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Homage to Catalonia

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4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  20,963 Ratings  ·  1,213 Reviews
In 1936 Orwell went to Spain to report on the Civil War and instead joined the fight against the Fascists. This famous account describes the war and Orwell’s experiences. Introduction by Lionel Trilling.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 22nd 1980 by Harcourt, Inc.(Harvest Book) (first published 1938)
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Gem If you are interested in the post-war era in Spain you are in luck, since most of our authors have focused part of their career in that exact moment…moreIf you are interested in the post-war era in Spain you are in luck, since most of our authors have focused part of their career in that exact moment of our history. From Carlos Ruíz Zafón with Marina to Luciérnagas by Anna María Matute, you can find various genres concerning this period: from horror like in the first one, and realism in the latter. These two in particular are short, mandatory reads that I hope you find enjoyable! (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
Oct 08, 2009 Stephen rated it it was amazing
HEADLINE: For students, here the politics is explained.

For you students who have this great book imposed upon you in a syllabus, here is the best help I can give you with regard to Chapters V and XI, which are in some editions included only as Appendices.

It is interesting to note that at the outset Orwell himself was nonplussed by the alphabet soup of the political situation in Spain. At first he was at a loss when confronted with the idea of right wing communism as you probably are. It was only
...more
Bill  Kerwin
Mar 23, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography

This book is justly famous for its disillusioned account of how the Communist Party—in its eagerness to defeat Franco's fascism--betrayed the successful anarchist experiment in Catalonia for the sake of expedience, how it executed and imprisoned its anarchist and socialist comrades for the sake of a temporary alliance with the bourgeois.

I found all this very interesting, but have to admit that the real reason I liked the book so much was for its gritty account of war on the cheap, where guns ar
...more
Greg
Sep 29, 2012 Greg rated it really liked it
1. Homage to Catalonia has the distinction of being on my mental to-read list for longer than any other book. I've wanted to read this book longer than any of the people who elbowed or punched me in the face this week have been alive. I figured after almost twenty and half years I should finally read it.

I've owned the book for over a decade.

I have no clue what book now currently holds the distinction book I've wanted to read for the longest time but haven't.

2. When I was a senior in high school
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Ted
3 stars.

Now, after many false starts …

In my first attempt at reviewing this, I began by saying “This is a first rate source for information … on the Spanish Civil War.” Wrong!!! It really is a very poor source of information on the SCW. Because it is on a very personal level, and is mostly seen from a very limited and narrow point of view, this is really an almost useless book for learning anything historically significant about the war.

So, let’s start over.

Why is this book so famous?

The fi
...more
Kim
Nov 15, 2013 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Should anyone want to understand why George Orwell, a life long socialist, developed the antipathy to the Soviet Union which informed his best known novels Animal Farm and 1984, then this is the book to read.

When Orwell travelled to Spain in December 1936, intending to fight fascism and write about the Spanish Civil War, he stepped into a complex and murky political situation. The left-wing forces supporting the Republican government against the fascist forces led by Franco had different and co
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Sarah (Presto agitato)
I have always found the Spanish Civil War confusing. After reading Homage to Catalonia, I at least feel that I was justified in my confusion. On the surface, of course, it was a conflict between Franco’s Fascists and the democratic Republican government, but it was far more complicated than that. When Orwell arrived in Spain to fight on the Republican side with the P.O.U.M. militia, a P.S.U.C. position was pointed out to him and he was told “Those are the Socialists” to which he responded, “Aren ...more
B0nnie
Feb 17, 2012 B0nnie rated it really liked it
Orwell in Spain, the tall guy standing in the middle 1937
Another *FAQ* I wrote from back in the day in usenet for alt.books.george-orwell

Mr. Orwell has kindly granted me an interview regarding his book, Homage to Catalonia

B: There has been some talk about the Spanish Civil War lately, perhaps inspired by the recent movie El Laberinto del Fauno . This war was a labyrinth as well: sorting out the various factions and who did what to whom certainly is quite a chore.

But first things first. Could you describe your ensemble - you are wearing some un
...more
William1
Nov 23, 2014 William1 rated it really liked it
A wonderful book full of the stink and horror of war. The accounts of the Republic's assaults on the Falange, save for one instance, are pitiful and sickening. Descriptions, too, of Madrid during the conflict the likes of which I have not come across anywhere else. Exquisite and appalling. Read concurrently with Hugh Thomas' The Spanish Civil War.
Lotz
Dec 09, 2015 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eurotrip
I have the most evil memories of Spain, but I have very few bad memories of Spaniards. I only twice remember even being seriously angry with a Spaniard, and on each occasion, when I look back, I believe I was in the wrong myself.

Autobiographies and memoirs are, I think, the best books to read on vacation. Not only are they light, easy, and entertaining, but they’re usually not hard to put down. This is important because, if you’re like me, you may end up spending your whole vacation with your
...more
Chris
Jul 04, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: journalists
Orwell left England in 1936 and spend six months fighting fascism in Spain - actually fighting fascism, like, throwing grenades and living in trenches, and being shot at, and crawling across 'no man's land' in the mud. He was a member of P.O.U.M., 'Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista', or the Workers Party of Marxist Unification. Orwell was not a Marxist, but a strident opponent of Franco's fascist forces. The book, like his 'Road to Wigan Pier', is a collection of Orwell's observations told ...more
John Wiswell
Jun 22, 2007 John Wiswell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Literary readers, history readers, humanitarians, people who are politically jaded
As important as Animal Farm and 1984 are, Orwell was probably a better non-fiction writer than a fiction writer. In telling true events he is moved to outright explain his feelings and beliefs in perhaps less quotable, but far more important fashion than his fiction. You almost have to read his descriptions of the Spanish people in this book to truly appreciate the coldness of 1984's characters. Dealing with real people and real struggle he wrote his truly most memorable passages - such as why h ...more
Asma awadh
Jul 06, 2012 Asma awadh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
لطالما كانت الحرب الأهلية الإسبانية موضوعاً محيراً بالنسبة لي كنت أضعها دائماً ضمن خانة المواضيع المهمة والواجب قرائتها, كنت لا أترك رواية تتحدث ولو بشكل بسيط عن تلك الحرب الا وقد أشتريتها وهذا سبب قرائتي لكتب كاميلو خوسيه ثيلا ومحاولة قراءة لمن تقرع الأجراس لـ ارنست همنغواي لكن لم استطع من إكمالها حتى الآن ,إلى ان اتى هذا الكتاب الشافي ,كانت رؤيتي لتلك الحرب رؤية سطحية جمهوريين من حزب اليسار يصارعون فرانكو المدعوم من قبل الأنظمة الفاشية في المنطقة فقط بعد القراءة اتضحت الصورة أكثر صحيح انها ظلت ...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
https://cronicasdemagrat.com/2016/05/...

Maravillosa crónica cargada de duras reflexiones pero también de mucha ironía y humor.
El relato de Orwell es muy sesgado y particular, narra su punto de vista sobre los meses que pasó en Cataluña y Aragón, no es en absoluto un tratado de Historia sino que todo lo conocemos desde su opinión... y quizás por eso sea tan interesante.
La visión de un inglés que se mete de lleno no solo en una guerra sino en medio de la sociedad española en plena guerra es algo
...more
Ken Moten
Aug 18, 2015 Ken Moten rated it really liked it
"And I hope the account I have given is not too misleading. I believe that on such an issue as this no one is or can be completely truthful. It is difficult to be certain about anything except what you have seen with your own eyes, and consciously or unconsciously everyone writes as a partisan. In case I have not said this somewhere earlier in the book I will say it now: beware of my partisanship, my mistakes of fact, and the distortion inevitably caused by my having seen only one corner of even ...more
Chrissie
Jul 29, 2014 Chrissie rated it liked it
I find the Spanish Civil War confusing. Repeatedly I am given different interpretations and different explanations of the events. I have tried to get some understanding by reading many different books. This book is another added to all the others. I have found no one book that explained it all, with a clear overview.

This book cannot be considered an explanation of this war; it was published nine months after Orwell left Spain, and so the war was still not over. He was there from December 1936 to
...more
Alice Poon
Jul 17, 2014 Alice Poon rated it it was amazing
This is George Orwell's vivid account of his six-month (from December 1936 to June 1937) direct involvement in the Spanish Civil War. Other than recounting action-packed combative episodes on the war frontier and treacherous street-fighting scenes in Barcelona, the author also gives a clear-eyed analysis of the mind-boggling multi-faction political strife that prevailed. This essentially boils down to a three-sided struggle between the pro-Franco Fascists (prone to feudalism), the Russian-commis ...more
Zanna
Sep 18, 2015 Zanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read 2007
If this was history it did not feel like it... instead of being heroic one just had to stay at one's post, bored, dropping with sleep and completely uninterested as to what it was all about.

Orwell's straightforward style makes this memoir a particularly convincing indictment of the stupidity and senselessness of trench warfare. Soldiers huddle cold and hungry in filthy holes in the ground, occasionally taking a pot shot at a bunch of other soldiers who would be their neighbours, c
...more
Lorenzo Berardi
Aug 29, 2011 Lorenzo Berardi rated it really liked it
Reading anything by Orwell is always worth and rewarding.
And "Homage to Catalonia" makes no exception.
As someone pointed out somewhere the way Orwell understood and described Spain surpasses by far what Hemingway wrote pretty much in the same years about the same country.

But while Hemingway spent his Spanish time in a sort of cosmopolitan way drinking, waking up late, watching bullfighting, munching tapas and generally having fun (Fiesta!), Orwell was freezing in trenches, picking up cigarette
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Homage To Catalonia, c1980, George Orwell
عنوان: درود بر کاتالونیا - گزارشی از جنگ داخلی اسپانیا - سال 1937؛ نویسنده: جورج اورول؛ مترجم: تورج آرامش؛ تهران، آگاه، 1360؛ در 236 ص؛ عنوان دیگر: جنگ داخلی اسپانیا - 1937؛ موضوع: تاریخ اسپانیا جنگهای داخلی بین سالهای 1936 تا 1939 م، قرن 20 م
عنوان: زنده باد کاتالونیا؛ جورج اورول؛ مترجم: مهدی افشار؛ تهران، مجید، 1390؛ در 285 ص؛ شابک: 9789644531163؛
مشاهدات جورج اورول از جنگ داخلی اسپانیا
Hadrian
Mar 24, 2011 Hadrian rated it it was amazing
Orwell's memoir of his service fighting in leftist militia in the Spanish Civil War. "A comic opera with an occasional death." Dangers of extremist politics. Great story telling. It's all here.
Luís Blue Yorkie
It is curious the comparison that one wants to make between Hemingway's book, When the Bell Tolls and this book of George Orwell ..

While in the book of Hemingway - For Whom the Bell Tolls - the story revolves around one American member of the International Brigades, fighting alongside a democratic and republican government ; in the second book, ie, Homage to Catalonia, the story evolves around one report of Orwell cable, later promoted to lieutenant, who by in his turn fought in the Spanish Ci
...more
فـــــــدوى
Jan 21, 2014 فـــــــدوى rated it really liked it
هل أنت من متابعي الدوريات الاوروبيه عموما ...والدوري الأوروبي خصوصاً...!
إن كنت منهم او كنت مثلي من الذين يشاهدون المبارايات أضطرارا وتحت وطأه الضغط الاسري او للنجاة من الغباءات الاخرى المعروضه ع شاشه التلفاز ...فمؤكد تصادف الأمر وحضرت مره نهايئات كانت تقام بين الفريق الملكي الاسباني وفريق برشلونه ...
إن كنت كذلك فأهنيك لقد تابعت النسخه الرياضيه من الحرب الاهليه الاسبانيه

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ربما الحرب الأهليه واحده من المعضلات في التاريخ الحديث عصية الفهم ...فأنت أمام ثورة حقيقيه بكل الاركان رفض حتى مؤيدوها أن
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Paul Martin
Sep 10, 2015 Paul Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
For some reason I always imagined that the general tension of the society described in 1984 was inspired by pre-war events in Berlin and Moscow. After reading this it's fairly easy to see that it was the political struggle within the communist faction of the anti-Franco coalition which inspired Orwell most. The suspicion, hatred and poisonous atmosphere...if Barcelona had been replaced with Airstrip One one could easily believe this to be section from 1984. A war within the war, quite literally. ...more
Jim
Mar 14, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
For some reason, I thought I had read George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia years ago, but it appears I did not. Most likely, I got bored by one of the two political chapters and probably stopped reading. Now, I find both the biographical and the political matter both to be excellent; and I see clearly how Orwell's experience fighting with the P.O.U.M. (Workers' Party of Marxist Unification) militia in northeast Spain made possible the great essays such as "Politics and the English Language" and s ...more
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell's account of his experiences as a volunteer on the republican side during the Spanish Civil War. But it's not just another memoir. No, it's far more. For it marks a decisive stage in his progress as a writer and a thinker. Indeed, if one wanted to understand the roots behind the major themes in both Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four this book is essential reading.

Orwell, who had developed a general but rather unfocused sympathy for socialism, came to Spain
...more
Stephanie Sun
Julian Barnes once defined history as “that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” (The Sense of an Ending)

True and yet not true. There is an objective true past, though it is not knowable in the entirety, only in pieces.

This is Orwell's account of his experiences fighting in the Spanish Civil War as part of the P.O.U.M., a worker's party later betrayed by Soviet secret police who infiltrated the right-leaning faction of the an
...more
Ben Babcock
It’s not very often that I commend a blurb. I prefer to mock them, especially for their brevity or generic flavour—fantasy and science fiction are particularly guilty of this. For Homage to Catalonia I can make an exception: my edition has a blurb on the back cover from Antony Beevor, who calls this “an unrivalled picture of the rumours, suspicions and treachery of civil war.” This describes the book perfectly.

A couple of burdens of ignorance to confess before we begin here. Firstly, I had no id
...more
Kevin
Mar 19, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Review – Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Homage to Catalonia is the best war book I’ve ever read. It is both entertaining and honest, and has little to do with the partisan bickering that composes much of the book’s background.

Orwell went to Barcelona in 1936 to report on the Spanish Civil War. He was so struck with the progress of the workers’ revolution there, the camaraderie and the hope, that he decided this state of affairs was worth defending, and enlisted with a militia unit. His unit
...more
Kaimynas
Feb 15, 2016 Kaimynas rated it it was ok
Pats silpniausias Orwell'o veikalas. Ne vien del to, kad jau po 100psl pasimeciau kas tie Poum, Cnt ir t.t , bet kas ten su kuo ir, kodel kovoja. Realiai nieko naujo nepasakysi apie knyga, kaip sakoma Fallout intro "war, war never changes". Taip ir cia, ta pati karo beprasmybe, kai po ilgos kovos niekas nesupranta, kodel kovoja toliau, resursu stygius, kare pasitaikantys pavieniai bajeriukai. Bet viskas aprasyta labai paprastaii ir pavirsutiniskai. Atrodo,kad pasakotu druzokui prie alaus bokalo. ...more
Nooilforpacifists
"The Spaniards are good at many things, but not at making war." This early observation by Orwell is one of two themes of the book. Orwell enlists in the "Trotsky" (POUM) militia, is on the front for over six months and in Barcelona during the famous internal war over the telephone exchange, but he rarely shoots, never hits anything, is fired upon numerous times but hit only once--a bullet in the neck that misses his arteries, and only hits one vocal cord.

Orwell loves the Spanish, but he can't h
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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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“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.” 318 likes
“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.” 32 likes
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