- Series: Penguin Modern Classics
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classic (February 3, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014118776X
- ISBN-13: 978-0141187761
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 6,073 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #624,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nineteen Eighty Four (Penguin Modern Classics)
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"Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere."
The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One.
Airstrip One is part of the vast political entity Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. At any moment, depending upon current alignments, all existing records show either that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston Smith knows this, because his work at the Ministry of Truth involves the constant "correction" of such records. "'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always Watching You and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He knows the Party's official image of the world is a fluid fiction. He knows the Party controls the people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a process of bewilderment and brutalization that alienates each individual from his fellows and deprives him of every liberating human pursuit from reasoned inquiry to sexual passion. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
Newspeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime--in 1984, George Orwell created a whole vocabulary of words concerning totalitarian control that have since passed into our common vocabulary. More importantly, he has portrayed a chillingly credible dystopia. In our deeply anxious world, the seeds of unthinking conformity are everywhere in evidence; and Big Brother is always looking for his chance. --Daniel Hintzsche --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Yet before one has finished reading the nearly bemused first page, it is evident that this is fiction of another order, and presently one makes the distinctly unpleasant discovery that it is not to be satire at all. --New York Times --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Another worthwhile book is "A Nation of Sheep" by William J. Lederer
Today Kellyanne Conway announced that we were given alternate facts. Shades of changing the past and controlling the present
Get ready to party like it's 1984
It tells the story of an imaginary future world that is dominated by three perpetually warring totalitarian police states. Winston Smith is a minor party functionary in one of these states. He works in the Records Department in the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and distorting history. His longing for truth and decency leads him to secretly rebel against the government. His rebellion does not stay a secret for long and Winston soon discovers Big Brother is all about power.
How knee-deep are we in this hoopla? What can we learn from Winston's & Julia's plight?
It's that we're, well, not *quite* there yet ... but the corners, once turned, aren't re-doable.
Here's what's up: "This plan, this Christofascist takeover of the US government, [that] has been in the works for decades" which you've heard about on Autostraddle has been documented by others (see C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy); a sizable chunk of Democratic voters don't even get to *go* the polls, there's been a concerted campaign of interference (see The Best Democracy Money Can Buy); Citizen United made most things all-but-impossible, period (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right); the noise machine obscuring truths about non-Republican is quite real and well-established (Killing the Messenger: The Right-Wing Plot to Derail Hillary and Hijack Your Government); 1/5 of the global GDP is black-market economy (see McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld, where this figure comes from); the "fake news" parodied in my own Glenn Beck: Limp-Dick Detective; and uh Bush/Cheney left things a tuned-up machine (Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy) to ... well. We'll see.
ALSO: I've found J.G. Ballard's Hello America: A Novel and Philip K. Dick's Radio Free Albemuth, both of which I've gotten through recently, to be apt, timely, and of-the-moment. Ditto John Shirley's A Song Called Youth trilogy, which he's revising, once again, for a *3rd* edition, which was how I first found out about this far-too-far-right Le Pen family to begin with! Stay tuned.