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Animal Farm: 75th Anniversary Edition Mass Market Paperback – Standard Edition, April 6, 2004
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From the Publisher
“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
About the Author
- ASIN : 0451526341
- Publisher : Signet; 50th Anniversary edition (April 6, 2004)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 140 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780451526342
- Lexile measure : 1170L
- Item Weight : 3.84 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.2 x 0.48 x 7.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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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.
Top reviews from other countries
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.
And the paragraphs!!
I gave up about five pages in and bought a different copy. Avoid avoid avoid
The quality of this edition is superb. Would look amazing in a personal library. Text is a nice size and there is great additional content. Well worth a buy! No spoilers here, just buy it and read it, you really won't be disappointed.
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.
George Orwell was very good at writing books which would continue to be relevant for the future. It is often said that he accurately predicted the future with 1984 and Animal Farm but sadly he wasn't predicting the future he was writing about what was already happening at that point in time. Situations such as:
* Manipulating the lower class animals to work harder and longer to achieve a greater good whilst at the same time reducing their food rations and living conditions. Simultaneously the ruling class of pigs got richer and increased their luxuries. ]
* The use of propaganda to stir emotion in the animals and get them to conform.
* Convincing the animals that certain facts they had previously been told had never happened.
* Demonising someone and blaming them for all the bad things that were happening at the farm.
I'm sure anyone reading this would be able to draw parallels to worldwide modern life and political systems and those of years gone by.
This is an important book for any young adult to read, perhaps for them it would be an eye-opening, powerful story but sadly for most adults we are more likely to adopt the role of Benjamin the Donkey, we've seen it all before.