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Why Orwell Matters Paperback – September 16, 2003
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First, we should CARE because his message is just as important today was it was in the 20th Century. His outlook about nationalism, race, power, and language is something we have to listen to and UNDERSTAND.
Hitchens holds nothing back. He reveals the meaning behind Orwell's writings - the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly. Orwell was a amazing man but he was just a man and sometimes even he would say something that was not really fair.
But he was willing to look truth or fact right in the face and describe to us the details, like it or not. The failure of the press to report the events correctly. The failure of government to see events in the proper light or sometimes to lie outright to protect itself and its goals.
I would suggest the following books. First The Road to Wigan Pier by George_Orwell and then Homage to Catalonia. In those two books you can almost SEE the changes in his ideas about socialism, the press, and power slowly forming as he wrote the books. While I would also suggest NINTEEN EIGHTY-FOUR,signet classic ct311 (paperback) I would say that the novel has overshadowed some of the other great NONfictional works of his and I would, if I was you, try to expand on your knowledge of his ideas - as I am doing right now.
Especially in a world where we are living with extra high levels of political correctness, we need to be reminded that George Orwell dealt with that issue. Hitchens reminds us of the tyranny of ideas, sponsored by the international left. But he also reminds us, through Orwell, that the right engages in the same semantic controls of thought. We allow language control which is thought control at our own peril. That was the value of Orwell in the past and is also the value of Hitchens today.
RIP Christopher Hitchens, although I know you were an atheist, I prayed for you through your illness and still pray for you in death.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to delve into the biography of the great writer, the political polemics of his thoughts, the arguments against and for the world of Orwell's inner mind. Only a master could unearth this sort of dirt and clean on the great man, which makes him a great apologist or defender in some minds. As for me, I consider this work to be a masterful cynical retributive reaction against all the many millions of words written on Orwell (more than he ever got to write in his lifetime.)
As for the penultimate chapter, I'd have to say that Hitchens did some cherry picking on the philosophic end. Orwell's philosophic bent is very much like his political: somewhere straddling the middle-way. He was a humanist and an individualist. Existential philosophy and analytical philosophy probably go hand in hand with his final masterpiece "Nineteen Eighty Four" ...
Do we question an author's deeper motives in the final years of his life or do we merely appreciate him? Do we, as so many do these days, equate biography with art? I say no. But, Hitchens offers us the best defense possible and the absolute assault on the idiots that use this author's masterpiece to support their own ends.
In short: If you want Orwell, you got it.