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Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom Hardcover – May 23, 2017
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"Both subjects, he tells us in this page turner written with great brio, are 'people we still think about, people who are important not just to understanding their times but also to understanding our own.'... what comes across strongly in this highly enjoyable book is the fierce commitment of both Orwell and Churchill to critical thought." —The New York Times Book Review
“An elegantly written celebration of two men who faced an existential crisis to their way of life with moral courage — and demonstrated that an individual can make a difference.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Readers of this book will realize, if they needed reminding, that the struggle to preserve and tell the truth is a very long game.” —Los Angeles Times
"Another one is a book by Thomas Ricks about Winston Churchill and George Orwell. The two never met, but their parallel lives and their views of how society should function, notions of individual freedom, limitations of politics and so on — extraordinarily harmonious thoughts in different places, really very impressive. I went in assuming [they'd be at odds], but quite the reverse. Really, very interesting."— John Le Carré
“Churchill & Orwell is an eminently readable, frankly inspirational and exceptionally timely tribute to the two men Simon Schama called 'the architects of their time.' It is to be hoped that their counterparts in intellectual clarity and moral courage are among us today.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A pungent and pointed piece of history, a great gift for any history lover on your list.” — Seattle Times
“Here is a formidable pairing: Winston Churchill and George Orwell, two of the most famous figures of the 20th century, compared and contrasted in a study that has fresh things to say about its subjects… Ricks tracks his subjects without falling into the usual traps. He is neither sanctimonious about Orwell, nor overly reverential when discussing Churchill.” —Newsday
"A feast of a book, laden with observations and insights that enable us to see these familiar figures, and through them our own time, in a fresh and illuminating light." —New Statesman
“Ricks’s gift for storytelling makes this book virtually impossible at times to set down.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Superbly illustrates that Churchill and Orwell made enduring cases for the necessity of moral and political fortitude in the face of authoritarianism. This is a bracing work for our times.”—Publishers Weekly
“Very readable and timely.”—The Missourian
“The genius of Ricks’ method is to tell the story of an ongoing struggle through the lives of two extraordinary men.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A superb account of two men who set standards for defending liberal democracy that remain disturbingly out of reach.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
About the Author
Thomas E. Ricks is an adviser on national security at the New America Foundation, where he participates in its "Future of War" project. He was previously a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the prizewinning blog The Best Defense. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, he covered U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of several books, including The Generals, The Gamble, and the number one New York Times bestseller Fiasco, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His newest book, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight For Freedom, is a New York Times bestseller.
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The author, Mr. Ricks, acknowledges that Winston Churchill had the greater historical role but tends to favor the writer George Orwell in terms of his lasting impact and continued relevance to today's world; one of drone attacks in far away places and computer-driven privacy invasions in nearby places.
Mr. Ricks is often opinionated (he detests the role Prime Minister Blair played in supporting the United States during the war with Iraq) and sometimes overstates his case. (Is the National Review that good of publication to refer to more than once for evidence of Orwell's continued relevance?). However, on balance, a useful, well-written, and interesting book.
Any reader who has not yet read the four-volume set of "The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell" (1968) ought to do so.
Orwell had a vision of the world as it was at the time, with "Animal Farm" and of the impending dystopian future he foresaw in "1984". His hero in 1984 was named Winston, probably as a tribute to Churchill.
I read both of these books many years ago, and should probably read them again. In light of the present leadership, they are very foreboding.
Well done Mr. Ricks!
However as told by the author both men although possessing different political view did agree on their patriotism and their attitudes toward Hitler’s Nazism. In showing the details of Churchill’s and Orwell’s lives we also get a look at the way both of them wrote. In going into the writings of both men Ricks studies Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 while with Churchill he goes into how the six volumes of the Second World War were constructed over seven years.
The author goes into depth on the language used in his writings of Animal Farm and 1984 which basically uses lying repeatedly until it becomes what is considered the truth. Both book s tell of strict dictatorships much on the grounds of communism. With this Ricks details Churchill’s take on communism beginning with his Iron Curtain speech and ending with his second term as Prime Minister seeking a summit meeting with the Soviet Union.
So, one may wonder what these two men had in common. Read this book and it will surprise you.
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