George Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (London: Penguin Books, 2008), 95pp
Animal Farm is a flawless political fable about how the ideals of political revolution are corrupted and manipulated by greedy individuals. The historical inspirations for this allegorical tale will be obvious for anyone with any knowledge of politics or contemporary history, but this is not a dull political screed. Indeed, reading Animal Farm a few months after Nineteen Eighty-Four, I continue to be amazed at how Orwell can write so simply and yet so astutely; this book will be understood by anyone, regardless of age or intelligence or political appetite. And it is this which is the real legacy of Orwell; that by writing novels such as this and the later Nineteen Eighty-Four, he informs (whilst still entertaining) the public of the dangers posed by orthodoxy, authoritarianism and unquestioning obedience. In doing so in such an accessible way, he reduces (but does not eliminate) the possibility that we will be deceived by such power-hungry cliques, as he has armed us with the knowledge of how power can be abused if it remains unchallenged. A book of unparalleled importance that should be read by any conscientious citizen and, at less than 100 pages and with easy readability, there is no reason why you should not pick it up right now.