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Lights and shadows in George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia

Preston, Paul (2017) Lights and shadows in George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Bulletin of Spanish Studies. ISSN 1475-3820

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14753820.2018.1388550


George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia is included in most lists of important books on the Spanish Civil War, despite being simply a vivid eye-witness account of just two fragments of the war. It demonstrates little understanding of Spanish or Catalan politics and does not present a reliable analysis of the broader politics of the war and particularly of its international determinants. Its underlying notion that the crushing of revolution in Barcelona would contribute to the eventual Republican defeat makes it too easy to forget the contributions to that defeat made by Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, and the pusillanimous self-interest of the British, French and American governments. Based on the partisan views of anarchist and POUM comrades, and misled by ignorance of the wider context, Orwell's analysis and prediction are misleading. This article aims to raise awareness that the views expressed in his book, based on insufficient information and prior prejudice, are often mistaken.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 00:16

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