ANIMAL FARM is perhaps the most famous satirical allegory of totalitarianism. Published in 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democratic socialist was a critic of Joseph Stalin, and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism. In recent years, the book has been used to compare new movements that overthrow heads of a corrupt and undemocratic government or organisation, only eventually to become corrupt and oppressive themselves as they succumb to the trappings of power and begin using violent and dictatorial methods to keep it. Such analogies have been used for many former African colonies such as Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose succeeding African-born rulers were accused of being as corrupt as, or worse than, the European colonists they replaced. In addition, the political deception and abuses of power of the Bush Administration fall into this category as well.
Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
Shortlisted for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
Eric Arthur Blair (George Orwell) was born in India in 1903. He was educated at Eton, served with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, and worked in Britain as a private tutor, schoolteacher, bookshop assistant and journalist. In 1936, Orwell went to fight for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and was wounded. In 1938 he was admitted into a sanatorium and from then on was never fully fit. George Orwell died in London in 1950.