Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 133–147 | Cite as

The notion of crusade in British and American literary responses to the Spanish Civil War

  • James FountainEmail author


This article analyses responses by various British and American writers to the Spanish Civil War, and examines the various personal and political crusades that can be observed in this writing. I will examine Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (1941), George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia (1938), the Spanish Civil War poetry of Langston Hughes, and various lesser-known British and American poets. I argue that the British poetic response was largely an attempt to understand and align themselves with the fragmented Loyalist Communism, and that American poetry of this war often raged against US neutrality. I will demonstrate that this US policy of neutrality changed after the Spanish Civil War, US administrations attaching themselves to varying forms of crusade on a consistent basis both during and after the Second World War, twenty years after their crusade in the Great War.

Key words

Spanish Civil War George Orwell Langston Hughes Hemingway 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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