1984 by George Orwell Review and Book Notes

1984 by George Orwell

1984 is one of the most Influential Books of the 20th Century. A warning to the human race in which a society founded on hatred is created.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.

Introduction

1984 was written mostly during 1948 by George Orwell set in a future in which a totalitarian state completely controls the lives of its subjects. The book went on the become a kind of touchstone with which to criticise totalitarian ideas on both right and left.

It’s immense influence is easy to show by reference to the number of terms it coins which have come into common use in the English language;

  • Big Brother
  • Thought Police
  • Room 101
  • Newspeak
  • Doublethink
  • thoughtcrime

Orwell probably is responsible for the the term Cold War so he is a keen observer of post war politics and in many ways predicted the shape of the second half of the 20th century he is an important figure and the book 1984 is a key reason for this.

Read more

Ways of Seeing by John Berger Book Notes and Review

Adapted in 1972 from a TV series this book revolutionised visual criticism and remains in print today some fifty years after it was written. It challenged conventional art criticism in a startlingly bold way and changed art criticism forever. Although it deals mostly with painting and photography some of the cultural criticism is I believe relevant to Architecture. It’s key arguments seem ever more urgent in the image hunger age of the internet. I think anyone interested in Architecture or Design or even mass media should read this book. Below is a summary and set of book notes with short review.

Read more