Review of Radosh--Furr responds to Walters

David Siar dsiar at
Sat Jul 5 16:04:16 MDT 2003


Grover Furr is not on this list; however, since David Walters made some
comments on Furr's review of Radosh, I wanted to forward
(belatedly--I've been away) Furr's brief response.

David Siar

(The following is Furr's e-mail to me.)

Dear David,

. . . In my review I took up (a) the documents, and (b) Radosh's
misreading of them. I didn't attempt any overall assessment of the SCW,
or claim to have refuted anybody else.

I'm planning on writing about Orwell's Homage to Catalonia sometime in
the next year. I'd like to do it sooner, but am in the middle of some
other research that I simply have to put first. I've reread it, of
course, and done some preliminary research.

Orwell is terrible! He knew no Spanish, and nothing about what was
going on. He went to Spain as representative of the Independent Labour
Party, an anti-communist group, so was predisposed to anti-communism to
begin with. His description of things he saw personally on the front
is, no doubt, fine. But the part of the book everybody quotes is the
Barcelona stuff, and he just plain got a lot of it wrong --
misidentifying units, and so on. His anti-communist stuff is assertions
and rumors.

A few years later Orwell actually changed his mind, concluding that the
Communists were NOT responsible for the Republic's losing the war, but
that the Allies were, for refusing to send aid. Just what everybody
else was saying, in other words. He never revised the book, though, or
even wrote a revised introduction reflecting his new thinking.

HtC sold about 900 copies and had no influence UNTIL, at the height of
the Cold War, it was published in the United States around 1952. Then,
of course, it became "the" work that proved "Spain Betrayed", and so on.

I don't mean these remarks to be a refutation or review of Orwell, just
an indication of the context. O's book is not useful at all as history;
it is nothing but an anti-communist diatribe.

You might want to post the following URL to the group, along with what
I wrote you:

In the course of my work on Radosh I did a little digging around about
a paragraph in one of Paul Johnson's books, and produced this in a
couple of hours, using only the resources from our own little library
at Montclair State. I hope it gives some idea of the duplicity and
shallowness of Johnson and some other anti-communist researchers,
including some Trotskyists, though not Prof. Walters, of course.

In short, there really isn't much of anything about the SCW one can
just "believe" (Hugh Thomas also slanted the truth, as this little URL
shows). You just have to check it all.

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