Homage to Catalonia

250 pages

English language

Published Jan. 14, 2015

ISBN:
9780544382046
OCLC Number:
885225412

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (15 reviews)

[Homage to Catalonia][1] is [George Orwell][2]'s account of his experiences fighting in the 'Spanish Civil War'. Alongside many British workers, trades unionists, and socialists keen to help the Spanish defend their Republic from General Franco's Fascist forces. Orwell joined the [POUM][3] Militia in the Catalan region of Spain, was injured in the fighting and invalided back to England. After leaving the front line preparatory to leaving Spain, Orwell saw for himself the machinations of the Communist Party leading to the POUM being declared 'Enemies of the People' along with its destruction. Which he expresses in his companion piece the Essay [Looking back on the Spanish War][4]. These are fuller descriptions of events culled from direct experience, than many especially current misrepresentations of the Spanish Conflict. English film director [Ken Loach][5] made a landmark film [Land and Freedom][6] of the Spanish anti fascist struggle with many similarities to George Orwell's story …

63 editions

Underrated book

5 stars

Deserves to be up there with Animal Farm and 1984, which seem much more popular in the public mind. The nonfictional context for why the author felt motivated to write those two other books. It seems like there has been a long pro-war vein among conservatives, and plenty of antiwar books on the left; I have read and enjoyed examples from both, but Orwell is one of the people who is both leftwing and happy to endorse violence. Very different feeling in this book than in, for example, many of Kurt Vonnegut's stories. I don't mean to take a position here since I haven't fought in such a war, but it is definitely interesting to see two authors discuss a similar time frame (midcentury antifascist violence) with very different points of view, while still being broadly on the same side of the political spectrum. Favorite anecdote from the book: Orwell …

Review of 'Homage to Catalonia' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

I really enjoyed reading this for several reasons. Firstly, I've read Orwell's fiction, and it's always interesting to read personal accounts of a fiction writer with whom I'm familiar (especially when they recount such a dramatic time period for the writer and the world). Secondly, I am a radical anti-authoritarian who identifies primarily as an anarcho-syndicalist. Orwell's politics are more or less in line with mine, and it was, frankly, thrilling to hear about revolutionary Spain, the abolishment of "usted" and "señor" in favor of "tú" and "comrade"/"comarada", the equalized pay of non-hierarchical anarchist militia columns, etc. It was also infuriating to read about the involvement of Soviet Russia in opportunistically establishing the International Communist Party as the primary non-fascist force which, ironically, suppressed and jailed anarchists and radical socialists after coming to power in the Republican-held strongholds. While Orwell's commentary on the impartiality of the press outside Spain (writing, …

Review of 'Homage to Catalonia' on 'LibraryThing'

5 stars

This is a very powerful book. It's a first-hand account of how Orwell found himself volunteering for an anti-Fascist brigade, and how utterly disillusioning the whole experience was, as the fractious anti-Fascists wasted enormous amounts of energy fighting each other instead of the real enemy. There are relevant lessons for any political campaign today (certainly I see the same tendencies in the environmental movement), and it also does a lot to illuminate where he was coming from with Animal Farm and 1984. Having studied these at school I was left under the impression that Orwell was a rather pro-establishment writer, but reading his non-fiction makes it clear that he was a strong ideological Socialist, and his critiques of Stalinism have all the bitterness of someone seeing his own ideals betrayed.

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Subjects

  • British Personal narratives
  • Soldiers
  • Travel
  • History
  • Biography
  • English Authors

Places

  • Catalonia
  • Spain
  • Catalonia (Spain)

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