Author(s): George Orwell; Don Watson
ANIMAL FARM is perhaps the most famous satirical allegory of totalitarianism. Published in 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist was a critic of Joseph Stalin, and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism. In recent years, the book has been used to compare new movements that overthrow heads of a corrupt and undemocratic government or organisation, only eventually to become corrupt and oppressive themselves as they succumb to the trappings of power and begin using violent and dictatorial methods to keep it. Such analogies have been used for many former African colonies such as Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose succeeding African-born rulers were accused of being as corrupt as, or worse than, the European colonists they replaced. In addition, the political deception and abuses of power of the Bush Administration fall into this category as well.
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'A wise, compassionate, and illuminating fable.' New York Times 'There are no replacements for George Orwell, just as there are no replacements for a Bernard Shaw or a Mark Twain...he pricked, provoked and badgered lazy minds, delighted those who enjoyed watching an original intelligence at work.' Time Magazine 'A book for everyone and Everyman, its brightness undimmed after fifty years.' -- Ruth Rendell 'Timeless, even transcendent.' -- Christopher Hitchens 'Absolutely first rate.' New Yorker
George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950) was a teacher, novelist and journalist. He also served his country, including in the Home Guard during the Second World War. He later became the literary editor of the Tribune and wrote for the Observer and Manchester Evening News. The author of nine books, Orwell is best know for the allegorical Animal Farm (1945) and dystopian satire Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). They have gone on to become two of the most influential books of the twentieth century.