George Orwell (June 25, 1903 to January 1, 1950), born Eric Arthur Blair, was a novelist, essayist and critic best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Born to British civil servant, Orwell spent his infancy days in India and came to England with his mother when he was one year old. Like many other boys in England, Orwell was sent to boarding school. In 1911 he went to St. Cyprian’s in Eastbourne, where he got his first taste of England’s class system. On a partial scholarship, Orwell noticed that the school treated the richer students better than the poorer ones. He wasn’t very popular with his peers, and in books he found solace from his difficult situation. He read works by Rudyard Kipling and H.G. Wells, among others. Due to impoverishment, he had to discontinue formal education. Instead he joined the India Imperial Police Force in 1922. After five years in Burma, Orwell resigned his post and returned to England. He was intent on making it as a writer.
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A wake-up fable that chronicles the events of Russian Revolution, Animal Farm is larger than its text, stronger than its strongest character and as brutal in its depiction as the regime it allegorizes. Coming from the pen of the ultimate whistle-blower, George Orwell, it counters the spurious impression that revolutions bring improvement. The sly sloganeering of the pigs against their oppressive owner begins with the truth that ‘all animals are equal’ and ends in the post-truth rhetoric that ‘some animals are more equal than others’, testifying that Animal Farm has all the trappings of an eye-opening political treatise that transcends the space-time continuum in its relevance.
Publisher: Folio Books
Division: Folio Classics
Publishing date: June 2018
Edna Fernandes was born in Nairobi to parents of Goan origin and grew up in London, where she lives. She was special correspondent for Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper, foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and political correspondent for Reuters. Her first book, Holy Warriors: A Journey into the Heart of Indian Fundamentalism, was a finalist for UK’s 2008 Index on Censorship Award and was nominated for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Best Book Award. Her second book, The Last Jews of Kerala, was shortlisted for the 2009 Crossword Book Award and was a Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year.
Karl Marx, a communist revolutionary, sociologist, historian, and economist was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier, Rhine province, Prussia. Also inspired by Hegel, Marx gave the philosophy of ‘Historical Materialism’, according to which, a person should view history dialectically, viewing the changes in material conditions as the means of influence on the society. In ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England’, ‘Communist Manifesto’ and ‘Das Kapital’, his views against capitalism found clear expression. Published in collaboration with his colleague Friedrich Engels, Marx differentiated communism from numerous other socialist movements in these books. He presented the struggle of the working class under the rule of the bourgeoisie and gave ideas for social reorganization and unification of the proletariat against capitalists. His strong views and ideas inspired communism and socialism, the two revolutionary theories which deeply affected the world socially, economically and politically. He died on March 14, 1883, in London, England.
Abdelilah Bouasria is a visiting professor of Arabic studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. He worked for three years as a journalist at Voice of America in Washington DC and one year as an Arabic teacher and a Spanish test developer at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
Afia S. Zia is a feminist researcher with a doctoral degree in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She is the author of Sex Crime in the Islamic Context (1994, ASR) and has contributed essays to several edited volumes including, Contesting Feminism: Gender and Islam in Asia and Voicing Demands.