One of Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels and the most famous of all twentieth-century political allegories, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story by George Orwell is a wise, compassionate and illuminating fable that remains the ultimate satire on the dark side of modern history.
The animals at Manor Farm have had enough of Farmer Jones. He’s drunk, reckless and cares little for their welfare. When the boar, Old Major, shares his revolutionary plans, the animals are convinced they can thrive on their own once the despot Jones is overthrown. The barnyard animals revolt against their vicious human master only to submit to a tyranny created by their own kind. For as the pigs vie for power, they begin to bear an uncanny resemblance to the tyrants they have overthrown.
A seminal anti-totalitarianism satire once considered so controversial it was rejected by several publishers, Animal Farm became an instant success upon its first publication in 1945, following the Second World War. The novel has continued to captivate readers of all ages, and has secured Orwell’s position as one of the greatest writers of all-time.
Orwell’s original title for his novel was Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, and it was first published as such by Secker and Warburg in London, England on August 17, 1945. U.S. publishers subsequently dropped Orwell’s subtitle when publishing the novel in 1946, and only one of the translations during Orwell’s lifetime kept it.
In a 1946 letter from George Orwell to Dwight Macdonald, the author discusses his intent in writing Animal Farm. Orwell writes, “What I was trying to say was: You can’t have a revolution unless you make it for yourself; there is no such thing as benevolent dictatorship.”
A timeless, affecting story of revolutions, idealism, power and corruption, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story is Orwell’s most renowned work.
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