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“Quite Simply A Novel Which Has Changed The World”

19. ORWELL, George.

Nineteen Eighty-Four.

London, 1949. Octavo, original green cloth, dust

jacket.

$6,400.

“If you want

a picture of

the future,

imagine a

boot stamping

on a human

face—for

ever.”

First edition of Orwell’s powerful and influ-

ential dystopian novel, in scarce dust jacket.

Banned and burned in Stalinist Russia for

its anti-communism

—being caught with a

copy could land you in prison—1984 some-

what ironically has been

the target of repeated

attempts in the U.S. to ban it from school read-

ing lists for being “pro-communist.”

“No other dystopian novel has received

the critical acclaim or had the wide-rang-

ing influence that

1984

has” (

Books of the

Century,

161). Writing of Orwell, Christopher

Hitchens said, “‘the three great subjects of the

20th century were imperialism, fascism and

Stalinism… Orwell got all three right” (

New

York Times

). It was this aptitude for politics

that enabled Orwell to create a cautionary

tale at once remarkably profound and wide-

ly accessible. “It is possible to say that the

ghastly future Orwell foretold has not come

about simply because he foretold it: we were

warned in time” (Burgess,

99 Novels

, 46). For

its enrichment of the English language—

bequeathing such words as “doublethink,”

“Newspeak,” and, of course, “Big Brother”—

and its warning about the dire consequenc-

es of unchecked power in any hands, 1984

remains a literary landmark. “It is quite sim-

ply a novel which has changed the world”

(Pringle,

100 Best Science Fiction Novels

1).

Book fine, minor tape reinforcement to dust

jacket verso.

24

BANNED BOOKS

Politics