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Homage to Catalonia, Paperback / softback Book

Homage to Catalonia Paperback / softback

Paperback / softback

Description

"A crucially important book." - The Guardian


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


Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell's brutally honest account of his experience as a militiaman during the Spanish Civil War. 


In the last days of 1936, Spain was five months into a bitter civil war, in which volunteers from many countries were helping the elected government of the Spanish Republic battle a military coup led by General Francisco Franco and backed by Hitler and Mussolini. Some foreigners flocking to Spain had come for another reason: the northeast part of the country, particularly Catalonia, was in the midst of the most far-reaching social revolution ever seen in Western Europe.


Workers had taken over factories and peasants the large estates; waiters were running restaurants and trolley drivers the transport systems. Municipal garbage trucks carried anarchist slogans. Hundreds of idealistic visitors wanted to take part in a revolution that came not, as in Stalin's Russia, from the top down, but from the bottom up. 


In 1936, George Orwell, intending to report on the Spanish Civil War as a journalist, quickly found himself embroiled as a participant - as a member of the Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista (POUM), or the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification - an independent leftist group with its own militia at the front. Fighting against the Fascists, Orwell described in painfully vivid and occasionally comic detail life in the trenches. 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.


Orwell's experience was a great influence on his political development and his subsequent work, leading him to become a dystopian writer. "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it". - George Orwell


"A crucially important book. Without [Homage to Catalonia] there would have been no Animal Farm and no Nineteen Eighty-Four - works of fiction that, like the reality that preceded them, focus on the terrifying consequences of authoritarianism for the individual mind." - The Guardian


"A wise book, one that once read will never be forgotten." - Chicago Sunday Tribune


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

 

About the author


George Orwell's publications include Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), Burmese Days (1934), Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) and Coming Up for Air (1939); his unique political allegory Animal Farm was published in 1945, and it was this novel, together with the dystopia of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which brought him world-wide fame.

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