Liberalism revisited: the autobiographical writings of Alberto Jiménez Fraud (1883-1964)
At the turn of the twentieth century, the approach adopted by the Institución Libre de Enseñanza (the Free Institute for Education) comprised the most serious attempt to regenerate Spanish society through the university system. Its frame of reference was of a romantic-liberal bent: selective, secular, tolerant and philanthropic; and its specific proposals were well-founded and developed, in response to real and urgent needs in the Spanish higher education system at that time. The Residencia de Estudiantes (literally, the ¿Student Residence¿) (1910¿1936) was one of Institute¿s initiatives. Alberto Jiménez Fraud (1883-1964) was director of the residence. The Civil War brought the Institute of Free Education and its initiatives to an end. Jiménez Fraud went into exile in September 1936 and spent the rest of his life in the universities at Oxford and Cambridge. The reasons for failure are the defining concern of his writings: why the liberal education project espoused at the Institute was rejected by the masses it was intended to reform, and eventually destroyed in the fury and bloodshed of the Civil War. In this regard, therefore, Jiménez Fraud¿s writings comprise an eternal return to liberalism.