EL CAMPESINO by Valentin Gonzalez


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A dramatic and dangerous personal history which is sparked by the flashing figure of a black-bearded Spaniard who became a legend during the Spanish Civil War as El Campesino (The Peasant), a revolutionary and a Communist. Selected by the Russians to be sent to Moscow for re-education as one of the ""leaders of the Red Army in the service of World Revolution"", Gonzalez, an individualist at all times, soon found that the demand for obligatory secrecy and political conformism was irksome. In spite of his marriage to a daughter of the Soviet elite, his outspoken criticisms ended in his fall from grace, and he was put to forced labor. A bandit, towards the end of the war, he escaped over the border into Persia, but was sent back to the prison Lubianka, a house of horrors. Sentenced to Siberia, his excellent record there and two women enabled his second escape, which again ended in his return to another prison, this time a cell infested by rats and snakes, and again the labor gang. And after two more years, he effected a third escape- and finally found freedom... The record here of man's inhumanity to man- in Soviet Russia- is a particularly appealing one- and the daring and durability and resilience of El Campesino gives his story a special dash.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1952
Publisher: Putnam