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Jumping the Line:
William Herrick provides an eye opening and fiery account of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 in his powerful memoir Jumping the Line. Raised with Communism in his blood, it was inevitable that Herrick would volunteer to fight in Spain with the hope of quelling fascism and battling for the rights of workers. Young and idealistic, Herrick soon learned that both the fascists and Communists committed grotesque acts against humanity, and shame is etched in many of Herrick's accounts of the war. In the 1950s Herrick went on to testify against his former Communist comrades, and again a great sense of guilt pervades his account of this difficult decision.
Herrick's life is anything but dull. He has worked with Orson Welles, met Rita Hayworth, lived as a hobo, and almost died from a bullet wound during the Battle of Jarama. Herrick is a controversial figure who exposed Communist crimes to the media. At the same time he is honest--admitting he too would have done anything asked of him by the Communist party. This is a gutsy memoir told in plain prose, with enough wit to keep the subject from becoming overly dry. [via]