Pretty strong stuff -- its market primarily for men who can ""take it"". An autobiographical novel of the International Brigade, fighting the first battles in Hitler's war, for an ideal that has outlived defeat. The individuals who composed it, 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 somewhat loses force through its selectivity. In this chronicle of the war, between the defence of Madrid and its fall to the Huesca offensive, there is a panorama of the horrors of modern warfare, with no note of glorification.