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Animal Farm Mass Market Paperback – Standard Edition, January 1, 1996
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“As lucid as glass and quite as sharp…[Animal Farm] has the double meaning, the sharp edge, and the lucidity of Swift.”—Atlantic Monthly
“A wise, compassionate, and illuminating fable for our times.”—The New York Times
“Orwell has worked out his theme with a simplicity, a wit, and a dryness that are close to La Fontaine and Gay, and has written in a prose so plain and spare, so admirably proportioned to his purpose, that Animal Farm even seems very creditable if we compare it with Voltaire and Swift.”—Edmund Wilson, The New Yorker
“Orwell’s satire here is amply broad, cleverly conceived, and delightfully written.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“The book for everyone and Everyman, its brightness undimmed after fifty years.”—Ruth Rendell
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Just noticed this date on the last page. This the date I ordered it. No publisher. Almost seems bootleg-ish....
I want my money back.
Countries that had the opportunity to evolve, have had to pass a difficult test of not falling into totalitarianism and ambition. Such was the case of some countries of the Soviet Union that achieved liberation, but still others continue to fall into the same abyss from which they can't rise, or don't want to, since that parasite has crawled in the mind of their crowd, as did happen in North Korea, China, etc.
Animal Farm shows the perfect example of how the unhealthy idea of a cheap Socialism began to take root to become a dictatorial Communism, as it happens in Venezuela today. Its strange end leaves a bitter taste that perhaps the writer did on purpose to open the consciousness of future generations. An open ending that forces the reader to ask himself: what is the solution? And how will it end?
Through human experiences of the animals of this farm, we can identify this truth that still lingers in some shady societies of the present. The solution is in our hands. It will depend on the degree of preparation, culture, moral values, determination, and courage people have to free their homeland and achieve a better future. Remember governments must fear the people and not the opposite.
After that, I summarize my point of view about the strongest references dealt with through the characters in this book (that can be easily identify and distinguished when you start to read the story) in the following sections:
1) Leaders full of charisma who manage to enter the hearts of the crowd by their power of conviction. They choose the most insecure sectors and people to whom they inject large doses of false trust and dependence, and then use them in the propagation of their miserable revolution.
2) From the beginning, they call a supposed self-identification and self-recognition through rhythmic and flattering slogans. They remember again and again their few and poor achievements that remain in the distant past. Then, they impose a barrier of differences between them and the supposed enemy. In this way, the people is infused with a nationalism that is based on ignorance, fear, and blind reverence, forcing them to repeat proverbs and apply reforms without understanding the true meaning or purpose, thus beginning to resemble a herd of sheep, marching pleased towards the slaughterhouse.
3) They make the crowd believe that they have the final decision and, for the common good, unconsciously follow the rules and imposed parameters. In addition, some extra benefits are allowed to those who follow and protect the regime indulgently. This is how they teach the majority that it is better to be corrupt, dishonest, and negligent, in order to achieve higher ranks.
4) The regime feel entitled to legalize and abolish what suits it, ordering the people what to eat, how to dress, greet and live, and what to learn, while they live freely at the expense of the efforts of others and of the injustices committed, trampling the honor of an entire country and their own Machiavellian socialist laws.
5) What seemed a worthy plan for community, social, intellectual, and economic development, now shows the true intention that tries to kill the spirit of solidarity to impose the dictatorial and even genocidal plan, if the regressive revolution warrants it.
6) Everyone, even the majority of the crowd, realize that revolutionary projects are a total failure when they find themselves amidst of aberrant poverty.
7) When they want to discredit an opponent or other progressive ideas, they use their famous method of defamation with lies, intimidation, and any other means. For them, the aim (maintain / save the revolution) justifies the means (spreading false rumors, prosecutions, torture, hunger, espionage), importing in the least the opinion of others, since their own people live in ignorance, cowardice and/or conformism.
8) To finally protect their interests and ideals, communists surround themselves with and associate with allies of their own class: corrupt, traffickers, murderers and terrorists, and expand their power further through the destruction of every vital block of a society , from its financial structure to public sectors, such as health, without caring about the misery that people live. To rule the ignorant and negligent is much easier.
9) There comes a time when the revolutionary-communist doctrine is so deeply rooted in the consciences, that the people forget how well they lived before. The most outrageous thing is that there are still people who support such regimes and whose can mental programming is so easily influenced on behalf the sadistic needs and convenience of these cunning and malevolent rulers.
Times before the Rebellion are being left in the past, where the memories struggle to keep them safe to share them with others
It's so distracting, that I had stop reading at the beginning of chapter 7, and get a different version. Do yourself a favor and skip this version.
Orwell’s story is based on the Russian Revolution but could probably apply to the French, Cuban and Venezuelan Revolutions as well. Orwell was a Socialist; he rushed off to Spain to fight with the Communists in 1936, but he returned to England quite disillusioned, having realised that the Fascisti and the factions on his side were not really all that different. It’s a great pity that his tragic life was cut short. At age forty-seven, he was on his deathbed writing his second masterpiece, 1984. Had he lived longer, one wonders how his writing and political outlook may have changed, if at all, and what other great works he would have created to make us think deeply.
Top international reviews
I read this in one go. All the behaviours described within are widespread today (2019), far more so than even 10 years ago. Bad things are happening - all the signs are here, but we dismiss them so we can continue feeling safe.
If 1984 describes our near future, Animal Farm is the here and now.
Orwell clearly wrote this knowing what had happened before, to warn us it would almost certainly happen again. I think our time is up.
The reason I chose this one is that it has an introduction by Bradbury.
After reading it, I think my money is well spent.
Besides, the value of this edition lies in the inclusion of the unpublished preface by the author in the first edition in 1945 as well as another one to the Ukrainian edition by Orwell.
I used to think (and still think) Animal Farm is the best of his works; after reading Bradbury's introduction, I know I am not wrong for my impression.
I bought this product (Animal Farm - Paperback) believing it was the novel and was disappointed to find that it was the screenplay. The product title should clearly indicate what this product is.
Although set in rural England it is a thinly veiled critique of Stalinism written at the time when the dictator was at the height of his power and in integral ally in the fight against Hitler. A little understanding of European history during the 1920's and 1930's is necessary to make the parallel connections, but the plot still works without this knowledge. This is a story about how the less fortunate can become victims of the manipulative. It is about the abuse of power and how the unscrupulous could brutally exploit the willing. Unlike the sub-title it does not have a fairy-tale ending.
The introduction and the two appendices [compelling essays in their own right] give a nice insight to why the author wanted to write this story and the original Establishment objections to its publication.
One does not need to know much about the Russian Revolution and Stalinism (that Orwell intended the tale to be a commentary about) to enjoy this book, because it could easily be about any totalitarian society or one that has aspirations to make life better for the people. And that's what makes this work such a powerful classic, because Orwell speaks profound truths about human nature and the potential for evil when power is entrusted (through a tale about animals) in the most simple and direct way.
I think this is a very clever book. On one level you know it's about animals on a farm and the hierarchy on that farm. Beneath it's so much more and you can analyse it for ever. How to explain some of the most difficult topics in the most simple and effective way - this book does that and more. Only a very skilled writer can do that.
Going into this story, I knew the gist of it, and after reading the first chapter, I know it was going to be a quick read. I know why they read it in year 8 - it is such a simple political allegory to follow! However, the simplicity of the text is not to be criticized, because it actually highlights Orwell's genius! To be able to so concisely write about revolution (with particular reference to the Soviet revolution) and yet make it comprehensible to people of varying reading age/ability, backgrounds, and education is remarkable. This is a story with a point - a warning - about particular aspects of revolution, totalitarianism and fascism, and yet both a 10 year old and a 60 year old can get message through the same enjoyment. Like the book or not, it should be recognized for that great feat at least.
I did enjoy it, a lot. The accompanying appendixes were also interesting - an insight into what Orwell thought about the censorship of his novella at the early stages of publication, and about literary censorship in general - as well as an interesting personal foreword that Orwell wrote for editions for displaced Ukrainians living in camps in Germany.
The introduction by Malcolm Bradbury and the Notes on a Text by Peter Davison were both interesting insights to the reception of the novel, as well as some of the author's thoughts and commentary about the text. Well worth a read, though I chose to read it afterwards because there were a couple of spoilers.
Overall, really good, and I will certainly read more Orwell in the future. It turns out I really did miss out all those years ago!
I have been trying to contact Amazon regarding this but they 'hit a snag with chat' and 'Click2Call isn't available right now'. What happened to the option of sending them an email? Amazon are generally quite reliable, so I am disappointed that there is no way of contacting them.
Reading it as an adult is quite depressing. Nothing changes. Good intentions always get shafted by the machine. But at least now our daughter has a few seeds planted in her head to let her know that the big wide world of politics may not be as boring as she first imagined.
Who knows, in a few years time I may try and read her 1984, or at least get her to read it. But not yet. Room 101 can wait...