On George Orwell
Orwell’s influence is extensive. An entire vocabulary has been coined from Big Brother to thought crime to Newspeak. Renowned Orwell scholar, Bernard Crick calls him “the finest political writer in English since Swift, and not only a political writer but a political thinker of genuine stature.” Crick traces his formative early days as a policeman in Burma where he saw the dirty side of empire to fighting in Spain and witnessing the lies and betrayals of the Stalinists and the hypocrisy of the so-called Western democracies. Best known for Animal Farm and 1984, his essays such as “Politics and the English Language” and “Looking Back on the Spanish War” are landmarks.
Interview by David Barsamian.
Recorded at KGNU.
Bernard Crick was Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, the University of London. He was the author of many books on politics. His biography George Orwell: A Life won a major book award in England. He died in 2008.