In 1936 George Orwell went to Spain to report on the Civil War. Instead he joined the militia of the P.O.U.M. - Party of Marxist Unification - to fight against the Fascists.
In this now justly famous account of his experience, Orwell describes the bleak and comic aspects of trench warfare on the Aragon front, the Barcelona uprising in May 1937, his nearly fatal wounding just two weeks later, and his escape from Barcelona into France after the P.O.U.M. was suppressed. As important as the story of the war itself is Orwell's uncompromising effort to sort out the partisan politics that plagued the Republican cause. His analysis of why the Communist Party sabotaged the workers' revolution and branded the P.O.U.M. as Trotskyist provides a key to the outcome of the war and an ironic sidelight on international communism.