ANIMAL FARM could have been published much sooner but no one in Britain or America would touch it because it was too obviously an allegory of Communism in Russia. Their excuse for not publishing it during the war was that it would offend the Soviet Union, an ally. But even AFTER the war, when Russia once again became the enemy, the powers-that-be were STILL protecting Stalin's evil deeds from being exposed. ANIMAL FARM was finally published in August 1945 - eighteen months after Orwell finished writing it. Tragically his wife Eileen died five months before publication and wasn't alive to share the joy of the book's success. She had encouraged Orwell greatly in the writing of it.

The following excerpt from a recent biography by Jeffrey Meyers, Orwell: Wintry Conscience Of A Generation, describes the problems Orwell had in getting ANIMAL FARM published in America, and then the scathing reaction he received from the Communist press four years later when NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR was published. And the only reason the Capitalists published it (as they too were villified) was because they couldn't resist the money they knew it would make. ~ Jackie Jura

"...According to Peter Viereck, writing in 1952 (in a journal edited by Henry Kissinger) there was a Communist conspiracy to prevent publication: 'Some 18 to 20 publishers, almost all the leading ones, turned down the best anti-Soviet satire of our time. In view of its wit, its readability, its saleability, and its democratic outlook, the most likely motive for these rejections is the brilliantly successfull infiltration of Stalinoid sympathizers in the book world'... The fable was finally brought out by Harcourt & Brace after their editor Frank Morley saw its great success in London and immediately bought the rights..."

Now skip down the road to NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR: ~ JJ

"...NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR was published during the Cold War on June 8, 1949, and created bitter poltical controversy ...Communist reviewers violently attacked the book. In Pravda I. Anisimov insisted that the novel showed Orwell's 'contempt for the people, his aim of slandering man.' Samuel Sillen, writing in the American Masses and Mainstream called his review 'Maggot-of-the-Month' and condemned the novel as 'cynical rot...a diatribe against the human race.' James Walsh, in the Marxist Quarterly, also condemned Orwell's 'neurotic...and depressing hatred of everything approaching progress.' All three claimed that since Orwell criticized Communism he must be in favor of Capitalism, and since he depicted the degradation of man he must despise the common people. These attacks made Orwell feel that he must have struck home. When the Communist press called him maggot, octopus, hyena and swine, he wryly told David Astor: 'they seem to be very fond of animals.'

Both the novelist Lawrence Durrell and the Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz (a future Nobel Prize-winner) praised Orwell's portrayal of Communist oppression. Soon after the novel appeared, Durrell, working for the British Council in Belgrade, wrote to say 'how much I admire your new novel. It is intellectually the bravest and cruellest book you've done. Reading it in a Communist country is really an experience because one can see it all around one - the ever-present fact which no left-wingers of my acquaintance will dare to look in the eye.' Milosz, in The Captive Mind, an important study of the disastrous effects of Communism on artists and intellectuals, observed that becasue Nineteen Eighty-Four 'is both difficult to obtain and dangerous to possess, it is known only to certain members of the Inner Party. Orwell fascinates them through his insight into details they know well....Even those who know Orwell only by hearsay are amazed that a writer who never lived in Russia should have so keen a perception into its life.'

In March 1949 Orwell refused the Book-of-the-Month Club's offer to publish the novel if he would take out several chapters (including Goldstein's tract and the Appendix on Newspeak) and cut it by about a quarter. He risked losing about $40,000 -- an enormous amount of money. But in April he told Richard Rees that the 'Club have selected my novel after all, in spite of my refusing to make the changes they demanded. So that shows that virtue is its own reward or honesty is the best policy, I forget which.'

The first English printing of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR was 26,000; the first American 20,000 plus 540,000 in the first two printings of the book club. The book sold, and continues to sell, phenomenally well. By the year 1984 the British Penquin edition was still selling 750,000 copies a year and the USA paperback 1,000 copies a day. Five years later, ANIMAL FARM and NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR together had sold 40 million copies in more than sixty languages, and Orwell had become the most popular English writer of our time. Orwell never owned a house or a decent car, and it was not until the last years of his life that he earned substantially more than the $1,000-pounds a year he considered to be a comfortable income. After the spectacular success of his last novel, the enemy of capitalism had to hire an accountant and turn himself into a limited company.

The continued popularity of the novel has made it part of an enduring English-speaking culture. Orwell described Kipling as 'the only English writer of our time who has added phrases to the language.' The same is now true of Orwell. In NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR alone he invented the vivid phrases, "Big Brother Is Watching You,' 'two minutes hate,' 'thought police,' 'thoughtcrime,' 'facecrime,' 'doublethink,' 'memory hole,' 'vaporized,' and 'unperson'. These words uncanningly expressed the ideas and feelings of people living in totalitarian societies.

Another reason for the novel's great influence was Orwell's amazingly accurate predictions. As former colonies have given way to corrupt oligarchies and dictatorships, and the Communist economies of the last half-century have failed, crumbling infrastructure and acute shortages of essential goods have become a reality for millions of people. Many repressive regimes confine dissidents to mental hospitals and 'disappear' people who oppose them. Orwell was also acutely prophetic (in the novel and elsewhere) about many crucial problems of the postwar world: the breakdown of the family, the legions of homeless people, environmental pollution, deforestation, addictive drugs, fanaticism and violence in international sporting events (the new focus of nationalism), the decay of language, proliferation of atomic weapons and the permanent state of war between the superpowers, who provoke a great number of minor conflicts but never actually fight each other. Orwell's novel warned millions of people about the dangers of Communism and helped prevent the realization of the totalitarian world that he described." ~ quoting from Orwell: Wintry Conscience Of A Generation, by Jeffrey Meyers

1984 published 60 years ago today (June 8, 1949 - 2009) & Winston's Diary (To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free - greetings!). Go to ORWELL'S PUBLISHING PROBLEMS (Communist reviewers violently attacked the book; called him maggot, octopus, hyena & swine; Capitalist press wanted Goldstein part removed). Go to GOLDSTEIN CONSPIRACY IN 1984 & JFK OPPOSED MONOLITHIC CONSPIRACY & 35.Big Brother's Brotherhood

Physicist helped build first Atomic-bomb (admitted involved in Communist Party). Telegraph, Apr 29, 2005. Go to 13.Weapons & 6.Superstates & 35.Brotherhood & ATOMIC-BOMB SCIENTIST COMMUNIST

ORWELL INTERVIEWS JONATHAN SWIFT (imaginary interview broadcast over BBC in November 1942)


Reader asks about Orwell's film rights. Nov 10, 2004. Go to ORWELL A WRITER WRONGED & ANIMAL FARM A BAD MOVIE


COZY DAYS IN STALIN'S KREMLIN (moral depravity of elite men & women who enthusiastically inflicted horrors). Go to 10.The Rulers & 22.Doublethink

New York Times spun Stalin's lies (Moscow correspondent lived good life while over 20 million in USSR starved & died as slaves in Gulag). National Post, Nov 26, 2003. Go to 16.Minitrue & 17.Falsification of Past & WARTIME MINISTRY OF INFORMATION

SPYING FOR STALIN WAS BAD (but Whittaker Chambers was villified for exposing communist Hiss). National Post, Jul 4, 2003. Go to 35.The Brotherhood & COMMUNISTS COINED MCCARTHYISM & ORWELL'S CRYPTO-COMMIE LIST

GULAG'S HAUNTING LEGACY (18 million tortured & starved; hell for women & children). National Post, Jun 15, 2003. Go to 7.Systems of Thought

PACIFIC MISSILE UN-CRISIS (as opposed to Cuban Missile Crisis)

STALIN'S LIAR IN NEW YORK (got Pultzer Prize for denying Soviet starvation & gulags). CalgarySun, May 20, 2003. Go to 17.Falsification of Past


COMMUNIST CRIMES EXPOSED (new books being published, legal action being taken)


STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD II (another review of Martin Amis book)

STALIN: KOBA THE DREAD I (review of Martin Amis book)

ORWELL'S UTOPIA (describes what Orwell understood to be "Democratic Socialism")

Go to 16. Ministry of Truth


Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
website: www.orwelltoday.com