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On Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Story of George Orwell’s Masterpiece

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  8 reviews
From the author of the definitive biography of George Orwell, a captivating account of the origin and enduring power of his landmark dystopian novel 

Since its publication nearly 70 years ago, George Orwell’s 1984 has been regarded as one of the most influential novels of the modern age. Politicians have testified to its influence on their intellectual identities, rock musi
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Harry N. Abrams (first published October 15th 2019)
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Meike
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, 2019-read
It feels like "1984" is becoming more relevant by the day, so there is no denying that a comprehensive study of Orwell's dystopian classic in relation to our current state of affairs is a worthwhile endeavor - this book sets out to do just that, but does not quite reach its goal. Author D.J. Taylor has already published a biography about Orwell, so in large parts of this book, he also recapitulates the author's life and how his experiences influenced the making of "1984": Born in 1903, Orwell sa ...more
Linda Bond
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very few books are so important that they deserve a “biography.” In the case of 1984, however, it is totally understandable. Most of us experienced the cold war with this book in hand and on our minds. Just how far would a government go to control its people? What if we were told the information we believed as fake and we must be set straight by those in the know – the government spokesmen? It sounded a bit far-fetched at the time of it’s release but as the years have gone by, more and more peop ...more
Peter Tillman
Oct 18, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: history, new-tbp
Nice review at the WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-mini... (Paywalled. As always, I'm happy to email a copy to non-subscribers)
Excerpt: "D.J. Taylor’s “On Nineteen Eighty-Four” is the brisker and more focused volume, and a better choice for those wishing to read about Orwell’s novel rather than around it. Mr. Taylor, a novelist, critic and biographer, more ably balances the cultural footprint of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” with the story of its writing. The definitive account of Orwell’s life—his work as an imperial policeman i
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BookTrib.com
Since its publication 70 years ago, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has been regarded as one of the most significant novels of the modern age. It has influenced everyone from politicians to musicians, just as a White House spokesperson tells of “alternative facts.” The world we live in is often described as an Orwellian one, awash in inescapable surveillance and invasions of privacy.

D.J. Taylor is an award-winning author for his definitive biography of George Orwell. Now, in On
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Rebecca L.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Big brother is watching.

George Orwell's chilling dystopian novel entitled 1984 (an inversion of the year it was written), is an iconic book that has served as a warning for my generation. Orwell warns us that if power is left to run unchecked, the terrifying realm of the not-so-distant future he depicts is in his novel is an all to plausible possibility.

In a world where technology has become more and more invasive, Orwell's work is as pertinent now as it was when he originally penned his nov
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Joy
George Orwell, the British author famous for coining the now ubiquitous terms, “Big Brother is Watching,” and “The Cold War,” in his novel, “1984,” was a brilliant, but increasingly unhealthy and relatively unambitious young man, reports Author D.J. Taylor, in “On Nineteen Eighty-four:” ‘Orwell, The Man and the Masterpiece.’”

We learn that Orwell channelled his early life experiences, that shaped both his political and personal views, into the decades enduring and generational defining creative
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Holly
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
With a resurgence in sales of the novel 1984, this book comes at a good time. I felt this book was on point but I found you would have needed to know more about George Orwell's other works besides Animal Farm. At points it was a bit more scholarly in nature than I would have liked but I thought it was very interesting to read how 1984 came into existence and circumstances that influenced the work. You don't get a glimpse into certain works very often and this was quite an interesting story.
David
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to David by: Review in WSJ
Quite interesting and timely, given current political climate in USA. Full review to come.
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David John Taylor (born 1960) is a critic, novelist and biographer. After attending school in Norwich, he read Modern History at St John's College, Oxford, and has received the 2003 Whitbread Biography Award for his life of George Orwell.

He lives in Norwich and contributes to The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, New Statesman and The Spectator among other publications.

He is married to the novelist Rachel Hore, a
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