July 8, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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1984 is one of the most famous of all dystopian novels. Written in response to Orwell's concerns about what he saw as a disturbing trend toward totalitarianism enabled by the cults of personality that had grown around leaders like Stalin and Hitler, the novel's cultural impact cannot be overstated. The very phrase 1984 immediately conjures images of extreme political power, intense government surveillance and official obfuscation of reality. Words like doublethink, Big Brother and memory hole leapt from these pages and into the common vernacular. It should offer plenty of material for a fascinating discussion.
As a bonus read, we'll also be discussing The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. While written nearly 100 years prior to Orwell's novel, it may give some context to the political climate of the time. If not, it will certainly add an interesting wrinkle to the converstation.