George Orwell has had a profound influence on modern politics and culture. He is regularly invoked as an authority by journalists, commentators and politicians, and his works speak with increasing relevance to our polarised and media-saturated society.
Stephen Ingle explores Orwell’s character, his life and his beliefs by guiding the reader through the main events, private and public, that shaped his life and major works. This includes his time fighting in the Spanish Civil War as well as the writing of classics like Animal Farm and 1984. The book also reconsiders Orwell’s legacy and contextualises his contemporary resonance. Orwell, it is argued, is more concerned with morality than ideology.
This book will be of significant interest to students and other readers interested in Orwell’s life as well as his profound contribution to the history of social and political thought and English literature.
Table of Contents
Foreword 1. The Road Ahead 2. The Making Of An Outsider 3. The Abyss 4. Taking Sides 5. The World Set Free 6. Two Plus Two 7.The Heart Of The Matter
Stephen Ingle is an Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Stirling where he has held a post since 1991. He had previously spent over twenty years in the Politics Department at the University of Hull, for the last four of which he was Head of Department. He came to Stirling to re-establish a largely defunct Politics Department and headed the new department for eleven years. He has pursued research in two principal areas, politics and literature and British political parties, and has written extensively on both. He is especially interested in that area where politics and imaginative literature overlap and has had a special interest in George Orwell’s political thought for most of his working life. His works include: Socialist Thought in Imaginative Literature (1979), Parliament and Health Politics (1981), The British Party System (first edition 1985; fourth edition 2008), George Orwell: A Political Life (1993), Narratives of British Socialism (2002) and The Social and Political Thought of George Orwell (2006). Though he has done some teaching at the University of Edinburgh, since formally retiring Stephen Ingle has managed to devote much of his time to three major pastimes: reading, walking and travelling.
"The book is certainly timely given current political concerns and crises in the English-speaking world. In some respects Orwell will always be timely . . . and I imagine the book will have a long shelf life. Although introductory, it is certainly not superficial. It neither underestimates the reader’s intelligence nor overwhelms the reader with academic jargon. The theory and fight for common decency is superbly evaluated and developed and the author’s conclusive passages drawing together understandings of the true political and moral imperatives of Orwell as a writer are very interesting and engaging. This was a book I was able to enjoy and appreciate reading in less than a day—a very satisfying experience."
Professor Tim Crook, Goldsmiths, University of London, and joint editor of the George Orwell Studies Journal