Category Archives: George Orwell

Koestler, Arthur: “Darkness At Noon”

Although he never specifies exactly where he is writing about, there is no doubt that Koestler is describing the Stalinist purges in 1930s Russia during what he refers to as the “diseased century” when “the individual was nothing, the Party … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Taylor, A.J.P. “The Origins Of The Second World War”

That rare book that makes you reconsider conventional wisdom. From the off, Taylor dispels commonly accepted wisdom such as the fact that the Nazis deliberately started the Reichstag fire. Taylor doesn’t dismiss that it as a possibility but says that … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Conradi, Peter: “Who Lost Russia? How The World Entered A New Cold War”

Why did Russia not democratise after the fall of communism? Peter Conradi puts forward one reason: that Russia lacked the democratic consensus that was a feature of other Eastern European countries that made the transition. Another factor was a lack … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Nafisi, Azar: “Reading Lolita In Tehran”

Academic and literary critic Azar Nafisi describes the impact that the 1979 Iranian Revolution had on her life in Reading Lolita In Tehran. Before the revolution, Nafisi was comparatively free to read and teach whatever books she chose. This ended when the revolutionaries took … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment

The Importance Of Irish Neutrality

Imagine, for a moment, every sovereign nation-state implementing a neutral foreign policy akin to the one we have in Ireland. The world would undoubtedly be a more peaceful place. The drawback is that respecting sovereignty without restriction enables governments to … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Huxley, Alduos: “Brave New World”

Got a gramme of soma? You do? Excellent. Well, strap in and fade out. Scottish techno wizards Slam were so taken with the designer drug in Brave New World that they named their illustrious label after it.  In a letter … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Orwell, George:  “Notes On Nationalism”

Is Orwell a better essayist than novelist? When you consider just how seminal and outstanding Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four are, it would seem a near impossible case to prove.  Yet Notes On Nationalism does just that. It is an … Continue reading

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , | Leave a comment