Why Orwell Matters

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-09-10
  • Publisher: Basic Books

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"I sometimes feel as if George Orwell requires extricating from under a pile of saccharine tablets and moist hankies," writes Christopher Hitchens in Why Orwell Matters, a brilliant exhumation of a misunderstood hero. How does one get at a figure like Orwell, whose very name has entered the modern lexicon, his legacy permeating popular consciousness as a symbol of both radical conscience and moral authority? Trenchant and critical, this biographical essay assesses the life and myth of the twentieth century's foremost political writer. Answering both the detractors and the false claimants, Hitchens tears down the facade of Orwell's sainthood and rebuts his critics point by point. Whether thinking about empires or dictators, race or class, nationalism or pop culture, Orwell's outlook remains indispensable even in a vastly changed world. Christopher Hitchens, one of the most incisive minds of our own time, meets Orwell on the page in this provocative encounter of wit, contention and historical truth. Book jacket.

Author Biography

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

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. xi
Introduction: The Figurep. 1
Orwell and Empirep. 15
Orwell and the Leftp. 35
Orwell and the Rightp. 79
Orwell and Americap. 103
Orwell and 'Englishness': The Antinomies of St Georgep. 115
Orwell and the Feminists: Difficulties with Girlsp. 141
'The List'p. 155
Generosity and Anger: The Novelsp. 171
Deconstructing the Post-modernists: Orwell and Transparencyp. 193
In Conclusionp. 205
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