Homage To Catalonia
Published by Harvest books (New York) in June 1969,264 pgs
Book Review of Homage to Catalonia
George Orwell, noted writer and journalist, arrived in Barcelona, Spain in late 1936 to cover the fight against fascism. Being an avid fan of socialism, he was amazed to see the small glimpse of socialism in action. He was intrigued to say the least, of the classless society he observed there. Barcelona, Spain at this time was held under Anarchist control, and as such most of the old class society rituals were abandoned: tipping, titles, and the old divisions between rich and poor were practically gone. Everyone was equal in this new society, and most of the rich aristocrats had either fled or went into hiding. This being the truest form of socialism and brotherhood Orwell had ever before witnessed he put down his pen and took up arms. Homage to Catalonia, which Orwell later wrote after fleeing to France in 1937, gives his account as a militiaman in the P.O.U.M (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista) Militia, which roughly translates to the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification. At the time this was one of the many anti-fascist factions in Spain, later he remarks joining P.O.U.M with ignorant bliss of what the difference was between any of them.
In the beginning chapters of the book he describes the day-to-day activities as a militiaman on the frontlines near Barcelona, usually these accounts of war were more comical than eventful. I most noted his accounts of the actions of the Spanish militiamen during wartime. He would often revere the Spanish for their friendliness and amiability, but he was often infuriated by their careless ignorance of war, and in the first chapter even saying the Spanish are good at many things but not at making war. He also talks about the poor ammunition and rifles they received. Usually the rifles dated back to the late 19th century and the sights, rifling, and sheer condition of the guns were so...