Picked up George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia from Oxfam in Ealing. Very interesting so far. It’s Orwell’s account of his time with the Anarchist militia during the Spanish Civil War. Well written and refreshing to get political thoughts directly from the front line, so to speak – from someone who has lived through it, not just simply philosophising about it.
Main takeaways so far are the lack of organisation and preparation in the Anarchist militias. Which, as Orwell points out, fair enough, given the circumstances. Also that there were often periods of great mundanity in the war – he writes at one point that both sides’ main preoccupation while defending the front is keeping warm, not the enemy.
Interesting to learn a lot of the initial militias came from trade unions.