This work is at once the autobiography of a man and the biography of a nation during the most crucial period of their lives. The first section, "The Forge", deals with the childhood and youth of the author before the war in Spain - a Spain shocked, confused and desperate. Arturo Barea himself was the son of a widowed washerwoman and the adopted favourite of a well-to-do aunt. This gives him a unique insight into life at different social and economic levels. The second section of the book, "The Track", carries Senor Barea into business, into marriage and into the sordid life of a Spanish conscript soldier (the so-called Riff War in North Africa) and then back into civilian life. It provides a picture of Spanish Morocco in the years between the wars, of life in the outposts, with vermin, disease, flies and foul food; of the cafes, gambling dens and brothels of the towns. "The Clash", the third section, covers the years 1935-1939 and deals primarily with the Civil War and Senor Barea's part in it.
Publisher: Granta Books