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Diaries

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This groundbreaking volume,
never before published in the United States, at last introduces the interior life of George Orwell, the writer who defined twentieth-century political thought. Written as individual books throughout his career, the eleven surviving diaries collected here record Orwell’s youthful travels among miners and itinerant laborers, the fearsome rise of totalitarianism, the horrific drama of World War II, and the feverish composition of his great masterpieces ...
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Diaries

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Overview

This groundbreaking volume,
never before published in the United States, at last introduces the interior life of George Orwell, the writer who defined twentieth-century political thought. Written as individual books throughout his career, the eleven surviving diaries collected here record Orwell’s youthful travels among miners and itinerant laborers, the fearsome rise of totalitarianism, the horrific drama of World War II, and the feverish composition of his great masterpieces Animal Farm and 1984 (which have now sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author). Personal entries cover the tragic death of his first wife and Orwell’s own decline as he battled tuberculosis.
Exhibiting great brilliance of prose and composition, these treasured dispatches, edited by the world’s leading Orwell scholar, exhibit “the seeds of famous passages to come” (New Statesman) and amount to a volume as penetrating as the autobiography he would never write.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reviewed by David Brooks. George Orwell has become a literary saint because of his moral commitment and intellectual honesty. In his diaries, edited by Davison (co-editor of Orwell’s Complete Works), you see those two virtues coming into formation. In the early part of his career, Orwell spent much of his time living down and out with the poor, recording their habits and conversations, and his own efforts to stay nourished and alive. Orwell made judgments to himself, and his tone could be especially nasty when a Jew did something he disapproved of. But in general he is not in a judging mode, and he is certainly not describing his inner feelings. He often simply notes things: how much dried milk poor mothers get, how much beer they serve their children, what coffee shops allow tramps to sit undisturbed.The highlight of these diaries is the years of WWII. The diaries show Orwell working through the ideas that became Animal Farm. He spent the middle of the war years churning out propaganda at the BBC, and compares life there to “something halfway between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum.... Our radio strategy is even more hopeless than our military strategy.” But at the same time, Orwell was thinking deeply about the world of spin and propaganda. At one point, he notes: “All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth.” In April 1942, he despairs: “We are all drowning in filth. When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has any axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgment have simply disappeared from the face of the earth.” The diaries are not always scintillating reading. Orwell’s journal entries can be described as horror interrupted by gardening. For long stretches, he simply records the weather, how the beans are coming in, how much weeding he did. But when times got hard, his pen came alive—in the 1930s with the poor, in the early 1940s during the war, and in the late 1940s, as he grew ill. The characteristic Orwell voice is there—the intense clarity, the obsessive need to get some sort of honest rendering of reality. This book is not for beginners. It is for Orwell aficionados who already know the man’s life. Christopher Hitchens (Why Orwell Matters), who followed so faithfully and well in his footsteps, provides a fine introduction. Despite the longueurs, it is a pleasure to be around Orwell’s mind and his perfectly clear prose style. Illus. Agent: Bill Hamilton, AM Heath, U.K. (Aug.) David Brooks is an op-ed columnist at the New York Times and author of The Social Animal.
Vanity Fair
Read with care, George Orwell’s diaries, from the years 1931 to 1949, can greatly enrich our understanding of how Orwell transmuted the raw material of everyday experience into some of his best-known novels and polemics. They furnish us with a more intimate picture of a man who, committed to the struggles of the mechanized and "modern" world, was also drawn by the rhythms of the wild, the rural, and the remote.— Christopher Hitchens
New York Times
Among the vivifying things about his Diaries, issued now in one volume for the first time, is how they restore some first-person flesh and blood to what can seem like his disembodied head. What’s more, they show Orwell to be nearly Jeffersonian in his combined passion for politics and for the natural world, not merely for fishing but also for the enlightened and fervent cultivation of vegetables, fruit trees, animals and flowers… These diaries show him with his hands covered in fresh dirt, hard at work, in sync with the seasons, curious about everything under the sun, tending to what he needed and grateful for beauty as well as sustenance. They present a man in full.— Dwight Garner
Flavorpill
Never before published in the United States, this wonderfully annotated collection of George Orwell’s diaries from 1931 to 1949 is sure to fascinate any fan of his work. From his down and out years to his stint working at the BBC during WWII ("something halfway between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum…. Our radio strategy is even more hopeless than our military strategy."), the reader can catch a glimpse of this essential English writer’s internal life, and watch the ideas that became Animal Farm and 1984 bloom, percolate, and grow.— Emily Temple
Los Angeles Times
Reading the Diaries end-to-end in a single volume offers us a different take on Orwell: less as a thinker, or a figure of political conscience, than as a complex and dimensional human being.— David Ulin
Bloomberg.com
Orwell’s achievement grew out of seemingly modest virtues: decency; good, hard sense; and clean, clear prose. Yet they added up to something monumental… The diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.— Craig Seligman
Christian Science Monitor
Orwell lived in London during most of World War II, including during the Battle of Britain. Entries during this period have the author’s defining features on display, including unimpeachable intellectual honesty, concern about the degradation of truth, physical courage, and unpretentious writing… All the traits that made Orwell so great can be found in the Diaries.— Jordan Michael Smith
San Francisco Chronicle
Reading these diaries leaves one, as always when encountering the words of George Orwell, with a confirmed admiration for the sterling qualities that have made him a benchmark for integrity and a lodestar for writers and thinkers across the ideological spectrum. Embedded in the DNA of his writing is that austere, penetrating analytical ability, averse to cant or any form of hypocrisy and pretension, unsparing of everything and everyone—especially himself. He simply can't help being that way: Once pen is put to paper, or fingers to typewriter, those qualities appear, second nature to his writing, even the most casual.— Martin Rubin
Newsday
...[T]he diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.— Craig Seligman
Book Riot
We should celebrate the publication of Orwell’s diaries. The publication of personal texts by other authors might smack of cheap opportunism, purely a money-making ploy. But I think publishers got it right with Orwell.— Scott Beauchamp
Washington Post
How appropriate that the political moralist George Orwell (1903-50) should be published by a company called Liveright! Orwell, who despised every form of careerism, instinctively gravitated to the kind of quiet rural existence that we associate with ancient Greek philosophers or Anglican clergyman of the 18th century. Certainly, these diaries reveal that the author of Animal Farm was happiest cultivating his garden, observing the weather, enjoying the beauty of spring flowers and watching over the health of his hens.— Michael Dirda
Barnes and Noble Review
It is a blessing, then, to now have the opportunity to read his Diaries, edited meticulously by Peter Davison, who as the editor of the twenty volumes of Orwell's Complete Works has an unequaled knowledge of the material… They throw a revealing light on Orwell the thinker, and offer welcome stimulus to revisit the books and essays in which that mind left its lasting imprint.”— Brooke Allen
Harper's
Edited with exemplary skill and grace by Peter Davison.— William H. Gass
Library Journal
Orwell's extensive diaries, published in Britain in 2009, are finally available in print form in the United States (daily postings from the diaries have been appearing online at http://orwelldiaries.wordpress.com). This volume contains 11 diaries, beginning in August 1931 and ending in December 1948, 11 months before Orwell's death. Two missing diaries, from the Spanish civil war, are thought to be housed in the former KGB archives in Moscow. The diaries reveal intimate details of Orwell's life—the death of his first wife, raising his son, his financial struggles, and his travels. Many entries served as primary material for later works, e.g., a 1936 diary used to write The Road to Wigan Pier. While there are many mundane entries, e.g., on chores and the weather, there are also lengthy ruminations about political and world events, as in the "Diary of Events Leading Up to the War" (titles probably by the editor) and his detailed and compelling notes during World War II. Davison, who has edited Orwell's complete works, provides helpful explanations and many notes. Christopher Hitchens's introductory essay is one of his last literary efforts. VERDICT The diaries will appeal to all—literary scholars, historians, and students of 20th-century literature—seeking the inner life of this profoundly influential writer. Strongly recommended.—Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA
Kirkus Reviews
A co-editor of George Orwell's Complete Works offers a lushly annotated edition of Orwell's diaries from 1931 to 1949. Born Eric Arthur Blair, Orwell, as these diaries reveal, lived a varied and even dichotomized life. A reader who visited the majority of these pages could never guess that they recorded the activities of the author of Animal Farm, Keep the Aspidistra Flying and 1984, a book he completed while suffering from the tuberculosis that would kill him. (Among the most poignant pages here are Orwell's lists of his hospital routines just weeks before he died.) Many of the author's entries deal with his activities on his farm. We learn how many eggs his hens laid each day, his battles with hungry rabbits and deer, his killing of the occasional snake, his observations of the weather, and his maintenance of the property. One moment of great excitement was his near-death in a whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckran. Earlier sections of the diary deal with his abject poverty in the 1930s. He traveled around picking hops (a process he describes in some detail); he was down and out in Paris and London; he traveled to the Mediterranean. In all these places, he noted human customs and flora and fauna. In 1939, Orwell kept daily track of events that were leading toward world war but interwove odd moments about earwigs, a dead cat and the properties of goat manure. In the diary he kept during World War II, he found himself becoming accustomed to continual bombing in London. He joined the Home Guard but noted that their rickety weapons would hardly retard the expected German invasion. Editor Davison (English/De Montfort Univ.) supplies necessary contextual information and footnotes generously, but stays in the shadows and allows us to truly enjoy Orwell's impressive chronicles.
The New York Times
Among the vivifying things about [Orwell's] Diaries…is how they restore some first-person flesh and blood to what can seem like his disembodied head. What's more, they show Orwell to be nearly Jeffersonian in his combined passion for politics and for the natural world, not merely for fishing but also for the enlightened and fervent cultivation of vegetables, fruit trees, animals and flowers…These diaries show him with his hands covered in fresh dirt, hard at work, in sync with the seasons, curious about everything under the sun, tending to what he needed and grateful for beauty as well as sustenance. They present a man in full.
—Dwight Garner
Christopher Hitchens - Vanity Fair
“Read with care, George Orwell’s diaries, from the years 1931 to 1949, can greatly enrich our understanding of how Orwell transmuted the raw material of everyday experience into some of his best-known novels and polemics. They furnish us with a more intimate picture of a man who, committed to the struggles of the mechanized and “modern” world, was also drawn by the rhythms of the wild, the rural, and the remote.”
Dwight Garner - New York Times
“Among the vivifying things about his Diaries, issued now in one volume for the first time, is how they restore some first-person flesh and blood to what can seem like his disembodied head. What’s more, they show Orwell to be nearly Jeffersonian in his combined passion for politics and for the natural world, not merely for fishing but also for the enlightened and fervent cultivation of vegetables, fruit trees, animals and flowers… These diaries show him with his hands covered in fresh dirt, hard at work, in sync with the seasons, curious about everything under the sun, tending to what he needed and grateful for beauty as well as sustenance. They present a man in full.”
Emily Temple - Flavorpill
“Never before published in the United States, this wonderfully annotated collection of George Orwell’s diaries from 1931 to 1949 is sure to fascinate any fan of his work. From his down and out years to his stint working at the BBC during WWII (“something halfway between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum…. Our radio strategy is even more hopeless than our military strategy.”), the reader can catch a glimpse of this essential English writer’s internal life, and watch the ideas that became Animal Farm and 1984 bloom, percolate, and grow.”
David Ulin - Los Angeles Times
“Reading the Diaries end-to-end in a single volume offers us a different take on Orwell: less as a thinker, or a figure of political conscience, than as a complex and dimensional human being.”
Craig Seligman - Bloomberg.com
“Orwell’s achievement grew out of seemingly modest virtues: decency; good, hard sense; and clean, clear prose. Yet they added up to something monumental… The diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.”
Jordan Michael Smith - Christian Science Monitor
“Orwell lived in London during most of World War II, including during the Battle of Britain. Entries during this period have the author’s defining features on display, including unimpeachable intellectual honesty, concern about the degradation of truth, physical courage, and unpretentious writing… All the traits that made Orwell so great can be found in the Diaries.”
Martin Rubin - San Francisco Chronicle
“Reading these diaries leaves one, as always when encountering the words of George Orwell, with a confirmed admiration for the sterling qualities that have made him a benchmark for integrity and a lodestar for writers and thinkers across the ideological spectrum. Embedded in the DNA of his writing is that austere, penetrating analytical ability, averse to cant or any form of hypocrisy and pretension, unsparing of everything and everyone—especially himself. He simply can't help being that way: Once pen is put to paper, or fingers to typewriter, those qualities appear, second nature to his writing, even the most casual.”
Craig Seligman - Newsday
“...[T]he diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.”
Scott Beauchamp - Book Riot
“We should celebrate the publication of Orwell’s diaries. The publication of personal texts by other authors might smack of cheap opportunism, purely a money-making ploy. But I think publishers got it right with Orwell.”
Christopher Hitchens
“One cannot help but be struck by the degree to which [Orwell] became, in Henry James’s words, one of those upon whom nothing was lost. By declining to lie, even as far as possible to himself, and by his determination to seek elusive but verifiable truth, he showed how much can be accomplished by an individual who unites the qualities of intellectual honesty and moral courage.”
Michael Dirda - Washington Post
“How appropriate that the political moralist George Orwell (1903-50) should be published by a company called Liveright! Orwell, who despised every form of careerism, instinctively gravitated to the kind of quiet rural existence that we associate with ancient Greek philosophers or Anglican clergyman of the 18th century. Certainly, these diaries reveal that the author of Animal Farm was happiest cultivating his garden, observing the weather, enjoying the beauty of spring flowers and watching over the health of his hens.”
Brooke Allen - Barnes and Noble Review
“It is a blessing, then, to now have the opportunity to read his Diaries, edited meticulously by Peter Davison, who as the editor of the twenty volumes of Orwell's Complete Works has an unequaled knowledge of the material… They throw a revealing light on Orwell the thinker, and offer welcome stimulus to revisit the books and essays in which that mind left its lasting imprint.”
William H. Gass - Harper's
“Edited with exemplary skill and grace by Peter Davison.”
New York Times - Dwight Garner
“Among the vivifying things about his Diaries, issued now in one volume for the first time, is how they restore some first-person flesh and blood to what can seem like his disembodied head. What’s more, they show Orwell to be nearly Jeffersonian in his combined passion for politics and for the natural world, not merely for fishing but also for the enlightened and fervent cultivation of vegetables, fruit trees, animals and flowers… These diaries show him with his hands covered in fresh dirt, hard at work, in sync with the seasons, curious about everything under the sun, tending to what he needed and grateful for beauty as well as sustenance. They present a man in full.”
Flavorpill - Emily Temple
“Never before published in the United States, this wonderfully annotated collection of George Orwell’s diaries from 1931 to 1949 is sure to fascinate any fan of his work. From his down and out years to his stint working at the BBC during WWII ("something halfway between a girls’ school and a lunatic asylum…. Our radio strategy is even more hopeless than our military strategy."), the reader can catch a glimpse of this essential English writer’s internal life, and watch the ideas that became Animal Farm and 1984 bloom, percolate, and grow.”
Los Angeles Times - David Ulin
“Reading the Diaries end-to-end in a single volume offers us a different take on Orwell: less as a thinker, or a figure of political conscience, than as a complex and dimensional human being.”
Bloomberg.com - Craig Seligman
“...[T]he diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.”
Christian Science Monitor - Jordan Michael Smith
“Orwell lived in London during most of World War II, including during the Battle of Britain. Entries during this period have the author’s defining features on display, including unimpeachable intellectual honesty, concern about the degradation of truth, physical courage, and unpretentious writing… All the traits that made Orwell so great can be found in the Diaries.”
San Francisco Chronicle - Martin Rubin
“Reading these diaries leaves one, as always when encountering the words of George Orwell, with a confirmed admiration for the sterling qualities that have made him a benchmark for integrity and a lodestar for writers and thinkers across the ideological spectrum. Embedded in the DNA of his writing is that austere, penetrating analytical ability, averse to cant or any form of hypocrisy and pretension, unsparing of everything and everyone—especially himself. He simply can't help being that way: Once pen is put to paper, or fingers to typewriter, those qualities appear, second nature to his writing, even the most casual.”
Book Riot - Scott Beauchamp
“We should celebrate the publication of Orwell’s diaries. The publication of personal texts by other authors might smack of cheap opportunism, purely a money-making ploy. But I think publishers got it right with Orwell.”
Washington Post - Michael Dirda
“How appropriate that the political moralist George Orwell (1903-50) should be published by a company called Liveright! Orwell, who despised every form of careerism, instinctively gravitated to the kind of quiet rural existence that we associate with ancient Greek philosophers or Anglican clergyman of the 18th century. Certainly, these diaries reveal that the author of Animal Farm was happiest cultivating his garden, observing the weather, enjoying the beauty of spring flowers and watching over the health of his hens.”
Barnes and Noble Review - Brooke Allen
“It is a blessing, then, to now have the opportunity to read his Diaries, edited meticulously by Peter Davison, who as the editor of the twenty volumes of Orwell's Complete Works has an unequaled knowledge of the material… They throw a revealing light on Orwell the thinker, and offer welcome stimulus to revisit the books and essays in which that mind left its lasting imprint.”
William H. Gass
“Edited with exemplary skill and grace by Peter Davison.”
Barry Gewen - New York Times Book Review
“A window into the way Orwell's mind worked.”
The Barnes & Noble Review

George Orwell was always a topical writer, passionately concerned with the political and social issues of his lifetime (1903–50): colonialism; urban poverty; the British class system; communism and the rise of fascism; the Spanish Civil War (in which he participated and took a bullet in the throat); World War II. Yet Orwell, whose work remains so intimately entwined with the events of his own dramatic era, has proved at least as "contemporary," as persistently relevant, as any writer of the last century. His great political novels Animal Farm and 1984 have transcended the circumstances that inspired them (Soviet totalitarianism) to become classics, universally applicable allegories on power and subjugation. His still-resonant essay "Politics and the English Language" has never been equaled as a primer on the way language can be manipulated to serve political agendas. His warnings about propaganda and the purposeful distortion of history are even more necessary in our age of the Internet than they were in his own age of radio.

Orwell was a private person and in no way an introspective writer; his work, even the fiction, tended to the sociological and philosophical rather than the personal, and before his death he requested that there be no biography (though by now several have appeared). It is a blessing, then, to now have the opportunity to read his Diaries, edited meticulously by Peter Davison, who as the editor of the twenty volumes of Orwell's Complete Works has an unequaled knowledge of the material.

Orwell did not keep diaries at every moment of his life; instead, he wrote particular journals during particular, discrete periods. About half the diaries in this volume are of little interest, being mere bare-bones accounts of the author's farming and gardening activities, along the lines of "Sowed carnations," "Put roofing felt on henhouse," "13 eggs today." But the balance of them will be of real interest not only to Orwell enthusiasts but to any student of twentieth-century history. There are two dating from the time when the young author studied working-class conditions by tramping and living among the poor: one of these describes his 1931 journey to pick hops in Kent with an itinerant group of London Cockneys, and the other relates his 1936 experiences studying mining communities in northern England — a visit that resulted in his groundbreaking 1937 book, The Road to Wigan Pier. There are the diaries he kept during his residence in Morocco in 1938–39, where he worked, incongruously, on his nostalgic novel of pre–World War I England, Coming Up for Air. Then there are the most substantial portions of the volume, the diaries Orwell began just before the outbreak of World War II and continued until 1942, when the war had begun to turn in the Allies' favor.

As is pointed out by Davison and Christopher Hitchens, who wrote the volume's excellent introduction, there might well have been another diary encompassing the author's experiences during the Spanish Civil War. If such a thing did exist it was probably stolen from his Barcelona hotel room in a communist police raid in 1937, and in that case it would now reside in the archives of the Russian secret police. Its loss is a real shame, as this would have been the raw material for Orwell's stirring 1938 memoir, Homage to Catalonia.

As this sort of raw material for his books, in fact, and as intellectual fodder for the political ideas and observations he developed in his matchless essays, the Diaries are consistently riveting. There is the subject of social class, for example, a topic that obsessed Orwell throughout his career. Orwell might be described as a self- hating bourgeois: a product of Eton College (though on a scholarship) and a onetime officer of the colonial police force in Burma, he turned his back on the values of his caste and became an advocate for democratic socialism and a trenchant critic of the British system. Over the years his distaste for the gratin became positively visceral, and almost the last thing he wrote — from his bed at a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1949 — was a grumpy tirade against some distastefully upper-class voices he heard at a nearby bedside: "And what voices! A sort of over- fedness, a fatuous self-confidence, a constant bah-bahing of laughter about nothing, above all a sort of heaviness & richness combined with a fundamental ill- will — people who, one instinctively feels, without even being able to see them, are the enemies of anything intelligent or sensitive or beautiful. No wonder everyone hates us so."

Far too intelligent for primitive class prejudice, Orwell explored the genesis of class character and attitudes, the ways in which people are molded and formed by the categories into which they are born. "I am struck again by the fact," he wrote from the mining districts of the North in 1936, "that as soon as a working man gets an official post in the Trade Union or goes into Labour politics, he becomes middle-class whether he will or no. ie by fighting against the bourgeoisie he becomes a bourgeois. The fact is that you cannot help living in the manner appropriate and developing the ideology appropriate to your income." Proletarian culture warped its members as much as the aristocratic variety did; Orwell did not sentimentalize about the poor, though he was always on their side. At a Wigan dance he observed the locals with his customary dispassion: "I suppose these people represent a fair cross-section of the more revolutionary element in Wigan," he concluded. "If so, God help us. Exactly the same sheeplike crowd — gaping girls and shapeless middle-aged women dozing over their knitting — that you see everywhere else. There is no turbulence left in England."

Orwell's interest in propaganda, culminating in 1984's mythical Oceania with its fearsome Ministry of Truth, was of long standing, and it is fascinating to see how it developed during his wartime labors for the Overseas Service of the BBC. In 1941 he attended the organization's induction course (which the poet William Empson had dubbed "The Liars' School") and subsequently worked on broadcasts to India, British Malaya, and Indonesia. Writing of the BBC soon after his hiring, he commented: "Its atmosphere is something halfway between a girls' school and a lunatic asylum, and all we are doing at present is worthless, or slightly worse than useless?. Nevertheless, one rapidly becomes propaganda-minded and develops a cunning one did not previously have?. All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth." And indeed how could it be otherwise when one considers "how politically ignorant the majority of people are, how uninterested in anything outside their immediate affairs, and how little impressed by inconsistency"?

The decade of the 1930s, with its creep show of ranting dictators and would-be dictators, had sensitized him to the subject; observing a London rally by supporters of the fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley, Orwell wrote that "it struck me how easy it is to bamboozle an uneducated audience if you have prepared beforehand a set of repartees with which to evade awkward questions." How true — and how this art has been refined since Orwell's day. One wonders what he would have made of today's presidential "debates"! As so often while perusing these diaries, I wished he could come back to comment on the developments that have taken place in the last half century — developments that have been even more marked here in the United States than in Orwell's England.

Here, for example, is Orwell writing in 1942: "You can go on and on telling lies, and the most palpable lies at that, and even if they are not actually believed, there is no strong revulsion either. We are all drowning in filth. When I talk to anyone or read the writings of anyone who has an axe to grind, I feel that intellectual honesty and balanced judgment have simply disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone's thought is forensic, everyone is simply putting a 'case' with deliberate suppression of his opponent's point of view, and, what is more, with complete insensitiveness to any sufferings except those of himself and his friends?. But is there no one who has both firm opinions and a balanced outlook? Actually there are plenty, but they are powerless. All power is in the hands of paranoiacs."

What could be more horribly contemporary? Christopher Hitchens's Why Orwell Matters (2002) made an eloquent case for the great thinker's continued importance in today's amped-up media circus. Hitchens's contentions are richly borne out by the tough, analytic tone of Orwell's diary entries, what he himself called his "power of facing unpleasant facts." Though they do not tell us much about Orwell the man — he was too private a person to expose his inner self even in his journal — they throw a revealing light on Orwell the thinker, and offer welcome stimulus to revisit the books and essays in which that mind left its lasting imprint.

Brooke Allen is the author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes; Artistic License; and Moral Minority. She is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The New Criterion, The New Leader, The Hudson Review, and The Nation, among others. She was named a finalist for the 2007 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

Reviewer: Brooke Allen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871404107
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 8/20/2012
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 992,459
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903–1950) wrote fiction, journalism,
criticism, and poetry. His nine books include the classics Animal Farm and 1984.

Peter Davison edited the twenty volumes of Orwell’s Complete Works (with Ian Angus and Sheila Davison).

Christopher Hitchens (1949–2011) was the author of God Is Not Great, Hitch-22, and Why Orwell Matters.

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