23 May 2014
Review: Why Orwell Matters
Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I first read this back when it came out. I was sort of getting into Orwell for the first time as an adult, I was really into Christopher Hitchens, and, well, why not?
This is biographical in a sense, but more from the political and social points of view rather than his own story. Granted, Orwell's story very much speaks to his actions as a writer, but this short piece is more about Orwell's thoughts and such.
Hitchens is always good at drawing out the conclusions necessary when it comes to a topic, whether you agree with him or not. In the decade plus since this was written, combined with losing Hitchens entirely and the continued attempts of certain ideologies to claim Orwell as their own, this book feels both dated (as it includes nothing of the last decade, nor would it be expected to) and current (given that Orwell's ideas and themes have carried for generations at this point).
Really, anyone with an interest in Orwell should give this a read based on that point alone. There's plenty to like here on a whole, even if the sum of its parts might feel lacking from time to time.
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