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.
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
Romila Thappar is Emeritus Professor of History at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been General President of the Indian History Congress. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and holds honorary doctorates from Universities of Calcutta, Oxford and Chicago, among others. She is an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and SOAS, London. In 2008 she was awarded the prestigious Kluge Prize of the Library of Congress, USA.
Sherry Rehman is the Founding Chair and serving President of the Jinnah Institute and the Vice-President of Pakistan People’s Party. She is a fourth-term parliamentarian, diplomat, journalist and civil society activist who has received Pakistan’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-lmtiaz. Rehman has served as the Leader of Opposition in Senate, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States and Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting. She has received several awards including the title of Democracy’s Hero; The Freedom Award for her work for media independence; the International Peace Award for Democrats; and the Jeanne Kirkpatrick Award for Women. Identified as one of the Top Global Thinkers of 2011 by Foreign Policy magazine, she was cover-titled by Newsweek Pakistan as “Pakistan’s Most Important Woman”.
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.