Letters from Barcelona

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Letters from Barcelona


Through the eyes of a young American female radical socialist, living and working in Barcelona during the Catalan Revolution and the Spanish Civil War, the dreams, the nightmares and the realities of European politics in the age of dictatorship are fully brought to life. Charles Orr, more than ten years older than Lois, had already led a somewhat itinerant life by the time the newly-wed couple settled in Barcelona for ten months. After obtaining a degree in economics, in the late 1920s Charles for a while worked for the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. A cultured and articulate man, by the mid-1930s Charles became a leading activist in the Ann Arbor, Michigan, branch of the Young People’s Socialist League, the radicalizing youth branch of American social democracy. He was thus well poised to take advantage of the unusual confluence of independent spirits concentrating in Barcelona, which provides the backdrop to the countless letters by Lois and himself. An autobiographical commentary written on the eve of World War Two. By the time of the first extant letter written after the Christmas and New Year period, penned on 4 January 1937, the POUM had been removed from the Catalan government coalition, reflecting the uncertain fate of revolutionary aspirations in the winter of 1936–1937. Lois’ and Charles’ involvement with POUM politics, however, deepened, with Charles taking over the English-language propaganda department of the POUM. In February 1937 Eileen O’Shaughnessy, George Orwell’s wife, began to work as Charles’ secretary, as her writer-husband fought at the front.

Availability: 1 in stock

SKU: 41662 Category: Tag:
Subtitle: An American Woman in Revolution and Civil War
Author: Orr, Lois & Charles Orr & G. Horn (red.)
Year: 2009
ISBN: 9781349358120
Pages: 209
Language: English
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher's city: London
Publication date:
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