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User Review  - kslade - LibraryThing

Interesting book about his experience fighting in Spain, during the Civil War in the 30s.. Nitty gritty of war life and its sometime tedious side. Also gives reasons why he became disillusioned with Communism. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aadyer - LibraryThing

An excellent memoir helped by Orwell’s superb, journalistic narrative. The sense of betrayal that he feels comes through and also explains his later disenchantment with left wing ideology. A polemic ... Read full review

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User Review  - Castlelass - LibraryThing

“Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.” George Orwell’s memoir about his experiences as a volunteer ... Read full review

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User Review  - SqueakyChu - LibraryThing

This is the British journalist and author George Orwell’s memoirs of serving in a militia of a Spanish communist political party against the Fascists during the Spanish Civil War. He gives a raw ... Read full review

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User Review  - IonaS - LibraryThing

Though George Orwell is one of my favourite authors at present, I did not appreciate this book that much. It deals with Orwell’s participation in the Spanish Civil War, fighting against the Fascists ... Read full review

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User Review  - cpg - LibraryThing

I read the edition that had the chapters of analysis separated as an appendix from the chapters that were firsthand accounts. Orwell's accounts of life in the trenches and at the barricades deserve 5 ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Fantastic Book! I reccomend it to all literary fanatics.

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Orwell's chronicle of the lessons he learned fighting in the Spanish Civil War. He enters thinking he is fighting the Fascists, he leaves disillusioned and branded as a traitor. A book that defines Orwell. Personal, brutally truthful and a book that strips away all the supposed romance of war. "The fact is that every war suffers a kind of progressive degradation with every month that it continues, because such things as individual liberty and a truthful press are simply not compatible with military efficiency." 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This slim tome is Orwell's account of a portion of the Spanish Civil War. He was a POUM militia member for about 6 months in 1937 and this part-memoir, part-convoluted-history-lesson, part-news-brief is one of the results.
I cannot say I loved it. Perhaps this is because my knowledge of the Spanish Civil War is far from intimate; in fact, I would say I know nothing about it. One should know something about it, I think, before one reads this book. In its defense, Orwell does tell the reader to skip parts upcoming, as they will be full of "political controversy and the mob of parties and sub-parties with their confusing names ..." I didn't skip. And perhaps he expected those of us who only have surface knowledge to heed his warning but those chapters were a a convoluted mess. I found myself even more confused about the labels (Government, Fascist, Leftist, Trotskyist, Anarchist) than I was prior to reading.
Overall, I found it to be a messy read. I enjoyed parts; when Orwell first arrived in Spain and described the attitude of revolution; "Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine." His sudden brilliant description of a village near the front; "... a mass of mean little houses of mud and stone huddling round the church ..." and of a group of Italian soldiers; "Obviously, they were Italians. No other people could have grouped themselves so picturesquely or returned the salutes of the crowd with so much grace ..." But these moments were few and far between. Mostly the book reads like a poorly edited New Yorker article.
Orwell does end with one very meaningful point, a jab at comfort and privilege and lack of care and awareness; only slightly made but made nonetheless. "And then England - southern England, probably the sleekest landscape in the world. It is difficult when you pass that way, especially when you are peacefully recovering from sea-sickness with the plush cushions of a boat-train carriage under your bum, to believe that anything is really happening anywhere. Earthquakes in Japan, famines in China, revolutions in Mexico? Don't worry, the milk will be on the doorstep tomorrow morning, the New Statesmen will come out on Friday ..."
 

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Amazing book, I feel it is a must read for anyone who likes Orwell.
This book gives a very intimate view into one of the least understood conflicts of the 20th century. It also gives deep insight
into who Orwell was as a person and a deeper understanding of his future books such as 1984. Hearing what revolutionary Barcelona was. and how the defeat of democracy in Spain killed it, is truly heart breaking. 

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