The Breaking Point: Hemingway, Dos Passos and the Murder of José Robles
This book is absolutely important for people interested specially in the following topics: Spain, 20th century history, communism, literature (Dos Passos, Hemingway), politics, and modern history in general. It will be interesting to the general reader because it is written almost like a detective story; the author has done a tremendous work of investigation.
By the way, this follows Stephen Koch's previous work "Double Lives", which is, I believe, the "intellectual father" of this new book, since they are very related.
There is much to be amazed of, much to learn about, in this story. The role of the Soviet Commintern in world politics and its consequences in our social lives is something that I can't stop being amazed at. How they handled people, propaganda, ideas, deserves more attention from the people, so we taken in again.
There are three contending sides in this political/criminal story: the communists (aka Stalinists) and their servants (propagandists, artists, hit-men), the independents (non-stalinist communists, anarchists, and other revolutionaries), and the vanity-fair people (rich, stupid, intellectual and irresponsible fellows who lent their names to one or the other side of the battle that caused the lives of many REAL working-class people. This book is a good incentive to pause and reflect upon the miseries that many irresponsible self-called intellectuals have caused on common folk. They never fought, they never risked their lives, but they helped to provoke (and still do) the wars and dictatorships of the 20th century immensely. From Marx (who never met a factory worker in his rascal life) to Picasso, Garcia Marquez, Hemingway, Dos Passos, Hammett, Orwell, even Einstein or Delano Roosevelt, were to some extent puppets in the hands of the soviet agenda.
Here we have the Stalinists (Commintern) killing thousands of anti-fascists and saying they were fascists, and at the same time pacting with the nazis in Germany in order to share Europe between the two countries. And everybody believed it! But what this book is about is not so much the big picture, but the involvement of some of its most relevant artistic protagonists. We deal here with very personal and human stories.
Jesus was right, you mustn't hate your enemies, you must love them.If you go out looking for enemies, whether it is "the rich" or the "Jews", you may find him where you never thought: in your own side. Robles looked for enemies among the rich in Spain (ironically, he was one of them), took sides with those he thought were the "good" side against those he thought were the "fascist" side; well, he got his own awakening.