An autobiographical novel, in which the Brigade, fighting in Spain for the Loyalist cause and for an ideal which has outlived defeat, is the focus of the story. The individuals who composed it, its organization (and disorganization), its exploits and failures, make it emerge as somewhat unorientated, and not altogether easy reading. There are scenes which for sheer dramatic force, stand out from the welter; there is an excess of brutal detail which sometimes loses force through its un-selectivity. In this chronicle of the war, between the defence and the fall of Madrid to the Huesca offensive, there is a realistic picture of modern warfare, with all its horrors and senseless hatreds and futility, and with no note of glorification and exalted heroism. Pretty strong stuff--its market primarily for men who can ""take it"".