On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future

On Nineteen Eighty-Four: Orwell and Our Future

By: Martha C. Nussbaum (editor), Jack L. Goldsmith (editor), Prof. Abbott Gleason (editor)Paperback

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George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is among the most widely read books in the world. For more than 50 years, it has been regarded as a morality tale for the possible future of modern society, a future involving nothing less than extinction of humanity itself. Does Nineteen Eighty-Four remain relevant in our new century? The editors of this book assembled a distinguished group of philosophers, literary specialists, political commentators, historians, and lawyers and asked them to take a wide-ranging and uninhibited look at that question. The editors deliberately avoided Orwell scholars in an effort to call forth a fresh and diverse range of responses to the major work of one of the most durable literary figures among twentieth-century English writers. As Nineteen Eighty-Four protagonist Winston Smith has admirers on the right, in the center, and on the left, the contributors similarly represent a wide range of political, literary, and moral viewpoints. The Cold War that has so often been linked to Orwell's novel ended with more of a whimper than a bang, but most of the issues of concern to him remain alive in some form today: censorship, scientific surveillance, power worship, the autonomy of art, the meaning of democracy, relations between men and women, and many others. The contributors bring a variety of insightful and contemporary perspectives to bear on these questions.

About Author

Abbott Gleason is Barnaby Conrad & Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History at Brown University. He is the author of "Totalitarianism: The Inner History of the Cold War". Jack Goldsmith is Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is the author, with Eric Posner, of "The Limits of International Law". Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Her books include "Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions" (Cambridge) and "Hiding from Humanity" (Princeton).


Dedicatory Foreword by Barbara S. Kirschner, M.D. ix Acknowledgments xiii Introduction by Abbott Gleason and Martha C. Nussbaum 1 PART I: POLITICS AND THE LITERARY IMAGINATION 11 A Defense of Poesy (The Treatise of Julia) by Elaine Scarry 13 Doublespeak and the Minority of One by Homi K. Bhabha 29 Of Beasts and Men: Orwell on Beastliness by Margaret Drabble 38 Does Literature Work as Social Science? by The Case of George Orwell by Richard A. Epstein 49 PART II: TRUTH, OBJECTIVITY, AND PROPAGANDA 71 Puritanism and Power Politics during the Cold War: George Orwell and Historical Objectivity by Abbott Gleason 73 Rorty and Orwell on Truth by James Conant 86 From Ingsoc and Newspeak to Amcap, Amerigood, and Marketspeak by Edward S. Herman 112 PART III: POLITICAL COERCION 125 Mind Control in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Fictional Concepts Become Operational Realities in Jim Jones's Jungle Experiment by Philip G. Zimbardo 127 Whom Do You Trust? What Do You Count On? by Darius Rejali 155 PART IV: TECHNOLOGY AND PRIVACY 181 Orwell versus Huxley: Economics, Technology, Privacy, and Satire by Richard A. Posner 183 On the Internet and the Benign Invasions of Nineteen Eighty-Four by Lawrence Lessig 212 The Self-Preventing Prophecy; or, How a Dose of Nightmare Can Help Tame Tomorrow's Perils by David Brin 222 PART V: SEX AND POLITICS 231 Sexual Freedom and Political Freedom by Cass R. Sunstein 233 Sex, Law, Power, and Community by Robin West 242 Nineteen Eighty-Four, Catholicism, and the Meaning of Human Sexuality by John Haldane 261 CONCLUSION 277 The Death of Pity: Orwell and American Political Life by Martha C. Nussbaum 279 Contributors 301 Index 305

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691113616
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 328
  • ID: 9780691113616
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 0691113610
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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