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(2020) Homage to Catalonia is George Orwell’s personal account of his experiences and observations fighting for the POUM militia of the Republican army during the Spanish Civil War. The war was one of the defining events of his political outlook and a significant part of what led him to write in 1946, “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism, as I understand it.”
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.