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George Orwell: A Life
Bernard Crick
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George Orwell: A Life

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  216 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Part Two Of Two Parts

Even though 1984 is now behind us, Orwell continues to influence our lives and thoughts.

Bernard Crick's biography puts the many forces that shaped Orwell into perspective. More than anything else Orwell feared the state. As an outgrowth of this fear, Orwell dissected propaganda and exposed the many ways in which language can be made a tool of tyranny.


Hardcover, 473 pages
Published 1980 by Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd
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Terry Clague
Mar 15, 2009 Terry Clague rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-reading this, it strikes me that I probably need to re-read most things which probably rules me out of new books for the next thirty years. A brilliant biography, complete with an introduction that should be (it probably already is) required reading for anyone contemplating writing this kind of book. Orwell requested in his Will that no biography be written, and thought that a truthful biography was impossible because "every life viewed from the inside would be a series of disappointments too ...more
May 03, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Fine, approving review by the Hitch himself:
I feel like I deserve a little 'hallelujah' for finishing this book. It's not the first biography on Orwell I've read, so I have a bit of experience. I must say the first half (sadly, not the one I needed) was more interesting.

I had the impression that Crick inserted many unimportant details, events from Orwell's life. I mean, yes, they might have been interesting for someone living in that period who knew the other journalists/writers, but I think for today's man they don't seem essential.

Vasil Kolev
Aug 17, 2014 Vasil Kolev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
He clearly was able to do a lot with the information he found, but I still found the book somewhat lacking and overdone at some parts. Still, it's very helpful to put Orwell's writings into some context (that you can't find in the Complete Works).
Derek Baldwin
Jul 28, 2011 Derek Baldwin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing and ultimately very moving account of the life of George Orwell. Much of the "story" can be found in Orwell's own writings but this brings it together very neatly, albeit sometimes a little over-respectful. Orwell wasn't a saint after all. (But still a very great man.)
Aug 20, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most thorough and best biography I have read yet of Orwell. I wish he had included a short summary of the lives of Avril, Bill Dunn, and Richard Blair afterwards but in the end this is a biography on Orwell not them.
Ryan Williams
Sep 07, 2014 Ryan Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still by far the best Orwell biography. DJ Taylor's is too slight. Jeffrey Meyers - an American - has more facts, but can't get over his urge to piss over everything like a poorly-trained puppy.
Sep 16, 2012 Pippa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I have huge admiration for Orwell and he must have been an incredible man, but unfortunately this biography is rather dull.
Dec 04, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good biography of Orwell, one that provides what is still the best analysis of his politics.
Mark McKenna
Sep 20, 2011 Mark McKenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful biography of Orwell, considered the finest, I believe. I just didn't have time to finish it, and wanted to get it off this list. (So I don't look illiterate).
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Jan 10, 2009 Fishsanwitt marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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Sir Bernard Rowland Crick was a British political theorist and democratic socialist whose views were often summarised as "politics is ethics done in public". He sought to arrive at a "politics of action", as opposed to a "politics of thought" or of ideology.
More about Bernard Crick...

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