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Why Orwell Matters

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Why Orwell Matters Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this widely acclaimed biographical essay, Christopher Hitchens assesses the life, the achievements, and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell. In true emulative and contrarian style, Hitchens is both admiring and aggressive, sympathetic yet critical, taking true measure of his subject as hero and problem. Answering both the detractors and the false claimants, Hitchens tears down the façade of sainthood erected by the hagiographers and rebuts the critics point by point. He examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism, empire, feminism, and Englishness, as well as his outlook on America, a country and culture towards which he exhibited much ambivalence. Whether thinking about empires or dictators, race or class, nationalism or popular culture, Orwell's moral outlook remains indispensable in a world that has undergone vast changes in the fifty years since his death. Combining the best of Hitchens's polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument, this book addresses not only why Orwell matters today, but how he will continue to matter in a future, uncertain world.Christopher Hitchens, one of the most incisive minds of our own age, meets Orwell on the page in this provocative encounter of wit, contention and moral truth.

Synopsis:

Hitchens presents a George Orwell fit for the 21st century.-Boston Globe

Synopsis:

In this brilliant and contemplative biographical essay, Christopher Hitchens assesses the life, the achievement, and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell. The result is the perfect convergence of two kindred spirits. Hitchens has long regarded Orwell as a mentor and model, and in true emulative and contrarian style, he is both adulatory and aggressive, sympathetic yet critical, taking true measure of his subject as hero and as problem.

Combining the best of Hitchens's polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument, Why Orwell Matters tears down the facade of sainthood erected by hagiographers and probes deeper to find the true George Orwell: gifted, flawed, and human. With lyrical and allusive prose, Hitchens examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism, empire, feminism, and Englishness, as well as his outlook on America, a country and culture toward which he exhibited little curiosity but much ambivalence.

With his characteristic wit, Christopher Hitchens has written a book that addresses not only why Orwell matters today but how he will continue to matter in a future, uncertain world.

About the Author

Christopher Hitchens is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. His numerous books include Letters to a Young Contrarian and Why Orwell Matters.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

lukas, May 3, 2015 (view all comments by lukas)
"I knew that I had a facility with words and a power of facing unpleasant facts."-Orwell, 1946
Not to speak ill of the dead, but I always found the late Christopher Hitchens a bit irritating: arrogant, sardonic without being funny, and not as smart as he thought he was. He seemed to fancy himself an iconoclast and wrote about such strong minded individuals as Thomas Jefferson and Orwell, while bashing organized religion ("God is Not Good") and Mother Teresa. Whatever you think of the later, it's hardly sporting to attack a defenseless old lady who has devoted her life to others. And I do wonder just how iconoclastic you can be when you work for "Vanity Fair," a magazine devoted to flattering the rich, famous, and powerful. All that said, this is a fine, insightful book about one of my favorite writers and Hitchens admirably and convincingly shows Orwell's importance, as well as reclaiming him from both conservatives and liberals. Hitchens point is that almost everybody has an opinion about Orwell and often both the man and his body of work are lost. I'd advise reading the two volumes of Orwell's essays, "Facing Unpleasant Facts" and "All Art is Propaganda," after finishing this book.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780465030507
Author:
Hitchens, Christopher
Publisher:
Basic Books (AZ)
Author:
Hitchens, Christopher
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Orwell, George
Subject:
General
Subject:
Criticism and interpretation
Subject:
Orwell, George - Criticism and interpretation
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Publication Date:
20030931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 9
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 8.5 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Astrophysics

Why Orwell Matters New Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Basic Books - English 9780465030507 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Hitchens presents a George Orwell fit for the 21st century.-Boston Globe
"Synopsis" by , In this brilliant and contemplative biographical essay, Christopher Hitchens assesses the life, the achievement, and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell. The result is the perfect convergence of two kindred spirits. Hitchens has long regarded Orwell as a mentor and model, and in true emulative and contrarian style, he is both adulatory and aggressive, sympathetic yet critical, taking true measure of his subject as hero and as problem.

Combining the best of Hitchens's polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument, Why Orwell Matters tears down the facade of sainthood erected by hagiographers and probes deeper to find the true George Orwell: gifted, flawed, and human. With lyrical and allusive prose, Hitchens examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism, empire, feminism, and Englishness, as well as his outlook on America, a country and culture toward which he exhibited little curiosity but much ambivalence.

With his characteristic wit, Christopher Hitchens has written a book that addresses not only why Orwell matters today but how he will continue to matter in a future, uncertain world.

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