'George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War' by Paul Preston read by Jim Jump

Len Crome Memorial Conference, Manchester, 2nd March 2013

Unfortunately Paul Preston was ill and was unable to attend the conference. Jim Jump, secretary of the IBMT, read Professor Preston's paper. The paper noted that while Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia' year on year outsells any other text on the Spanish Civil War, it is nevertheless only a partial and localised view of the war and misleading as a description of the reasons for the Spanish Republic's defeat. Preston's paper concluded by saying that Orwell's memoir "had given much succour to those who wished to claim, whether from the far left or the far right, that the defeat of the Spanish Republic was somehow more the responsibility of Stalin than of Franco, Hitler, Mussolini or Neville Chamberlain". He ended his lecture by quoting Orwell: "...curiously enough the whole experience has left me with not less but more belief in the decency of human beings."

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