An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald

Chris Dolan


An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald

An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald

  • Title: An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald
  • Author: Chris Dolan
  • ISBN: 9781841586854
  • Page: 189
  • Format: Paperback



In 1936, with civil war sweeping through Spain, Ethel Macdonald a working class girl from Motherwell was to become, for a year, one of the world s most famous voices She was perhaps the first example of an embedded reporter , sending dispatches and broadcasts back from the Spanish Anarchist camp in Barcelona to the UK But she made no pretence of impartiality or baIn 1936, with civil war sweeping through Spain, Ethel Macdonald a working class girl from Motherwell was to become, for a year, one of the world s most famous voices She was perhaps the first example of an embedded reporter , sending dispatches and broadcasts back from the Spanish Anarchist camp in Barcelona to the UK But she made no pretence of impartiality or balance of opinion she was a lifelong anarchist, utterly committed to her cause Mystery surrounds Ethel Macdonald, from her birth certificate to the last days of her life When Ethel suddenly fell silent in Barcelona she became the focus of an international search and intergovernmental negotiations In 1937 the optimism of the previous year had gone Ethel had been imprisoned, escaped, and was in hiding in a foreign country in the grip of war Dubbed on newspaper headlines The Scots Scarlet Pimpernel , she was imprisoned by her erstwhile comrades, the very people she had been fighting alongside and now that she was silenced and in danger, she became even of an enigma This book, exactly a century after her birth, uses contemporary accounts, her own words and those of her close associates to unravel the extraordinary mystery of Ethel Macdonald and examines the unique impact that she had during this fascinating period of European history.


Recent Comments "An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald"

Love everything about this book. Firstly how Chris Dolan didn't intend to write about Ethel & then discovered who she was and decided to write about her life and experiences. Secondly it's sad to think how little is known of Ethel's contributions to the social revolution as Orwell's 'Homage to Catalonia' is a more prominent book. However, I think this book stands out to me equally if not more because the fact she was a woman traveling with her friend to a country in civil war.I think she was [...]

Motherwell anarchist goes to Spain in order to fight fascism, why would anyone not want to read this book.

This is the story of a really unusual and interesting life. A young Glasgow woman, Ethel MacDonald travels to Barcelona during the Spanish Revolution in the 1930's and ends up being the English-speaking voice for the anarchist factions on radio to the outside world. It seems quite a bizarre turn of events. The best of this book for me was the descriptions of the Spanish Revolution and the explanation of what Anarchism really stood for. It's a useful introduction to that period of history and the [...]

This was a little frustrating at first as the narrative was very much dependent on imaginative reconstruction of events, due to the apparent paucity of information on MacDonald's early life. It improved greatly when covering the period during the Spanish Civil War when she worked as a journalist in Barcelona, as various articles she had written are quoted which gave a strong impression of her character and beliefs. MacDonald was in the city at the same time as George Orwell although the two neve [...]

I stumbled upon this book by accident whilst looking for books about the Spanish Civil War and was interested as it was about a woman. I'd never previously heard of Ethel MacDonald and also didn't have a proper understanding of anarchism. Like thousands of "international brigaders", Ethel was a woman with deeply-held beliefs who travelled to Spain, virtually without money, to help the workers of Spain in their struggle for freedom. Although you don't learn a great deal about Ethel herself, I fou [...]

Interesting story about the Motherwell anarchist's life and in particular her visit to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. I was disappointed that some of the content was based on conjecture, as a result of Ethel MacDonald's humility, with most of her correspondence and speeches not recorded or retained by her (whilst many political figures are known for keeping all sorts of apparently irrelevant documentation). The main theme is the tension between the anarchists and Stalinists and what you [...]

An interesting read about a woman from Glasgow who went to Spain during the civil war.


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    Published :2018-08-07T05:01:24+00:00