'To read a speech by a contemporary politician, an article in a broadsheet newspaper or a communication from a government department is to be plunged straightaway into a landscape where the euphemisms, wool-pulling and downright duplicity that Orwell complained about back in 1946 are all going strong.'
– D.J. Taylor
George Orwell’s essay examines the power of language to shape political ideas. It is about the importance of writing concisely, clearly and precisely and the dangers to our ability to think when language, especially political language, is obscured by vague, clichéd phrases and hackneyed metaphors. In it, he argues that when political discourse trades clarity and precision for stock phrases, the debasement of politics follows.
First published in Horizon in 1946, Orwell’s essay was soon recognised as an important text, circulated by newspaper editors to their journalists and reprinted in magazines and anthologies of contemporary writing. It continues to be relevant to our own age.
George Orwell (1903-1950) was a British novelist, journalist and critic, best known for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. D.J. Taylor is an award-winning novelist and critic.
- 64 pages, 184 x 114 mm
- 1 black & white photograph
- ISBN: 9781851246021
- Publication September 2022