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Homage to Catalonia / Down and Out in Paris and London

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  266 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Homage to Catalonia is both a memoir ofOrwell’s experience at the front in the Spanish Civil War and a tribute to those who died in what he called a fight for common decency. Down and Out in Paris and London chronicles theadventures of a penniless British writer who finds himself rapidly descending into the seedy heart of two great European cities. This edition brings toge ...more
Hardcover, 441 pages
Published November 15th 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Ryan
Aug 28, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
Orwell's memoir of fighting in the P.O.U.M militia (Party of Marxist Unification) during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. A lucid, incisive account of his time at the front and the turbulent suppression of 'Trotskyist' factions by the Communists. Orwell was one of the first to discuss the many fabrications, illusions and erosions of truth by the media and the suppression by foreign media. Near the end he presciently sees the next World War right before his eyes, against the evil of Natzism. I ...more
David
Mar 25, 2013 David rated it really liked it
My favorite Orwell ... an example of what anarchism could look like in a big city, state or even region. And I loved learning about the use of tu (instead of usted) in the military.
Deborah
Jan 27, 2014 Deborah rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read. I get the feeling Mr. Orwell is telling me his story directly.

The whole process is easy to understand if one remembers that it proceeds from the temporary alliance that Fascism, in certain forms, forces upon the bourgeois and the worker. This alliance, known as the Popular Front, is in essence an alliance of enemies, and it seems probable that it must always end by one partner swallowing the other. The only unexpected feature in the Spanish situation -- and
...more
Julia Riggs
Jan 07, 2013 Julia Riggs rated it really liked it
Orwell's psychological, political, and etymological observations are some of the clearest of the historical memoirs I've read. After reading "Homage", I learned more about the Spanish Civil War than most public-schooled Americans. I'm grateful to Orwell for his ability to be passionate and skeptical. In Spain, France, and England, he finds reasons to strive for humanity. He embraces the culture in which he is immersed, etching the trenches and hostels precisely. His conclusions on poverty are, i ...more
Romily
Jul 06, 2013 Romily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
Homage to Catalonia seems very modern, though written in 1938. There are many recent conflicts which could be seen in the same tragi-comic way. Orwell gives a clear-headed journalistic view of the Spanish Civil War, in which he himself had recently played a considerable part, both at the the front and in Barcelona. He tries to make sense of the many different factions and the complicated political situation while at the same time giving an insider's perspective on war on the frontline the food s ...more
Richard
Apr 09, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any general reader
Recommended to Richard by: I missed it on my shelves, replaced it.
This refers only to HOMAGE TO CATALONIA.

I have long had an interest in the Spanish Civil War, perhaps because, fifty years ago, I saw a man pulling a wooden plow across a dusty field from a train to Barcelona. I also have a great respect for Orwell's work and share his sympathy for the working class.

In this volume, he recounts his experience as a member of POUM (Party of Marxist Unification), the revolutionary socialist-anarchist wing of the parties fighting against Franco and fascism and for th
...more
Kevin Kizer
Feb 14, 2011 Kevin Kizer rated it really liked it
Orwell at his best! These might be my two favorite Orwell books, especially the latter. I can how it influenced Hunter S. Thompson.. Orwell was a tough cat with a lot of balls who lived a massive, massive life. He seems to experienced every aspect of life, including squalor and war firsthand. And without all the macho BS, e.g Hemingway.
Tariq Mahmood
Nov 11, 2015 Tariq Mahmood rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe, british
This is a brilliant account of Orwell's time fighting the fascists in Spain. This is my first book on the complex Spanish civil war which ended just before WW2. Most of Spanish friends had recommended me reading this book in order to try and grasp the complex history of that period, and I think it was sound advice. Orwell has managed to produce an account which is both passionate and critical; he is a revolutionary and a dispassionate journalist at the same time which was pretty interesting. The ...more
Nelson Lowhim
Sep 30, 2013 Nelson Lowhim rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, when I write a review I hope that I'm speaking for more than myself in my judgement. This book is a case of both, though in the end it's all idiosyncratic. This is a great book. GO's experience in Catalonia is impressive, and he writes with great knowledge things that were kept from the public. Beautiful. Grim. You can see where his disdain for communists comes from. And rightfully so. More interesting is comparing his account (though he claims his view is partisan, one can see it's m ...more
Ryan
Dec 01, 2013 Ryan rated it liked it
This book includes two of George Orwell’s non-fiction works, Homage to Catalonia and Down and Out in Paris and London. George Orwell, of course, is famous for writing Nineteen Eighty Four and Animal Farm. Nineteen Eighty Four in particular is frequently referenced for its iconic descriptions of a fictional totalitarian regime and deceitful government propaganda. It is well known that Orwell intended Nineteen Eighty Four to be a critique of the Soviet Union, but it is less well known that it was ...more
Walk
Jan 16, 2016 Walk added it
I liked it; I think this completes my reading of the major works in the Orwell canon.
Peter
Feb 08, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing
Read it! Socialism, war, politics, international dynamics, ripping yarn...
Richard
Oct 23, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
well written...but not much interesting here.
Andrew Davis
Nov 24, 2013 Andrew Davis rated it it was ok
Orwell fought in Spain as a soldier of POUM (Workers Party of Marxist Unification) - party opposed to Soviet Union. Describes uneventful days in the trenches, being injured and almost loosing his voice. POUM got abolished by the Republican government dominated by PCE - the Communist Party of Spain.
On his return from sanatorium he goes to Barcelona and almost gets arrested. He avoids police and finally manages to leave Spain and return to England.
He describes futility of war and how it is used to
...more
Sarah
Mar 04, 2014 Sarah rated it liked it
Updated because I've now read both parts: Homage to Catalonia gets the 3, Down and Out the 4.
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

In addition to his literary career Orwell served as a a police officer with the Indian Imperia
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“I have no particular love for the idealized “worker” as he appears in the bourgeois Communist’s mind, but when I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on.” 14 likes
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