Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2021 Kyle Jones Shah. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Bruce Dorsey

Second Advisor

Ahmad Shokr


This paper articulates a fair narrative about the American volunteers during the Spanish Civil War. The politicization of the historiography of the Spanish Civil War gave way to volunteer’s motives and actions being distorted by historians serving political goals. Volunteers were a collection of communists and anti-fascists who took it upon themselves to be a part of the struggle for Spain’s democracy. Harassment from the U.S. government forced individuals to turn to international communism to aid their efforts in Spain but crucially functioned separate from a Soviet agenda. Media perception and personal testimony display how American communists and anti-fascists were genuine in their motives, fought against fascism instead of for international communism, and functioned as a leftist coalition not a Soviet army.