Homage to Catalonia

Homage to Catalonia

eBook - 1969
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A National Review Top Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Century

"One of Orwell's very best books and perhaps the best book that exists on the Spanish Civil War."-- The New Yorker

In 1936, originally intending merely to report on the Spanish Civil War as a journalist, George Orwell found himself embroiled as a participant--as a member of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unity. Fighting against the Fascists, he described in painfully vivid and occasionally comic detail life in the trenches--with a "democratic army" composed of men with no ranks, no titles, and often no weapons--and his near fatal wounding. As the politics became tangled, Orwell was pulled into a heartbreaking conflict between his own personal ideals and the complicated realities of political power struggles.

Considered one of the finest works by a man V. S. Pritchett called "the wintry conscience of a generation," Homage to Catalonia is both Orwell's memoir of his experiences at the front and his tribute to those who died in what he called a fight for common decency. This edition features a new foreword by Adam Hochschild placing the war in greater context and discussing the evolution of Orwell's views on the Spanish Civil War.

"No one except George Orwell . . . made the violence and self-dramatization of Spain so burning and terrible."-- Alfred Kazin, New York Times

"A wise book, one that once read will never be forgotten."-- Chicago Sunday Tribune
Publisher: New York, Harcourt, Brace & World [1969, c1952]
ISBN: 9780547416175
0547416172
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource (232 p.)
Additional Contributors: Axis 360 (Firm)

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1aa
Jun 23, 2019

A rather engaging relating of what turns out to be not very much action, and a lot of boredom punctuated by fear. The informality of getting into the war and getting out safely (without any subsequent harassment by the government) was one of things that I found most remarkable.

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pfsheckarski
Apr 18, 2019

Orwell's work is often employed as a rejoinder to the anti-fascist rhetoric of stalwart leftists, but the man himself was a democratic socialist. None of his texts make this clearer than Homage to Catalonia, which describes his time fighting Fascists alongside Marxists, unionists, anarchists and all kinds of other dirty words.

This historical text describes a vivid and vital moment in history. We should ask ourselves: why do we assign 1984 or Animal Farm to children rather than this non-fiction, first-person account of anti-fascist struggle?

t
toor22
Jan 15, 2019

A fascinating account of Orwell's service in the Spanish Civil War under the POUM. Orwell details life in the trenches, his experiences in combat, the strengths and shortcomings of the pro-Republic, anti-Franco forces; and examinations of the Spanish political situations of the time.

This might only be me, but Orwell also shows some instances of understated or downplayed humour in certain comments of his. These are short, one sentence long quips that are made regarding the circumstances he's recounting as if he were using the benefit of hindsight to his advantage.

Great read, highly reccomended!

w
whiplash43
Aug 27, 2016

Worth the read for a realistic perspective of the drudgery of his war experiences, internecine political struggles among militia groups, but most of all for Orwell's wonderful way of crafting the English language.

Ham625 Aug 01, 2014

A most worthwhile book to read.

Mark_Daly Aug 22, 2013

Orwell's clear prose and his humility in recounting his own errors and confusion during this tumultuous period make this an enduring work.

v
VasquezJC
Dec 30, 2012

Orwells' greatest work. He indeed reported what was actually going on in Catalonia during those times by fighting against the Facist. I read it once and no doubt I will read it again.

jlazcan Oct 15, 2011

I feel this is George Orwell's best work. "1984" and "Animal Farm" are obviously his best recognized/prized books, but I enjoy non-fiction more than fiction. The book is amazingly timeless and holds up well for being written in the late 1930s. I am also a sucker for the Spanish Civil War. This is a really entertaining and informative book. Orwell explains with clarity the Spanish political and social environment of the time especially in Barcelona. His first hand account as a Brit in 1930s Spain is fantastic. If you start this book you may not put it down.

SB2000 May 03, 2011

In my view, one of Orwell's best: I read it once a year. A description of Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War - especially as the communists took over the revolution and turned on the other leftist groups. From his description of life in revolutionary Barcelona; his experiences with the Republican militias; trench life and being shot; the chaos and mutual suspicion of the city during the purges, it is gripping reading. It also comes with one of the most prescient and best written final paragraphs ever!

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