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.)

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Here's reviewing Rachel Kushner's novel about a woman caught in the injustice of the US prison system,… ,
    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,