnNovember 20, 1936. No equally charismaticnsuccessor emerged, but even ifnone had. Franco had already resolvednto subordinate the Falange to the Spanishnstate, and to use it to balance thenpower of other groups within what hensoon began to call the “NationalnMovement”: the military, the liberalnmonarchists, and the Carlists.nDespite some speculation in hisnconcluding chapter about Franco’s borrowingsnfrom Italian fascism, Bonapartism,nand other forms of authoritarianism,nPayne believes, quite rightly,nthat Franco — who seldom travelednabroad—must be understood in Spanishnand historical, rather than foreignnand social-scientific, terms. The Caudillo,nhe writes, was “the last greatnavatar of the traditional Spanishnnational-Catholic ideology,” an ideologynthat began to take form during thenlong reconquest of Spain from thenMoors and that eventually, by the 16thncentury, crystallized into the idea thatnSpaniards were God’s chosen people,ncharged with a world-historical mission.nTo reassert and update that ideologynwas Franco’s lifelong ambition.nThere is little doubt, for example,nthat Franco viewed the civil war as ancrusade in defense of Catholic Spain, anhistorical reprise of the Reconquistanthat the “Catholic Kings,” Ferdinandnand Isabella, completed in 1492. Justnas the reconquest was long andnarduous^it took 700 years — so thenGeneralissimo’s victory over the impiousnRepublic demanded time and patience.nSlowly and relentlessly he reclaimednSpanish territory, region bynregion, for the Faith. Which is not tonsay that he was a religious zealot. “Insought always to live and die as anCatholic,” he wrote in his farewellnmessage to the Spanish people, and sonhe did, particularly after his marriage tonthe pious Carmen Polo in 1923. Butnfor Franco Catholicism and Spain werenalways inextricably intertwined. Likenthe Catholic Kings again, he recognizednthat in a country characterizednby the most extreme racial, political,nand geographical diversity, a commonnfaith alone could guarantee that unitynwithout which Spain would not bengreat and hence could not act as thendefender of Christian civilization.nEven Fusi understands that Franco,nno less than Lincoln in our Civil War,nregarded unity as a matter of life orndeath for the nation. Though he doesnnot say so, he knows that when Ferdinandnand Isabella married, they unitednCastile and Catalonia, Aragon beingnthe least important of the Aragon-nCatalonia-Valencia federation. “Thendynasty was Catalan,” the great contemporarynhistorian J.H. Elliott hasnwritten, “and it was Catalonia, with itsnbusy seaboard and its energetic population,nwhich played the preponderantnpart in the great overseas expansion ofnthe Crown of Aragon.” In his fiercenopposition to Catalan separatism.nFranco signaled his determination toncomplete the task of unification thatnthe Catholic Kings began. His regime,nPayne reminds us, “was by far the mostncentralized in Spanish history.”nTo accomplish this was not easy andnthough both Fusi and Payne deny thatnFranco was a cruel man, they agreenthat when duty dictated it, he could setnaside all pity and personal sentiment.nFusi speaks of the “chilling side of hisncharacter” and Payne estimates that henordered some 30,000 executions in thensix years after the civil war ended inn1939. In this he undoubtedly modelednhimself after the Duke of Alba, whonattempted to subdue the rebelliousnNetherlands for Philip II — for thenFaith and the central political authority.n(Alba’s bloody deeds, like those ofnnnFranco, have often been exaggerated,nbut between 1567 and 1573 hisn”Council of Blood” did convict aboutn9,000 people and execute just overn1,000.)nDue to such historical experiencesnand to their fervent Catholicism, Spaniardsnunderstand — better, it seems,nthan most peoples—the timeless dramanof sin and blood sacrifice. One hasnonly to think, for example, of thenpowerful poetic tragedy Blood Weddingnby Federico Garcia Lorca (whomnthe Nationalists shot in 1936) and thensavage novel The Family of PascualnDuarte by Camilo Jose Cela (whonfought for Franco). Or else considernwhat Franco said in a speech of 1940:n”The suffering of a nation at a certainnpoint in its history is no chance: it is thenspiritual judgment which God imposesnfor a corrupt life, for an unclean history.”nThis is an old-fashioned idea andnFranco was an old-fashioned man,nwho, as Paul Gottfried recently observed,nlacked any of this century’sninterest in reconstructing humanity.nFor him, pre-World War I words suchnas heroism, self-discipline, and patriotismnstill held meaning, perhaps in partnbecause Spain was not a belligerent. Tonthose cynical moderns who scoff, henmight have said with C.S. Lewis, “Wenlaugh at honor and are shocked to findntraitors in our midst.” And to thosenwho believe liberal democracy to benthe only morally justifiable system ofnpolitics, he would surely have pointednto the disorder, hedonism, and materialismnthat so often accompany it. AsnPayne sums it up. Franco believed inn”strong authoritarian governmentnwithout political parties, and a programnof modern economic development determinednas much as possible by politicalnand nationalistic priorities, with socialnreform a secondary by-product ofneconomic growth.”nBut there was another by-product ofnthe extraordinary economic boom thatnSpain experienced during the 1960’snand 1970’s: the destruction of thenneotraditionalist culture that Franconsought, no doubt quixotically, to maintain.nThough he ultimately failed, hencould take some comfort from thenknowledge that he had saved Spainnfrom anarchy and tyranny, while slowingnthe pace and moderating the effectsnof change. When a new govern-n