Political and Cultural Perceptions of George Orwell: British and American Views

Political and Cultural Perceptions of George Orwell: British and American Views

by Ian Williams

Hardcover(1st ed. 2017)

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Overview

Political and Cultural Perceptions of George Orwell: British and American Views by Ian Williams

This book analyzes George Orwell’s politics and their reception across both sides of the Atlantic. It considers Orwell’s place in the politics of his native Britain and his reception in the USA, where he has had some of his most fervent emulators, exegetists, and detractors. Written by an ex “teenage Maoist” from Liverpool, UK, who now lives and writes in New York, the book points out how often the different strands of opinion derive from “ancestral” ideological struggles within the Communist/Trotskyist movement in the 30’s, and how these often overlook or indeed consciously ignore the indigenous British politics and sociology that did so much to influence Orwell’s political and literary development. It examines in the modern era what Orwell did in his–the seductions of simplistic and absolutist ideologies for some intellectuals, especially in their reactions to Orwell himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781349952533
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 08/31/2017
Series: Political Philosophy and Public Purpose
Edition description: 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 186
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Ian Williams is Assistant Professor at Bard College Center for Global & International Affairs, USA. He is author of six other books on politics and history and speaks on international affairs and American foreign policy at venues and on media across the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Orwell: Good or Ungood?.......................................................................................... 2


Section 1......................................................................................................................................... 9


Chapter I In Defense of Comrade Psmith: the Orwellian treatment of Orwell............................... 9


Chapter II The Orwellian Method.................................................................................................. 21


Chapter III Orwell the Socialist...................................................................................................... 25


Chapter IV Tangential Criticisms................................................................................................... 34


Conclusion................................................................................................................................ 35


Section 2 -In Memoriam- retrospective views.......................................................................... 38


Chapter V Orwell's Own Airstrip One in 2014............................................................................... 38



Chapter VI The Persistence of Pessimism, Oceania 20 years after Nineteen Eighty-Four............... 42


Chapter VII Afterlife of An Atheist................................................................................................ 46


Section 3 Beyond the Telescreen – Snitching, Snooping and Surveillance............................ 62


Chapter VIII No bother about Big Brother...................................................................................... 62


Chapter IX Alexander Cockburn and "Snitching"........................................................................... 67



Chapter X The List......................................................................................................................... 73


"The List".................................................................................................................................. 77


Section 4 What Is Left?................................................................................................................ 82


Chapter XI Disabusing Idiocy? Orwell & the Left............................................................................ 82



Chapter XII Orwell and the Democratic Left.................................................................................. 84


Chapter XIII Striking Back at the Empire......................................................................................... 90


Interlude..................................................................................................................................... 106


Chapter XIV Revolution Is No Tea Party but It's Easier in a Salon: Reading the Leaves Afterwards 106


Chapter XV Orwell and the Left in the United States –the Under-reported side of Oceania!........ 114



Chapter XVI Letters to Oceania?.................................................................................................. 139


Chapter XVII Irving Howe, Orwell’s Prophet in the USA............................................................... 143


Section 6 Cover Bards – Hitchens the Orwell Emulator And His Detractors............................. 158


Chapter XVIII Orwell's Lives........................................................................................................ 158


Chapter XIX Why Hitchens Matters............................................................................................. 164


Chapter XX Christopher Hitchens and Orwell.............................................................................. 171


Chapter XXI Antithesis Incarnate: Christopher Hitchens, A Retrospective Glance......................... 173


Chapter XXII Hitchens and the Iraq War....................................................................................... 183


Chapter XXIII Truth in Journalism................................................................................................ 190


Selected Bibliography................................................................................................................ 194


Notes............................................................................................................................................... 2

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