When Chris Hall spoke at a packed meeting of the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) in Manchester in about the ILP volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, one member of the audience asked in amazement, “Why have we not heard about this before?”
To answer her question properly would take a book in itself. It would have to delve into how the Communist Party largely monopolised the history of the civil war for decades. It would also acknowledge that the International Brigade’s volunteers were numerically far larger than the ILP contingent. No less important, it would have to understand the bitter political differences that arose between communists on one side and anarchists and the ILP’s sister party, POUM, on the other, in particular, the open warfare that broke out between them on the streets of Barcelona in 1937. This Hall has done in his In Spain with Orwell.