The survivors were rescued by the fishing boat Isla Camila. Yay for the Isla Camila. Rescuing folks from collapsing lifeboats during an arctic storm wasn't easy.
Don't want to read a whole book, just want a quick article? Here's something from The Telegraph
I heard about this book from Piaw.
OK, that was a short book report. So hey, San Francisco people: If you saw my book report about Black Against Empire and it didn't quite convince you to read the book, consider this: it's this year's One City One Book book. So it's trendy… uhm, trendy among people who listen to recommendations from librarians, anyhow…
Fascist Franco led mercenaries against the recently-risen government. This was before World War II, before most of the world had figured out how bad Fascism was. But this war gave some hints. Hitler and Mussolini helped Franco out. The people of Spain were brave, and brave foreigners like the Lincoln Brigade came to help—but that bravery wasn't much help against Hitler's new bomber planes. This war gave Hitler a chance to try those planes out and confirm that they could make a big difference in a war. They bombed Guernica, a name you might recognize from that Picasso mural.
This book also has the story of Picasso living outside of Spain and planning that mural. He agonizes over it. But I didn't really feel sorry for him. He was having a rough time, but compared to the folks fighting back home in Spain, he had it pretty easy. You want to tell Picasso, "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, think of those folks from the previous chapter."
There are doctors trying out new battlefield medicine. People were figuring out blood transfusions, how to do them at field hospitals. How to set up a field hospital at some town who normally has a small population, but finds itself hosting many many dying and injured soldiers.
And there are writers. Orwell, Hemingway… Folks you've heard of, folks you haven't. They were brave and they struggled and they lost. We talk about how we beat the Fascists in World War II, but Franco ruled Spain until the 1970s, so we can't say we batted a thousand against Fascism. It's hard to read about brave people losing a war, but it's probably good to remember it happens.
In real life, Exquisite Corpses are Surrealist with multiple artists: Someone would make the top of a sketch, and fold over the paper; someone else would fill in the middle of the sketch, though they couldn't see much of the top and then they'd fold the paper again; finally, a third artist would finish the sketch, drawing the bottom. In this book, Exquisite Corpses are like that except come to life in the world and wreaking havoc on Nazis.
This novella has something of the disjoint nature of Surrealist art: from chapter to chapter, it jumps around in time and in viewpoint.
Thinking about exquisite corpses, I find myself wishing that the author had collaborated with a couple of other authors. The book's protagonist is a radical, as you'd expect in a China Miéville work. But he's also beaten-down and guilt-ridden about events in his past, making his way through a world with interesting magic that follows rules; Tim Powers could have written about that quite nicely. For a third author… I dunno, maybe someone who writes a lot about WWII? Anyhow.
A fun quick read.
Keeping things legal helped the Panthers make alliances. Their allies were weak reeds, though. When the USA government made concession to leftist causes, the Panthers lost power. They'd made common cause with leftist groups; when the USA stopped the military draft and promised an end to fighting in Vietnam, those allies mostly stopped protesting, didn't hold out for racial justice.
Finding their sweet spot was tricky; the Panthers didn't always get it right. This was fine-tuned politics, and we might not ever know what some of the background thinking was. Some Panther leaders survived to write autobiographies; but some were assassinated by police. (Though this book concentrates on the politics, that's intertwined with the police violence, provocations by the FBI's COINTELPRO,…) Don't get too attached to any "character" in this book; plenty met violent ends.