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 contextualizes 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.
"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. Though introductory it is certainly not superficial. It neither under-estimates 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.
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
The series Routledge Studies in Radical History and Politics has two areas of interest. Firstly, this series aims to publish books which focus on the history of movements of the radical left. ‘Movement of the radical left’ is here interpreted in its broadest sense as encompassing those past movements for radical change which operated in the mainstream political arena as with political parties, and past movements for change which operated more outside the mainstream as with millenarian movements, anarchist groups, utopian socialist communities, and trade unions. Secondly, this series aims to publish books which focus on more contemporary expressions of radical left-wing politics. Recent years have been witness to the emergence of a multitude of new radical movements adept at getting their voices in the public sphere. From those participating in the Arab Spring, the Occupy movement, community unionism, social media forums, independent media outlets, local voluntary organisations campaigning for progressive change, and so on, it seems to be the case that innovative networks of radicalism are being constructed in civil society that operate in different public forms.
The series very much welcomes titles with a British focus, but is not limited to any particular national context or region. The series will encourage scholars who contribute to this series to draw on perspectives and insights from other disciplines.