Item description for Orwell (Life & Times Series) (Life&Times) by Scott Lucas...
George Orwell (1903-1950) is Britain's most famous political writer. He aspired to be a novelist, but it was with his reportage on the conditions of the poor and on the Spanish Civil War, and his journalism on popular culture and politics, that he became a leading observer of his times. With his last books, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, he became a global icon, leaving ideas and terms that continue to shape political and cultural debate. In this controversial new biography, Scott Lucas argues that we now need to be rescued from Orwell. Orwell was never really a socialist, Lucas argues, and, in spite of his interest in "clear writing", he remained as confused in his politics as he was talented and prolific in prose. Most strikingly, soon after the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell passed a list of 'suspect' individuals, from Charlie Chaplin to Michael Redgrave, to British Intelligence. Since his death, Lucas suggests, Orwell has become a talisman for the neoliberal right, for "little England", and even for an American-led world.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5" Height: 7.75" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Publisher Haus Publishing
ISBN 1904341330 ISBN13 9781904341338
Availability 0 units.
More About Scott Lucas
Scott Lucas is Head of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham.
Scott Lucas currently resides in Birmingham, in the state of Alabama. Scott Lucas was born in 1937 and has an academic affiliation as follows - The Citadel, South Carolina.
Reviews - What do customers think about Orwell (Life & Times Series) (Life&Times)?
A Decent Man of Political Conscience May 7, 2006
In my youth, after reading Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, I considered George Orwell to be that quintessential beacon of political conscience, that single moral compass, a man with a terrifying awareness of the evils of political subterfuge, a man who left us with an essential warning: be vigilant!
A contribution to the Life & Times series, Orwell, by Professor Scott Lucas, is not so much another project of sentimental praise or hagiography of a writer, but a successful attempt at objectivity, revealing a novelist, essayist and critic of popular culture who, at the end of his life, collaborated with "Big Brother" (British Intelligence) naming names of communists that he believed posed a threat to British (western) democracy. This list of 36 men and women remains a secret, and the British authorities continue to hold on to the list in the name of national security. This is a major contradiction of the man, considering he was the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Lucas does not involve himself in petty character assassination, demolishing this twentieth century icon for some sort of personal, political or academic gain. In fact, Professor Lucas reinforces Orwell's "decency", a man of courageous sensibilities; however, his "Englishness" as the author points out, remained a staple throughout his writing career.
For the most part, this short critical biography touches upon Orwell's major writings, analysing each in a fair and interesting manner. Most twentieth century critics believe Orwell to be an essayist, a political critic, more so than a novelist. I believe Lucas agrees with this assessment, though, when one re-reads, `Down and Out in Paris and London', `Homage to Catalonia', `Animal Farm' or `Nineteen Eighty-Four', would have to admit that his talent as a novelist, although not genius, is excellent.
This is a highly polished work, extremely well written and insightful in terms of the author's goal of objectivity. As an admitted hero-worshiper, it was a learning experience to read a piece on Orwell that attempted to approach the subject from many perspectives, some good, some not so, without bias in any form.
That said, my only criticism is that the book should be longer, unpacking a few arguments that required further elaboration, however, it is obvious that the author was under space constraints from his editors. Then again, without question, this is a minor quibble.
Although there seems to be many works on George Orwell, and many excellent biographies, (`Orwell: A Wintry Conscious of a Generation' is noteworthy) this one is surprisingly good: entertaining and educational.