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Orwell's "1984" One of the Bestsellers in Russia in 2015

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Under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, some have accused Russia of slipping back toward totalitarianism.

Which is why some news outlets see significance in the fact that George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel 1984 was one of the bestselling books in Russia this past year.  

Paul Gobel at the blog Window on Eurasia writes,

“Russians purchased more copies of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, ‘1984,’ in 2015 than all but a handful of other books. Some may have bought it because of its warnings about what happens when big media trumps everything else; others in contrast may have seen it as a road map for their future under Vladimir Putin.”

And here is Breitbart on the matter:

“That the Russians have turned to Orwell is quite telling. They know totalitarianism when they see it.”

Interesting. However, Americans are by no means immune from the same hasty conclusion, as 1984 also remains one of the bestsellers in the literature category on Amazon.

Based on bestseller lists, Americans may also want to take into account Aldous Huxley’s warning in his dystopian novel Brave New World: that “non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation.”

I notice that 5 of the current top 10 bestsellers on Amazon are adult coloring books… 

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[Image Credit: Flickr-Martin Pettitt, CC BY 2.0]

Daniel Lattier

Daniel Lattier

Senior Fellow

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