Great Books for Our Times: "1984" and Others

1984 by George Orwell
1984: Fifteen Ways George Orwell Was Right

About six years ago,  I was participating in protests in Chicago and I saw a man holding up a sign that said "Orwell Was Right." Actually, what I saw was a picture of  a man holding up a sign that said "Orwell Was Right" while being videotaped by a policeman.

It made me realize it was time to go back to Orwell's classic -- 1984 -- and hone my social and political analysis.

The result was a series of blog posts: 1984: Fifteen Ways George Orwell Was Right.

The blog posts that people have read most have less to do with things that the state does than with what we, as individuals, need to do to transcend the forces of the state:

1. "Ownlife" - A Notion Too Dangerous for the State to Tolerate?

2. Facecrime in America

Here are links to the rest of my blog posts about George Orwell's novel, 1984:

3. If You're Not Looking Over Your Shoulder Yet, You're Not Paying Attention

4. Making People Think of Themselves As "Already Dead"

5. "Antique," "Literary," and "Natural" Will Soon Be Subversive Terms in America

6. Your Ear Remembers What It Is To Be Free

7. Big Brother: Not the Watcher, But the Reason We Allow Ourselves to be Watched

8. When the President says, "The American people don't have a Big Brother who is snooping into their business," it probably means the American people have a Big Brother who is snooping into their business . . . .

9. Fed Up With Being Spied On

10. Hate As Tool of State in "1984" … and Post-9/11 America

11. Dirty Wars and Extrajudicial Execution (So 1984!)

12. Don't Let Free Assembly Become "Inconceivably Dangerous"

13. Hoping Against Hope (Resistance in America)

More Great Books for Activists

I first got turned on to the potential of books to help change the world -- in radical, immediate ways -- when I read about Harriet Beecher Stowe and the impact of Uncle Tom's Cabin on the movement to abolish slavery in the United States.

From there, I've found a wealth of material to inform political activism in book after book:

Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game: Stop Playing "Ender's Game" With Chicago's Young People

....................................................: "Ender's Game" and the Militarization of Youth: Can We Talk About This?

Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games: War Resistance: Is "The Hunger Games" Laying the Foundation That We Want?

......................................: "May the odds be ever in your favor!" ("Live in fear . . . . ")

......................................: Hunger Games II: What does it take for coal to catch fire?

William Golding, Lord of the Flies: "I didn't vote for no ghosts!"

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet On the Western Front: Back to School (All Quiet On the Western Front)

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein: "Frankenstein" -- Did Mary Shelley Predict Nuclear Weapons?

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