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Recommended Books: Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

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Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell
Orlando. Florida: Harcourt Brace and Company, 1949

Anthony M. KennedyRecommended by:
Anthony M. Kennedy

Nineteen Eighty-Four has one of the brilliant scenes in literature. The protagonist is being tortured by his communist or totalitarian interrogators, and they want him to say that "Two and two is five." And finally he can't stand the torture anymore, he says, "Okay, two and two is five." But the torture continues. He said, "Why are you continuing?" They say, "The torture continues not until you just say it, but until you believe it." And this is a powerful reminder that governments want to plan your destiny. They want to plan what you think, and this must never happen. And so Nineteen Eighty-Four is a book of tremendous importance, I think, in that regard.

About the Book

The classic vision of a totalitarian nightmare. Written at the onset of the Cold War, Orwell’s novel introduced a new vocabulary of ominous phrases, such as "memory hole," "doublethink" and "Big Brother is watching you."