George Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’ provides a great insight into the politics of the Spanish Civil War. It also appears to have inspired a number of the scenes in Ken Loach’s splendid Spanish Civil War film ‘Land and Freedom’.
George’s description of Barcelona immediately after the revolution will live long in my memory – a real glimpse of a socialist utopia. Alas it was all too brief and ultimately factionalism defeats the allies as George explains later in the book.
George includes a lengthy couple of appendices that help the reader to understand the politics and the various political factions around at the time. The book is a great read and provides the best overview of both the politics, and the experience of a Brit volunteering to fight the fascists.