Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Orwell served as both a private and a corporal in Catalonia and Aragon from December 1936 until June 1937. The political party whose militia he served with (the POUM, an anti-Stalinist communist party) was declared an illegal organization and Orwell was subsequently forced to flee or face imprisonment.

By his own admission, Orwell joined the POUM rather than the Communist-run International Brigades by chance—but his experiences, in particular his and his wife's narrow escape from the Communist purges in Barcelona in June 1937, [1] greatly increased his sympathy for POUM and, while not challenging his moral and political adhesion to the cause of Socialism and Marxism, made him a lifelong anti-Stalinist.

Because of the book's criticism of the Communists in Spain, it was rejected by Gollancz, who had previously published all Orwell's books, and Orwell finally found a sympathetic publisher in Frederic Warburg. Warburg was willing to publish books by the dissident left, that is, by socialists hostile to Communism.[1]

To read the book, go here.

or here

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