The ministry of truth : the biography of George Orwell's 1984

by Lynskey, Dorian,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 12 Libraries 12 of 13 copies
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Brentwood Library Nonfiction Books & Reading History
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C.C. Mellor Memorial Library - Forest Hills Non Fiction 823.912 Lyn
Location  C.C. Mellor Memorial Library - Forest Hills
 
Collection  Non Fiction
 
Call Number  823.912 Lyn
 
 
CLP - Downtown First Floor - Non-Fiction Collection PR6029.R8 N5359 2019x
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CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection PR6029.R8 N5359 2019x
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Call Number  PR6029.R8 N5359 2019x
 
 
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Non-Fiction 809.33 LYN
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
 
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Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 813 ORWELL George
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Northland Public Library Nonfiction 823.912 L99
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Call Number  823.912 L99
 
 
Oakmont Carnegie Library Non-Fiction 823 LYN
Location  Oakmont Carnegie Library
 
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Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 823.912 L98
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Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  823.912 L98
 
 
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 823 LYN 2019
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South Park Library Classics CLASSICS CRITICAL ORW
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Upper St. Clair Township Library Non-fiction 823 ORWELL BIO/CRIT
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CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ON HOLDSHELF
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Summary
"Rich and compelling. . .Lynskey's account of the reach of 1984 is revelatory."
--George Packer, The Atlantic

An authoritative, wide-ranging, and incredibly timely history of 1984 --its literary sources, its composition by Orwell, its deep and lasting effect on the Cold War, and its vast influence throughout world culture at every level, from high to pop.

1984 isn't just a novel; it's a key to understanding the modern world. George Orwell's final work is a treasure chest of ideas and memes--Big Brother, the Thought Police, Doublethink, Newspeak, 2+2=5--that gain potency with every year. Particularly in 2016, when the election of Donald Trump made it a bestseller ("Ministry of Alternative Facts," anyone?). Its influence has morphed endlessly into novels ( The Handmaid's Tale ), films ( Brazil ), television shows ( V for Vendetta ), rock albums ( Diamond Dogs ), commercials (Apple), even reality TV ( Big Brother ). The Ministry of Truth is the first book that fully examines the epochal and cultural event that is 1984 in all its aspects: its roots in the utopian and dystopian literature that preceded it; the personal experiences in wartime Great Britain that Orwell drew on as he struggled to finish his masterpiece in his dying days; and the political and cultural phenomena that the novel ignited at once upon publication and that far from subsiding, have only grown over the decades. It explains how fiction history informs fiction and how fiction explains history.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four has been embraced by both the right and the left, viewed as a condemnation of totalitarianism and capitalism, and described as bleakly hopeless and implicitly hopeful. This powerful, infinitely provoking dystopian tale was first published on June 8, 1949, after being completed in a frenzy by the gravely ill author. Critic Lynskey (33 Revolutions Per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, 2011), marks the 70th anniversary of this indelible work with an engrossing, many-branched biography of the book and its valiant creator.In agile, syncopated prose, Lynskey briskly elucidates Orwell's life, from his birth as Eric Arthur Blair in British India in 1903 to his childhood in England, stint in the police force in British-ruled Burma, combat in the Spanish Civil War, and adventures as a daring and controversial journalist and columnist. Lynskey emphasizes the experiences that seeded Orwell's mission to protest tyranny, ""organized lying,"" and hypocrisy; his equating of truth with freedom; and his commitment to exposing the horrors of totalitarianism. During the London Blitz, Orwell rescued the manuscript for Animal Farm (1945) from the rubble of his bombed flat and worked for the BBC, while his wife, Eileen, reported to the Ministry of Information's censorship department, a job that inspired that of Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four: Smith serves in the forbidding Ministry of Truth, methodically revising history so that it conforms to the government's latest lies by carefully rewriting published newspaper articles and pitching the originals into memory holes for incineration.Running parallel to his vivid account of Orwell's struggles as a writer of conscience is Lynskey's illuminating history of utopian and dystopian literature, with analysis of works that inspired Orwell, particularly books by H. G. Wells and We (1921) by the courageous dissident Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin. Lynskey also parses the intriguing symbiosis between the awkward literary twins Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932). But his primary focus is on elucidating how Nineteen Eighty-Four expresses Orwell's deepest concerns about humanity and civilization, his belief in accuracy as a moral virtue, and his growing concern over how dictators and he witnessed the worst of them revise and spin history to both rile up and oppress the public.Orwell astutely dramatizes how the orchestrated, amplified, and intrusive lies of totalitarian regimes endanger the very concept of objective truth and a consensus reality, and he shares his alarm over the erosion and corruption of memory. Today's perpetual bombardment of lies from the Trump White House, the daily struggle over fake news, and the constant surge of toxic disinformation throughout social media are all intrinsically Orwellian.Lynskey maps the vast influence of Nineteen Eighty-Four in discussions of its stage and screen adaptations, its language, from doublethink to Newspeak, thoughtcrime, unperson, and Big Brother, and the many novels it inspired, including Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano (1952), Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962). Margaret Atwood started writing The Handmaid's Tale in West Berlin in 1984, and described her novel as speculative fiction of the George Orwell variety. Other significant literary progeny include Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart (2010), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (2011), The Circle (2013) by Dave Eggers, The Subprimes by Karl Taro Greenfeld (2015), Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich (2017), and Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates (2018).To further enhance the 70th-anniversary celebration of Orwell's cautionary tale, David R. Godine is reissuing The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell, a landmark four-volume set first published in 1968 and long out of print.Orwell has much to tell us in this time of escalating political conflicts, as evident in Nineteen Eighty-Four's return to the best-seller lists as we grapple with the implications of identity theft, ever-more intrusive surveillance, post-truth politics, and alternative facts. Lynskey writes, ""Nineteen Eighty-Four is most of all a defense of truth. It is also a call to speak out, because, as Orwell warned, totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Lynskey (33 Revolutions Per Minute) offers an entertaining but scattershot study that places George Orwell's 1984 in a variety of contexts: the author's life and times, the book's precursors in the science fiction genre, and its subsequent place in popular culture. Lynskey delves into how Orwell's harrowing Spanish Civil War experiences shaped his concern with political disinformation by exposing him to the deceptiveness of people he'd once regarded as allies against fascism: the Soviets and their Western apologists. Another section offers a history of Edward Bellamy's 1888 bestseller Looking Backwards, as a leading example of the once-thriving genre of utopian literature and as an optimistic counterpoint to 1984's totalitarian nightmare. While Lynskey calls this a "biography" of 1984, anyone expecting a granular examination of the novel itself will likely be disappointed. Lynskey spreads himself too thin, veering away from his purported subject: is it important to know, for example, that H.G. Wells, identified here as a major influence on Orwell, was a difficult child? Lysnkey is strongest, by far, in his analysis of the novel's influence on rock musicians, especially David Bowie. While his book offers some intriguing insights, one longs for a stronger and more intense focus on 1984 itself. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Orwell, George, -- 1903-1950. -- Nineteen eighty-four.
Science fiction, English -- History and criticism.
Dystopias in literature.
Totalitarianism in literature.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First American edition.
Language English
Description xix, 355 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 281-332) and index.
ISBN 9780385544054
0385544057
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