A Few Words from the Editor of this Website

I created this website in hopes of re-introducing Orwell to a wider readership, who may only know him through his most famous novel Nineteen Eighty Four. Seeing how frequently Orwell is quoted out of context in political discussions on the Internet -- often to support spurious arguments and political causes which he might have condemned in his own lifetime -- I hope to create a resource for political philosophers of all stripe.

Some Orwell scholars might claim that the title of this website is redundant (since nearly all of Orwell's writings were political) but I deal here with his political observations, not with an appreciation of his literary skills. The works presented here, although written immediately for his own time (specifically the World War II years, 1937-1945) are still in many ways analogous to our current age. I've taken the liberty of adding a few questions at the end of certain passages which may help the modern reader see their relevence to our own time.

A few biographical notes about Orwell are in order: First, Orwell identified himself as a Democratic Socialist. Secondly, he died a relatively young man. Orwell was 47 years old when he succumbed to tuberculosis in January 1950. Given the astuteness of his observations on the World War II era, can we even begin to imagine what books he might have written had he lived through the Fifties? What would he have said about the Cold War? Sputnik? Television? The JFK assassination? The Beatles? Vietnam, Watergate, the moon landing? Perhaps, had he lived past the year 1984 itself, might he have commented on the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union? Unfortunately we'll never know.

All works here are copyrighted to the George Orwell estate and are reproduced here under educational Fair Use laws. Most of these writings are taken from the 4-volume set:

George Orwell: the Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters:

The collection is currently only available from Penguin Books in the U.K. These and other books by George Orwell can be mail ordered directly from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

For questions or comments about this website please contact Patrick Farley at patrick@resort.com. Please note: this e-mail address is for administrative issues only. For a discussion of Orwell's works please visit the Usenet group alt.books.george-orwell Thank you.

October 22, 1998.