Orwell's account of his participation in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans has quite rightly achieved the status of a classic. Orwell pitched up in Barcelona as a journalist intending to cover the war. In the event he got carried away by the atmosphere of the time and ended up signing up to fight at the front. It must have been some atmosphere. Orwell describes it as a formative experience that made him really believe in socialism, something he had done only intellectually before.
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