Frank Fairfield

For Whom The Bell Tolls

The Breaking Point: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and the Murder of José Robles


Robson Books 308pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

Guerra! Living in the Shadows of the Spanish Civil War


Doubleday 294pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

In his 1943 essay ‘Looking Back on the Spanish Civil War’, George Orwell wrote: ‘I think we will come to see that Stalin’s policy in Spain, which we now regard as so devilishly clever, was merely stupid and opportunistic.’ Orwell’s interest in Stalin and Spain, of course, was more than merely academic: crossing the Soviet dictator’s Spanish stooges had almost cost Orwell his life, and decisively altered his politics. Animal Farm and 1984 were the bitter fruits of Orwell’s Spanish sojourn. When he wrote in the latter novel, ‘If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever’, it was probably the face of one of his comrades in Spain, Bob Smillie, of which he was thinking. (Smillie was kicked to death in a Stalinist secret prison.)

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'It would be nice to think that women will achieve equal pay in my lifetime, rather than to watch gloomily as stati… ,
    • In 1660, two of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant fled across the Atlantic to New England. But were… ,
    • Howard Jacobson's sixteenth novel is 'a love story of sorts, one characterised not by physical desire or even conta… ,
    • 'The sudden immersion in the new and unfamiliar can lead people to write with a rare lack of self-consciousness' P… ,
    • 'Pools bend the rules. Clothes slip off, skin glistens, consciousness heightens. A dreamlike scenario unfolds' Jam… ,
    • 'Although he surely didn’t know W H Auden’s theory that every high C proclaims human freedom and our capacity to tr… ,
    • RT : With beginning tomorrow, we've uncovered a 1997 article from the archive reviewing 'Golf Dream… ,