THE LINCOLNBATTALION; MEN IN BATTLE by

THE LINCOLNBATTALION; MEN IN BATTLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

These two books should be reported jointly, although they are to be published a month apart (the Bessie book comes on October 9). The Rolfe book is the complete chronicle of the Americans who fought in Spain from December '36 to the close, as seen through his own experiences as Commissar in Madrid, as soldier during the Ebro offensive, as correspondent, and through the letters and diaries of hundreds of others. You see the day by day life of a gruelling war, itineraries, conditions, offensive and defensive activities, months of inactivity, case histories, a picture of the gallantry of the untrained youth who went over to join forces against superior trained armies. Definitely a eulogistic tribute, and somewhat pallid and dry compared to the Alvah Bessie MEN IN BATTLE. Bessie joined the Battalion during the second half of the 1938 Spring retreats and went through the Ebro offensive. His account is much more personal, more animated than the Rolfe book. It shows the seamy side with less reserve (Public Libraries watch out). He recognizes cracking nerves and tempers. He senses the deep undercurrent of comradeship. One is more aware of the radical element. The writing is more vociferous, more interpretative, more readable. The Rolfe book covers the whole span; the Bessie book is more concentrated in content and expression.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1939
Publisher: Random House; Scribner