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.
"In addition to furthering the dialog about the continued importance of Orwell's novel, this new collection shows how Nineteen Eighty-Four has renewed significance in a post-9/11 world."--Janine Utell, College Literature
A very strong and attractive work, On Nineteen Eighty-Four is a fresh and frontal confrontation of the question of whether Orwell had it right about technology and totalitarianism--or whether the usual clichés and stereotypes about the Orwellian view are right. The result is a very engaging body of thought."--Robert Weisberg, Stanford Law School
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Martha C. Nussbaum: