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Animal Farm () Top 100 Books of the Millenium

You could make a pretty good case that this short masterpiece should be #1.  Orwell deals with the Russian Revolution via a barnyard allegory.  The wise pig Major has come to the end of his days on Manor Farm. Before departing, however,  he shares his dream of a world without Man.

The animals of Manor Farm soon revolt and establish Animal Farm, where "All Animals are Equal".  This utopian ideal proves to be short lived as the pigs begin to take power and soon there are denunciations, show trials, rationing, special privileges for pigs and finally we find that while all animals are equal, "but some animals are more equal than others".

It's a simple, but brilliant, satire that pretty much devastates Marxism.


Grade: (A+)


George Orwell Links:
    -WIKIPEDIA: George Orwell
    -SUBSTACK: Daily Orwell (Orwell Foundation)
-George Orwell (1903-1950) - pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair (kirjasto)
    -NET GUIDE: GEORGE ORWELL (1903-1950) (The Guardian)
    -ESSAY “NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR” AT 70 (John Rodden, 5/28/19, Modern Age)
    -AUDIO: Nineteen Eighty-Four: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Orwell's dystopian novel where the state rewrites history, war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength - and Big Brother is watching you (Melvyn Bragg, 9/15/22, In Our Time)
    -PODCAST: George Orwell (The Rest is History)
    -George Orwell Essays and Reviews (Gaslight)
    -ETEXT: 1984
    -ETEXT: Animal Farm
    -EXCERPT: Barcelona, 1938 from Homage to Catalonia, by George Orwell.
    -ETEXT: Articles by Orwell (Charles)
    -ETEXT: Shooting an Elephant
    -REVIEW: of Drums under the Windows by Sean O'Casey (George Orwell, 28 October 1945, The Observer)
    -ETEXT: Reflections on Gandhi (1949)
    -ETEXT: 'A Nice Cup of Tea' by George Orwell
    -ETEXT: Politics and the English Language BY George Orwell
    -ETEXT: The Prevention of Literature (1946)
    -ETEXT: You and the Atomic Bomb    by George Orwell
    -ETEXT:   Notes on Nationalism (May 1945)
    -ETEXT: Why I Write (1947)
    -REVIEW: of The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek / The Mirror of the Past by K. Zilliacus Observer (George Orwell, 9 April 1944, )
    -ESSAY: Saving Orwell: From invading Afghanistan to dismantling Confederate monuments, George Orwell has been pressed into the service of all sorts of causes. But the real Orwell remains unknown. (Peter Ross, October 2017, Boston Review)
    -ESSAY: Why is George Orwell so difficult to pin down?: The writer is an easy man to admire and sympathize with, but a hard one to like (Alexander Larman, July 2, 2023, Spectator)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell, a "Tory anarchist": (Jacques Charpier, January 1984, Unesco)
    -ESSAY: Orwell and Socialism: Reflections on the Western Left’s fragmented ideology. (Michael C. Anderson, 21 Apr 2023, Quillette)

    -ESSAY: Orwell, Camus and truth: On honesty as an attitude (William Fear, 12 March, 2023, The Critic)
    -ESSAY: How America influenced George Orwell: The legendary British author’s attitude to the US is curiously double-edged (DJ Taylor, March 22, 2023, Spectator)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell: Forgotten Prophet (Joseph Pearce, March 26th, 2023, Imaginative Conservative)
    -ESSAY: A thoughtful old-fashioned rambler: George Orwell’s gardening prowess comes as a surprise (Margaret Willes, November 2022, The Critic)
    -PODCAST: Rebecca Solnit: Why It Matters That George Orwell Was a Gardener: In Conversation with Paul Holdengräber on The Quarantine Tapes (The Quarantine Tapes, November 2, 2021)
    -PODCAST: Rebecca Solnit on George Orwell (Primary Sources, 5/16/22)
-ESSAY: Read the first reviews of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. (Dan Sheehan, June 8, 2023, LitHub)
    -ESSAY: The patriotic prejudice of George Orwell: Uncheerful thoughts on the love of country (David Robjant, 15 Jun 2022, ABC Religion & Ethics)
    -ESSAY: ‘Every time you commit an antisocial act, push an acorn into the ground’: Rebecca Solnit on Orwell’s lessons from nature: When the American writer went in search of trees and roses planted by George Orwell in a Hertfordshire garden, she uncovered questions of legacy and peace (Rebecca Solnit, 16 Oct 2021, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY: Whose Nightmare Are We Living In: Orwell’s or Huxley’s?: Andrew Keen Investigates Dual Literary Visions of Society’s Collapse (Andrew Keen, June 24, 2022, LitHub)
    -ESSAY: How Orwell Diagnosed Democrats’ Culture War Problem Decades Ago: The famed English writer warned that “cranks” on the left were turning off ordinary voters, even as broad support existed for progressive policies. (JEFF GREENFIELD, 04/19/2022, Politico)
    -ESSAY: WHAT ORWELL LEARNED FROM CHESTERTON (M. D. Aeschliman, 5 . 17 . 22, First Things)
    -ESSAY: Bolshevism, Truth, and Ancient Greek Philosophy: George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four Redux (Pedro Blas González, 4/03/22, University Bookman)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell outside the whale: What the writer teaches us about politics and the imagination in a time of crisis. (Ian McEwan, 12/09/21, Spectator)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell: how romantic walks with girlfriends inspired Nineteen Eighty-Four (Vanessa Thorpe, 27 Nov 2021, The Observer)
    -ESSAY: There's (a Lot) More to George Orwell than Nineteen Eighty-Four (Herman Goodden, 27 Aug 2021, Quillette)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: ‘Animal Farm’ Turns 75: Revisiting Orwell's work on the anniversary of the barnyard classic. (JOHN RODDEN, 8/26/21, American Conservative)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell and the Struggle against Inevitable Bias (Adam Wakeling, 8/15/21, Quilette)
    -ESSAY: All is Orwell: On George Orwell in Spain. (Gerald Frost, June 2021, New Criterion)
    -ESSAY: How Orwell Became 'Bitter Enemy' of Communism (John Rossi, May 4, 2021, RealClearHistory)
    -ESSAY: Why George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is necessary reading for the 21st century. (Jonny Diamond, April 26, 2021, lit Hub)
    -ESSAY: The Heretical Impulse: Zamyatin and Orwell (Riley Moore, 12/01/20, Quillette)
    -ESSAY: The lesser-known Orwell: are his novels deserving of reappraisal?: George Orwell has a gift for the unusual and the memorable that means that even his half-forgotten novels are well worth discovering once again (Alexander Larman, 7 January, 2021, The Critic)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell On Populism, Patriotism, & Veiled Censorship (Jerry Salyer,January 31st, 2021, Imaginative Conservative)
    -ESSAY: The last man to know George Orwell as a man — not as a legend : The human face of the celebrated author of 1984 and Animal Farm (Jonathon Van Maren, Oct 29, 2020, Mercator Net)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell, Henry Miller, and the ‘Dirty-Handkerchief Side of Life’ (Matt Johnson, 10/05/20, Quillette)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell: political flake, towering moralist: Orwell wasn’t a serious political thinker of any stripe, indeed it is not even clear what his politics were. The real value lies elsewhere (Stephen Ingle, August 28, 2020, Prospect)
    -ESSAY: Orwell’s Humor: The British writer confronted totalitarianism with determination but also with wit and irony. (Jonathan Clarke, May 13, 2022, City Journal)
    -     -LINKS: Charles' George Orwell Links
    -ARCHIVES : "orwell" (NY Review of Books)
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    -George Orwell (Essays, Biblio, etc.)
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    -George Orwell (Spartacus Educational Home Page)
    -The Orwell Reader
    -the Internet Public Library:  Online Literary Criticism Collection:  George Orwell (1903 - 1950)
    -ETEXT: George Orwell: A Life by Bernard Crick
    -ESSAY: Orwell’s ideas remain relevant 75 years after ‘Animal Farm’ was published (Mark Satta, 8/12/21, The Conversation)
    -ESSAY: Orwell and Dalrymple on English Class Laurie Wastell, 02 May 2022, Quillette)
    -ESSAY: Un-herding the animals of Animal Farm (Peter Franklin, August 17,2020, Unherd)
    -ESSAY: How George Orwell Helped Cause the Cold War: John Rodden and John Rossi|November 26th, 2016, Imaginative Conservative)
    -TRIBUTE: A Seer's Blind Spots: On George Orwell's 100th, a Look at a Flawed and Fascinating Writer (Glenn Frankel, June 25, 2003, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY: Orwell Up Close: On the 100th anniversary of his birth, a clutch of new biographies explores the wintry genius of George Orwell - a hero claimed by left and right (DONALD MORRISON, June 30, 2003, TIME Europe)
    -ESSAY: Blacklisted writer says illness clouded Orwell's judgement: Survivor tells Guardian that author was 'losing his grip' (Fiachra Gibbons, June 24, 2003, The Guardian)
    AUDIO ESSAY: Wrestling with Orwell: Ian McEwan on the art of the political novel (Audio Long Reads, from the New Statesman)     -ESSAY: The Road to Oceania (WILLIAM GIBSON, June 25, 2003, NY Times)
    -ESSAY: Introduction to 1984: The road to 1984: George Orwell's final novel was seen as an anticommunist tract and many have claimed its grim vision of state control proved prophetic. But, argues Thomas Pynchon, Orwell - whose centenary is marked this year - had other targets in his sights and drew an unexpectedly optimistic conclusion (Thomas Pynchon)
    Why Orwell Matters: The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four may have ended in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, but George Orwell's writing remains as relevant today as ever. (Timothy Garton Ash, Fall 2001, Hoover Digest)
    -ESSAY: The Man Who Saved Orwell: Harry Milton served with George Orwell in the Spanish Civil War. His papers recall the trauma of opposing Franco's forces on the battlefield-and of fleeing Stalin's forces in revolutionary Barcelona. (David Jacobs, Fall 2001, Hoover Digest)
    -ESSAY: Mencken and Orwell, Social Critics With Little (and Much) in Common (EDWARD ROTHSTEIN, October 26, 2002, NY Times)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell: A Study in Trans-Political Truth-Speaking (Michael R. Stevens, Religion & Liberty)
    -ARTICLE: In Latin America, the Cult of Revolution Wanes (LARRY ROHTER, May 18, 2003, NY Times)
    -ESSAY: George Orwell, devoted family man 50 years after death, his son remembers (The Daily Telegraph)
    -ESSAY: Words and Things  On the 50th anniversary of George Orwell's essay, Politics and the English Language, Andrew Marr assesses the state of political English and finds it in robust good health. (Prospect)
    -ESSAY : On Shooting at Elephants (John Leonard, The Nation)
    -ESSAY: A Comparison of Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984
    -ESSAY: Orwell & Marx: Animalism vs. Marxism
    -ESSAY: Orwell and me (Margaret Atwood, June 16, 2003, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY: The big O: the reputation of George Orwell (Joseph Epstein, New Criterion)
    -DISCUSSION: the Journalism of George Orwell (radion national)
    -Senior  Seminar: Professor Osborne  War & Remembrance
    -ESSAY: WRITERS IN UNIFORM (Stephen Spender, NY Times Book Review)
    -ESSAY : George Orwell, Socialist, Anarchist or what...? On George Orwell's Political Development (Claus B. Storgaard)
    -ESSAY: Homage to Catalonia and The Spanish Civil War (Andrew Weiss)
    -ESSAY : THE MACHO MAKER OF NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (Virginia Held, NY Times Book Review)
    -ESSAY : Is Bad Writing Necessary?: Adorno and Orwell's competing legacies (James Miller, Lingua Franca, December 1999/January 2000)
    -Orwellian & Animal Farm Studies Resources  From the Chico High School Library
    -READERS GUIDE: Animal Farm (Novel
    -ONLINE STUDYGUIDE: 1984 by George Orwell.  (SparkNote by Brian Phillips)
    -SUMMARY: Nineteen Eighty-Four (Maros Kollar)
    -ONLINE STUDYGUIDE: Animal Farm by George Orwell (Rebecca Gaines, Spark Notes)
    -SUMMARY: Animal Farm  (Maros Kollar)
    -DISCUSSION : orwell's "coming up for air" (George Orwell Campfire)
    -SUMMARY: The Road to Wigan Pier (Maros Kollar)
    -LINKS: George Orwell in Our Age
    -LINKS: George Orwell Resources
    -LINKS: Charles'  George Orwell Links
    -ARCHIVES: "george orwell" (Find Articles)
    -ARCHIVES: "george orwell" (Mag Portal)
    -REVIEW: of Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell: Orwell’s Rare Happy Ending (Susannah Pearce, May 1st, 2023, Imaginative Conservative)
-Review of Homage to Catalonia (Brian Maye, Irish Times)
    -REVIEW: of Homage:  George Orwell's Prelude in Spain (Granville Hicks, NY Times)
    -REVIEWS : of Coming Up for Air (Epinions)
    -REVIEW : of ORWELL The Lost Writings. By George Orwell (Will Watson, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of ORWELL The Lost Writings. By George Orwell (Walter Goodman, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of GEORGE ORWELL The Authorized Biography. By Michael Shelden (Samuel Hynes, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of ORWELL: The Road to Airstrip One. By Ian Slater (Michiko Kakutani, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of GEORGE ORWELL A Life. By Bernard Crick (John Leonard, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of GEORGE ORWELL A Life. By Bernard Crick (Steven Marcus, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a Generation By JEFFREY MEYERS (RICHARD BERNSTEIN, NY Times)
    -REVIEW : of ORWELL: Wintry Conscience of a Generation by Jeffrey Meyers ( JOHN CAREY, Sunday Times of London)
    -REVIEW : of Orwell by Jeffrey Myers (Paul Foot, The Spectator)
    -REVIEW : of Wintry Conscience of a Generation, by  Jeffrey Meyers (Enda O'Doherty, Irish Times)
    -REVIEW : of "Orwell" The new biography glosses over the defiant, troubled life of the eerily prescient author of "Animal Farm" and "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (Benjamin Anastas, Salon)
    -REVIEW : of THE POLITICS OF LITERARY REPUTATION The Making and Claiming of 'St. George' Orwell. By John Rodden (Julian Symons, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of '1984' REVISTED Totalitarianism in Our Century Edited by Irving Howe (Arthur Schlesinger Jr, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of George Orwell By Gordon Bowker (The Economist)
    -REVIEW: of Orwell's Victory By Christopher Hitchens (The Economist)
    -REVIEW: of George Orwell by Gordon Bowker (Philip Hensher, The Spectator)

    -FILMOGRAPHY : "george orwell" (Internet Movie Database)
    -ESSAY : DID THE HEART OF ORWELL'S '1984' GET LOST IN THE MOVIE? (Richard Grenier, NY Times)
    -FILM REVIEW: Animal Farm a TV movie review  (Rick Norwood, SF Site)

    -ESSAY : The left's ace of clubs : It sold books, held dances, supported causes and promoted socialism. Paul Laity on the radical venture that engaged the political passions of the British middle classes in the 1930s (The Guardian, July 7, 2001)
   -REVIEW : of THE BLOODY CROSSROADS Where Literature and Politics Meet. By Norman Podhoretz (Cynthia Ozick, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of England, Their England Commentaries on English Language and Literature By Denis Donoghue (John Gross, NY Times)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: Such, Such Was Eric Blair: a review of Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays by George Orwell, compiled and with an introduction by George Packer; All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays by George Orwell, compiled by George Packer, with an introduction by Keith Gessen; and Why I Write by George Orwell (Julian Barnes, 3/12/09, NY Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit (LYNNE FEELEY, Chicago Review of Books)
    -REVIEW: of Orwell's Roses (chris Moss, Prospect)
    -REVIEW: of ORWELL AND EMPIRE by Douglas Kerr (Krishan Kumar, TLS)
    -REVIEW: of The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War by Peter Stansky (Chuck Chalberg, Imaginative Conservative)
    -REVIEW: of Orwell: The New Life by DJ Taylor (Dominic Green, WSJ)
    -REVIEW: of Orwell: The New Life (John Wilson, First Things)
-REVIEW: of Orwell: The New Life (sarah Bakewell, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of George Orwell and Russia by Masha Karp (Jeffery Myers, The Article)
    -REVIEW: of Wifedom by Anna Funder (Francine Prose, Washington Post)
    -REVIEW: of Wifedom (Jeffrey Myers, The Article)
    -REVIEW: of Orwell by D. J. Taylor (Paul Krause, Law & Liberty)
    -REVIEW: of Masha Karp’s “George Orwell and Russia” (Daniel Sharp, Merrion West)
    -REVIEW: of Who Is Big Brother? by D. J. Taylor (Theodore Dalrymple, Law & Liberty)

Book-related and General Links:


What's wrong with writing gay anyway?

I've had my fill (no pun intended) of redundant heterosexual narratives anyway. Hemmingway wrote well, Tchaikovsky wrote good music.

- Camilo Diaz Pino

- Apr-23-2004, 10:53


He was a socialist who hated other socialists, which makes it difficult for most lefties to claim him. But he always absolutely loathed material inequality so the 'right' can't claim him either.

He doesn't fit neatly into any category - and actually anyone who really thinks intelligently about something for long enough will realise that nobody has all the answers, and so will ultimately defy categorisation.

And well done for making me laugh out loud...

Orrin's thesis on Wittgenstein's 'Tractatus Logicus'..."he wrote gay".

A priceless gem to add to the great tradition of Wittgenstinian analysis.

- Psmith

- Oct-15-2003, 06:04


Ever read Homage to Catalonia? The Orwell who returned was no longer a man of the Left.

- oj

- Oct-14-2003, 11:28


They wrote gay

- oj

- Oct-14-2003, 11:25


By the way, might I just politely point out that your statement that "What he felt matters not at all compared to what he wrote" doesn't sit at all well with your theories elsewhere on the site that the private lives of Hemingway and Wittegenstein make their prose worthless.

- Psmith

- Oct-14-2003, 10:09


i guess there are (at least) 2 ways of reading 'Animal Farm':

1) as a critique of the Marxist utopian ideal itself for being impracticable (because people are too self-interested etc)

2) specifically as a damning indictment on those who distorted marxism in the pursuit of power after the revolution (Stalin = Napoleoon, obviously).

You've chosen to read it the first way. Maybe you're right.

As to Orwell's intentions...that's a whole new debate.

On the one hand, you've got '1984'. On the other, you've got 'The Road to Wigan Pier', plus of course, the fact that he actually went to Spain to fight on the side of socialism.

- Psmith

- Oct-14-2003, 09:50


What he felt matters not all compared to what he wrote, which was uniformly conservative.

- oj

- Oct-14-2003, 09:31


I have no doubts that it wouldn't work. Marxism is deeply flawed.

I'm just pointing out that 'Animal Farm' doesn't go as far as saying that. The revolution itself and the Trotsky character are treated sympathetically.

I don't think anyone has really fathomed exactly what Orwell's political views were. They seem to have been inconsistent through his life. Certainly he considered himself some kind of socialist and Lefties normally claim him.

Its interesting that you claim him too.

- Psmith

- Oct-14-2003, 09:23


Right, if ever pure Marxism is given a decent chance it'll work...

- oj

- Oct-14-2003, 07:28


No, it specifically 'devastates' Stalinism, not Marxism.

- Psmith

- Oct-14-2003, 06:50