Homage to Catalonia

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A National Review Top Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Century
 
“One of Orwell’s very best books and perhaps the best book that exists on the Spanish Civil War.”—The New Yorker

 
In 1936, originally intending merely to report on the Spanish Civil War as a journalist, George Orwell found himself embroiled as a participant—as a member of the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unity. Fighting against the Fascists, he described in painfully vivid and occasionally comic detail life in the trenches—with a “democratic army” composed of men with no ranks, no titles, and often no weapons—and his near fatal wounding. As the politics became tangled, Orwell was pulled into a heartbreaking conflict between his own personal ideals and the complicated realities of political power struggles.
 
Considered one of the finest works by a man V. S. Pritchett called “the wintry conscience of a generation,” Homage to Catalonia is both Orwell’s memoir of his experiences at the front and his tribute to those who died in what he called a fight for common decency. This edition features a new foreword by Adam Hochschild placing the war in greater context and discussing the evolution of Orwell’s views on the Spanish Civil War.
 
“No one except George Orwell . . . made the violence and self-dramatization of Spain so burning and terrible.”— Alfred Kazin, New York Times
 
“A wise book, one that once read will never be forgotten.”—Chicago Sunday Tribune
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Additional Information

Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Published on
Oct 22, 1969
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9780547416175
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Spain & Portugal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The second volume in Laurie Lee’s acclaimed autobiographical trilogy, an unforgettable glimpse of Spain on the eve of its civil war.

On a bright Sunday morning in June 1934, Laurie Lee left the village home so lovingly portrayed in his bestselling memoir, Cider with Rosie. His plan was to walk the hundred miles from Slad to London, with a detour of an extra hundred miles to see the sea for the first time. He was nineteen years old and brought with him only what he could carry on his back: a tent, a change of clothes, his violin, a tin of biscuits, and some cheese. He spent the first night in a ditch, wide awake and soaking wet.

From those unlikely beginnings, Laurie Lee fashioned not just the adventure of a lifetime, but one of the finest travel narratives of the twentieth century. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, written more than thirty years after the events it describes, is an elegant and irresistibly charming portrait of life on the road—first in England, where the familiar landscapes and people somehow made Lee feel far from home, and then in Spain, whose utter foreignness afforded a new kind of comfort.

In that brief period of peace, a young man was free to go wherever he wanted to in Europe. Lee picked Spain because he knew enough Spanish to ask for a glass of water. What he did not know, and what would become clear only after a year spent tramping across the beautiful and rugged countryside—from the Galician port city of Vigo, over the Sierra de Guadarrama and into Madrid, and along the Costa del Sol—was that the Spanish Republic would soon need idealistic young men like Lee as badly as he needed it.
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