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An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald
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An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  31 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
In 1936, with civil war sweeping through Spain, Ethel Macdonald – a working-class girl from Motherwell – was to become, for a year, one of the world's most famous voices. She was perhaps the first example of an 'embedded reporter', sending dispatches and broadcasts back from the Spanish Anarchist camp in Barcelona to the UK. But she made no pretence of 'impartiality' or ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Birlinn Ltd
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Lee Humphries
Feb 07, 2014 Lee Humphries rated it it was amazing
Love everything about this book. Firstly how Chris Dolan didn't intend to write about Ethel & then discovered who she was and decided to write about her life and experiences. Secondly it's sad to think how little is known of Ethel's contributions to the social revolution as Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia' is a more prominent book. However, I think this book stands out to me equally if not more because the fact she was a woman traveling with her friend to a country in civil war.
I think she was
John Meffen
Jun 18, 2013 John Meffen rated it it was amazing
Motherwell anarchist goes to Spain in order to fight fascism, why would anyone not want to read this book.
Stuart Hill
Jun 15, 2014 Stuart Hill rated it liked it
This was a little frustrating at first as the narrative was very much dependent on imaginative reconstruction of events, due to the apparent paucity of information on MacDonald's early life. It improved greatly when covering the period during the Spanish Civil War when she worked as a journalist in Barcelona, as various articles she had written are quoted which gave a strong impression of her character and beliefs. MacDonald was in the city at the same time as George Orwell although the two ...more
May 23, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
I stumbled upon this book by accident whilst looking for books about the Spanish Civil War and was interested as it was about a woman. I'd never previously heard of Ethel MacDonald and also didn't have a proper understanding of anarchism.

Like thousands of "international brigaders", Ethel was a woman with deeply-held beliefs who travelled to Spain, virtually without money, to help the workers of Spain in their struggle for freedom. Although you don't learn a great deal about Ethel herself, I fou
Tom Hogg
Nov 22, 2014 Tom Hogg rated it liked it
Interesting story about the Motherwell anarchist's life and in particular her visit to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. I was disappointed that some of the content was based on conjecture, as a result of Ethel MacDonald's humility, with most of her correspondence and speeches not recorded or retained by her (whilst many political figures are known for keeping all sorts of apparently irrelevant documentation). The main theme is the tension between the anarchists and Stalinists and what you ...more
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Rog Harrison
Nov 16, 2014 Rog Harrison rated it liked it
An interesting read about a woman from Glasgow who went to Spain during the civil war.
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