Just read the very brilliant Red Spanish Notebook by Mary Lou and Juan Brea. They catalogue the heady early days of revolution in Barcelona before the reality of the civil war really took hold. The writing is lyrical and often wryly comic as they take it in turns to narrate the progress of the war, the brutality of front plus vivid descriptions of the colourful, liberated Catalan city of Barcelona in 1936. But it is the people who bring it to life, people who are described with exacting economy.
‘If you ever heard him laugh,’ Low writes at one point of a man they meet, ‘you would know what sort of man he was, cut all out of one piece.’
Apart from the prose, the text is illuminating and often heart-breaking. It’s a wonderful description of how idealism can very quickly take a wrong turn and end up somewhere else.