Dear Commons Community,
George Orwell’s book “1984,” published originally in 1949, about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed under a totalitarian regime, has seen a surge in sales this month, rising to the top of the Amazon best-seller list in the United States and leading its publisher to have tens of thousands of new copies printed. As reported by the New York Times:
“Craig Burke, the publicity director at Penguin USA, said that the publisher had ordered 75,000 new copies of the book this week and that it was considering another reprint.
“We’ve seen a big bump in sales,” Mr. Burke said. He added that the rise “started over the weekend and hit hyperactive” on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Since Friday, the book has reached a 9,500 percent increase in sales, he said.
He said demand began to lift on Sunday, shortly after the interview Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Donald J. Trump, gave on “Meet the Press.”
In defending a false claim by the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, that Mr. Trump had attracted the “largest audience ever to witness an inauguration,” Ms. Conway used a turn of phrase that struck some observers as similar to the dystopian world of “1984.”
When asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” why Mr. Spicer had said something that was provably false, Ms. Conway replied airily, “Don’t be so dramatic.”
Mr. Spicer, she said, “gave alternative facts.”
In the novel, the term “newspeak” refers to language in which independent thought, or “unorthodox” political ideas, have been eliminated. “Doublethink” is defined as “reality control.”
“1984” was required reading during my high school days. Glad to see it regain its popularity and for the right reasons.