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The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius
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The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  302 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me." So starts this 1941 essay in which Orwell argues that the outdated British class system was hampering the war effort, and that in order to defeat Hitler, Britain needed a socialist revolution. (Source:

Part I: England Your England
Part II: Shopkeepers
Paperback, 123 pages
Published 1982 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published February 19th 1941)
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This is an interesting historical artefact: Orwell's 1941 argument for the necessity of a socialist revolution in England, if the war was to be won. He ended up being fundamentally wrong about that, of course, even if he is really right about many another point (e.g. the inherent problems in capitalism). Nevertheless, he offers up a lucid and insightful critique of the then-current political environment, and some of what he says remains depressingly true today--indeed, perhaps even more true tha ...more
Jeff Adams
Written in 1941, as "highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill" him, this text outlines Orwell's vision that only through a thorough socialist revolution, can the England and the free world hope to defeat both Communism and Fascism.

At times, his statements about the greatness of the English people gets a little overbearing, but he makes some interesting points nonetheless.

I would suggest that this be required reading for anyone who has ever said that President Obama is
Sidharth Vardhan
A very good read. Such clarity of thoughts.
George Orwell's views on Political atmosphere are most sober in nature. There is no clouding that generally exists because of political motivations and jargon.
Though he himself is a nationalist, he honestly talks about the paradox of otherwise meaningless fights that nationalism brings with it :
"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.
They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. T
Interesting thoughts from Orwell. Although I do not have much of a liking for Socialism, Orwell's proposed version of it may just be the best I've heard so far, mostly because it takes into consideration as a major element the national character. It almost seems like a rightist Socialism, however awkward it may sound. Orwell is equally critical of both the right and the left wing, and if the Fascists are clearly "the big villains", he shows little sympathy for Communists and the leftist intellig ...more
One view of this book would be to see it as a curiosity of its time. Surely Orwell's predictions didn't exactly pan out. But it's value in terms of understanding Orwell and the situation England was in at the time, is invaluable. Orwell certainly changefs his positions over time and its great to read through his books chronologically and see him grow and adapt. It's interesting to hear what you'd expect to be hypocritical views on Patriotism, and just the whole idea of Fascism at the time and ho ...more
Labour Party politicians would do well to look at this book published in 1941. The dilemmas of the party at that time persist.
Claire-louise Tuthill
An amazing book! Orwell writes with such passion that it is hard not to be sucked into his words. Probably one of Orwell's more extreme works the Lion and the Unicorn is just as captivating.I wouldn't say I agree with everything that Orwell presents in this book but as a historical text it is a valuable piece of writing for understanding the situation faced by England suring World War Two. Largely left in the shadows of Orwell's more famous works such as Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four, the ...more
A worthwhile read ...
Excellent pamphlet on need of country restructuring in order to defeat the Nazi's.
This work and its message will never get old - only thing required for society to blossom is that it moves toward the better inner organization that will benefit all. It's a long process but in order to have everything the same change is required otherwise stagnation and demise will follow.

Highly recommended.

'England, your England' is an intelligent attempt to grasp the illusive indentity of Enlishness. In soome ways a for runner to Jeremy Paxman's book the English only less academic and highbrow
Willow Firstbrook
I disagree with a lot of what he says here but it's a great slice of history from a frank communicator. Well worth reading.
Aziz Krich
Here Orwell digresses onto the topic of socialism and patriotism in Britain.
Jay Harris
Really good, and of a much more optimistic tone than that of 1984
Géraldine Grout
trop compliqué pour moi.. ou peut etre pas assez motivée pr le lire
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Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. His work is marked by keen intelligence and wit, a profound awareness of social injustice, an intense opposition to totalitarianism, a passion for clarity in language, and a belief in democratic socialism.

Between 1941 and 1943, Orwell worked on propaganda for the BBC. In 1943, he became literary ed
More about George Orwell...
1984 Animal Farm Animal Farm / 1984 Down and Out in Paris and London Homage to Catalonia

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“As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.” 17 likes
“Literature, especially poetry, and lyric poetry most of all, is a kind of family joke, with little or no value outside its own language-group.” 6 likes
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