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An Unsocial Socialist (BCL1-PR English Literature)

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0781276467
ISBN-10: 0781276462
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class, and most of his writings censure that abuse. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles... He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaption of his play of the same name), respectively. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Bcl1-Pr English Literature Series
  • Library Binding: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Reprint Services Corp (January 1928)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781276462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781276467
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,927,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As the previous reviewer has noted this book is hard to put down. I was most impressed with the author's ability to successfully create a colorful (as in inflection-filled) and thus dynamic commentary. As to the somewhat transparent but, as highlited in the title, central topic, socialism, I feel this book has equally shown the positive and the negative consequences of its application all the while keeping true to its satire.
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By A Customer on August 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
Shaw's last, and in my opinion, best satire, An Unsocial Socialist is a wonderful book that is sadly not well known. The plot is pulls you in and the book spawned an equally great play, "Smash". I couldn't put it down until I finished it.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed George Bernard Shaw's writing and I found this book was enlightening about socialism; both good and bad points. The characters are well developed and there are just enough twists and turns in the plot to keep it interesting. The descriptions of exporting jobs and importing goods in late nineteenth century England, and how it affects the rich and the poor, hits home for the USA today!
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By Luis on September 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very entertaining book. At first a story of a bunch of girls in school and tales of truancy and fighting against the system using the system and then the introduction of a love interest, then it evolves into a story about social standing and expectation with the love interest and then it dwells on socialism and social standing for the rest of the books.
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Format: Hardcover
Sidney Trefusis , son and heir to a cotton merchant, despises the world of class and privilege he was born into and takes up the socialist cause. Deserting his wife of six weeks, he poses as a labourer and-once rumbled in that guise-as a gentleman agitator for the socialist cause. But chief among his people to reform and convert are the society women in his circle who are simply expected to be unthinking adornments to their husbands who offer "Class" and "Good breeding" to atone for the vapid life they offer. If women can be made to wake up to their condition, surely the socialist cause will advance far quicker!
Shaw's 1884 novel is entertaining enough, but isn't really sure what it wants to be-the comedy of the early chapters soon switching to political preaching and melancholy. Trefusis is a ridiculous prig and the naivety of his politics is made more grating by the fact there is no challenge to them. That capitalism is brutal-earning the merchants such as Trefusis's father more than they could ever hope to spend, whilst the working class are denied the right to earn even enough to subsist-is undeniably the great social evil of its (and subsequent) days; but Shaw is naïve in thinking flowery political solutions that sound great in theory, rarely(never?) translate into reality as politics (as any reader of Orwell will tell you) is about power over the people; NOT for the people.
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Format: Hardcover
Few realize that before he became G.B.S. the successful drama critic, and later a playwright, the young Bernard Shaw first tried his hand at writing novels. An Unsocial Socialist (1883) is perhaps the best of this somewhat unripe harvest, but a thoroughly entertaining satire of British society in its own right. Although laden (like all his works) with Fabian socialist dogma, in it Shaw seems to have at last found his modus operandi, that is, to "take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then say it with the utmost levity." The novel is so richly laced with humor, that one quite forgets one is being preached to. I wrote my thesis in college on Shaw and read just about everything he wrote, and I must say this book has remained a favorite. The image of protagonist Sidney Trefusis using the classical statuary in his study for target practice is pure Shaw!
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Format: Paperback
I picked this up used at a local shop and I must admit that even though I am in my 30's and an avid reader, this is one of only a handful of fiction books that I have read. The theme was a total surprise and I really enjoyed the book as the 19th century has been the focal point of most of my reading. I only gave it 4 stars because in the end, though the book had me laughing throughout and was very entertaining, it both began and ended abruptly with the oddest of situations. The story didn't seem complete. But I'm not a big fan of fiction anyway so take it with a grain of salt.
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