A Moment of War

Lee, Laurie. A Moment of War. New York: The New Press, 1991.

Reason read: I started the Lee series in April in honor of the Madrid Festival. This concludes the series.

As a impressionable young man Lee wanted to fight alongside the Spanish as a volunteer during their civil war in 1937. He made the trek across the Pyrenees expecting Spain to welcome him to the conflict with arms wide open. Much to his surprise he was immediately arrested as a spy. So begins Lee’s memoir of a naive coming of age in wartime Spain. Throughout this short little memoir Lee’s disillusionment becomes stronger and stronger until when he is finally sent home he has this last parting shot: “Here were the names of the dead heroes, piled into little cardboard boxes, never to be inscribed later in official Halls of Remembrance” (p 174). Sad.

Favorite quotes, “We were young and had expected a welcome of girls and kisses, even the prospect of bloodless glory; not till the Commander had pointed it out to us, I believe, had we seriously considered that we might die” (p 59).

Book trivia: A Moment of War is really short, only 176 pages. I read this in a weekend.

Author fact: Laurie Lee had a love affair with poetry.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Spain” (p 220).

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