George Orwell: Diaries

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Product Details

Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
6.5 X 1.7 X 9.4 inches | 2.2 pounds
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About the Author

GEORGE ORWELL (1903-1950) was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels, including 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.

Peter Davison edited the twenty volumes of Orwell's Complete Works (with Ian Angus and Sheila Davison).
Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) is the author of God Is Not Great, Hitch-22, and Why Orwell Matters.


A window into the way Orwell's mind worked.--Barry Gewen
...[T]he diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.--Craig Seligman
Edited with exemplary skill and grace by Peter Davison.--William H. Gass
Starred review. [A] lushly annotated edition of Orwell's diaries from 1931 to 1949.... Born Eric Arthur Blair, Orwell, as these diaries reveal, lived a varied and even dichotomized life. ...Editor Davison (English/De Montfort Univ.) supplies necessary contextual information and footnotes generously, but stays in the shadows and allows us to truly enjoy Orwell's impressive chronicles.
Read with care, George Orwell's diaries, from the years 1931 to 1949, can greatly enrich our understanding of how Orwell transmuted the raw material of everyday experience into some of his best-known novels and polemics. They furnish us with a more intimate picture of a man who, committed to the struggles of the mechanized and "modern" world, was also drawn by the rhythms of the wild, the rural, and the remote.--Christopher Hitchens
One cannot help but be struck by the degree to which [Orwell] became, in Henry James's words, one of those upon whom nothing was lost. By declining to lie, even as far as possible to himself, and by his determination to seek elusive but verifiable truth, he showed how much can be accomplished by an individual who unites the qualities of intellectual honesty and moral courage.--Christopher Hitchens, from the Introduction of Diaries
Orwell's achievement grew out of seemingly modest virtues: decency; good, hard sense; and clean, clear prose. Yet they added up to something monumental... The diaries as a whole do exactly what you would expect: They confirm his greatness.--Craig Seligman
Reading these diaries leaves one, as always when encountering the words of George Orwell, with a confirmed admiration for the sterling qualities that have made him a benchmark for integrity and a lodestar for writers and thinkers across the ideological spectrum. Embedded in the DNA of his writing is that austere, penetrating analytical ability, averse to cant or any form of hypocrisy and pretension, unsparing of everything and everyone--especially himself. He simply can't help being that way: Once pen is put to paper, or fingers to typewriter, those qualities appear, second nature to his writing, even the most casual.--Martin Rubin
We should celebrate the publication of Orwell's diaries. The publication of personal texts by other authors might smack of cheap opportunism, purely a money-making ploy. But I think publishers got it right with Orwell.--Scott Beauchamp