Orwell and Politics (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780141185187: Orwell and Politics (Penguin Modern Classics)

Orwell's classic satire ANIMAL FARM continues to be an international best seller. For the first time ever, ORWELL AND POLITICS brings this major work together with the author's other works exploring the nature of politics and the Second World War.

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Review:

Why, asks Timothy Garton Ash, in the introduction to Orwell and Politics, should we still read Orwell on politics? We know he was the writer who captured the essence of totalitarianism with Animal Farmand Nineteen Eighty Four but didn't that world end in 1989? How about the fact that he was probably the most influential political writer of the 20th century? Or the fact that he was "more memorably and influentially right than anyone" about the nature and threat of totalitarian regimes in the second half of the 20th century? Or that he had interesting things to say about socialism, fascism and liberalism; or on British imperialism; or the psychology of writers and intellectuals. These are good reasons to be sure but the clincher is because he is a master of the art of political writing. This is no small matter. Arthur Schoepenhauer said that the job of reviewer/critic is to use the judiciousness and severity of their judgement to mercilessly scourge all patchwork put together by incompetents and thus work against triviality and imposture as their duty dictates. If this collection of essays, reviews, letters and the complete Animal Farm contained only the classic "Politics and the English Language" it would be worth the asking price because after reading it one is much better equipped to spot crooked thinking and sloppy writing. By giving us a clear sight of some of the "swindles and perversions" of language Orwell makes it easier to expose ideologues and "spin-doctors" of every kind as well as providing us with some simple stylistic rules to help keep us honest. And that, as Garton Ash rightly says, is the best reason of all for reading Orwell on politics in the 21st century. -- Larry Brown

About the Author:

Born in India in 1903 George Orwell moved to England with his family in 1907. He was educated at Eton and joined the Indian Imperial Police, serving five years in Burma before returning to Europe. The period of poverty that followed inspired DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON (1933). In 1937 he published THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER. His political convictions led him to fight for the Republicans in Spain and to write HOMAGE TO CATALONIA. In 1945 ANIMAL FARM was published. Orwell died of TB in 1950.

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