Readersforum's Blog

June 12, 2013

George Orwell back in fashion as Prism stokes paranoia about Big Brother

1984-Nineteen-Eighty-FourNineteen Eighty-Four depicts a society in which liberty was impossible – so how should we respond to this new threat?

By Stephen Moss

The NSA Prism surveillance scandal has been good news for George Orwell, and in particular for his dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was originally published in 1949. Sales of the centennial edition have risen by more than 7,000% on Amazon.com . Having been languishing at 13,074 in the list, it is now up to 193 and rising.

It may not rival Caroline Barnett’s Willing to Walk on Water: Step Out in Faith and Let God Work Miracles through Your Life, which has miraculously surged from 144th to first in the past 24 hours with a 267,000% rise, but clearly many people are finding parallels between the US government’s willingness to snoop on Joe Public’s emails and phone calls and Orwell’s vision of a future in which Big Brother is everywhere.

“Orwellian” is the word on everyone’s lips.

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