Thursday, August 17, 1995

George Orwell's Animal Farm published 50 years ago today

First posted 6/24/2020; updated 7/6/2020.

Animal Farm

George Orwell

First Publication: August 17, 1945

Category: allegorial novella/political satire

Sales: 20 million

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

“George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel – a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.” AZ “According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union... [who Orwell] believed had become a brutal dictatorship, built upon a cult of personality and enforced by a reign of terror.” WK

“Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.” AZ

“A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned – a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.” AZ

Orwell wrote the book…when the UK was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union and the British people and intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem, a phenomenon Orwell hated. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, including one of Orwell’s own, Victor Gollancz, which delayed its publication. It became a great commercial success when it did appear partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War.” WK

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