The Ministry of Truth by Dorian Lynskey

The Ministry of Truth

The author has written a study that places George Orwell's 1984 in a variety of contexts: the author's life and times, the book's precursors in the science fiction genre, and its subsequent place in popular culture. Lynskey delves into how Orwell's harrowing Spanish Civil War experiences shaped his concern with political disinformation by exposing him to the deceptiveness of people he'd once regarded as allies against fascism: the Soviets and the...

Details The Ministry of Truth

TitleThe Ministry of Truth
Release DateJun 4th, 2019
PublisherDoubleday Books
GenreNonfiction, History, Biography, Politics, Writing, Books About Books, Literature, Criticism, Literary Criticism

Reviews The Ministry of Truth

  • Nancy
    In January 2017, Sean Spicer claimed that the crowd gathered to see President Trump take the oath of office was the "largest audience to ever witness an inauguration." When accused of misrepresentation Kellyanne Conway said her statement was "alternative facts." Over the following four days, sales of George Orwell's novel 1984 rocketed to number one bestseller.Dorian Lynskey writes that more people know about 1984 than know 1984. It's catchphrase...
  • Mikey B.
    This is about the making and repercussions of the book 1984 (also known as Nineteen-Eighty-Four). It is divided in two sections: Orwell’s life and how he came to write 1984 – and the impact and durability of 1984 since its’ publication in 1949.Orwell died of complications from tuberculosis in 1950, he survived 1984’s release by only 227 days (page 186, my book). 1984 was a long work in the making and Orwell was scrupulous about editing hi...
  • Susan
    I love books about books and so this, the biography of George Orwell’s most famous novel, “1984,” was a must read for me. This is split into two main sections; the first dealing with Orwell’s writing of the novel and the second part looking at the impact of the book.If you are looking for a biography of George Orwell, this is not really the book for you. Although it covers part of his life, which mainly deals with the period where he was ...
  • Richard Luck
    I've a thousand and one things I'd like to say about The Ministry Of Truth. However, for the time being, I'll limit myself to this - if I had written this book, I think I would've died of pride.
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    1984 is huge these days of rising authoritarianism and surveillance states undreamt of in Orwell's work. How does this short novel written by a dying man on the island of Jura in 1948 become such a touchstone for 70 years following its publication? This book documents Orwell's life experience and reading sources that went into this timely work. From his experience of British working class that pulled him towards socialism and his experience in Sp...
  • Luke Gardiner
    Dorian Lynskey has written one of the greatest and most compelling biographies possible in this book, and it is not even about a person! However, the first part, with its emphasis on the life of George Orwell, is a brilliant biography in itself. Lynskey brilliantly brings the man to life, with all his foibles and character, in a way that perfectly helps the reader understand how 1984 became the masterpiece that it is. The latter section also does...
  • Peter Beck
    “The Ministry of Truth” provides a fascinating if at times all too brief look at one of the most important books ever written. “1984” made such an impression on me when I read it in 1984 as a teenager that I would later name my daughter after the female protagonist. 70 years after its publication, it remains as relevant as ever. The fact that it is both embraced and attacked by all points on the political spectrum speaks for itself, but i...
  • Ryan Denson
    Dorian Lynskey’s The Ministry of Truth brilliantly seeks to uncover what forces shaped the novel 1984, both in terms of Orwell’s personal experiences and larger cultural elements, as well as survey how the novel has remained so popular in the seven decades since its publication. The first part of the book could be described as a mixture of biography, history, and literary history. Lynskey does diligent work in piecing together the events and ...
  • Hannah
    4.5 stars, but rather dry - even as an audiobook. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it more in physical form where I could more readily trace/write down titles of all the books mentioned, or less because then paying attention would be even more taxing.George Orwell had a long and varied life filled with lived experiences, but Nineteen Eighty-Four is probably his masterpiece. This biography of the book i 4.5 stars, but rather dry - even as an...
  • Joe O'Donnell
    Can there be any novelist or journalist from the last century who has proved more enduringly influential than George Orwell? And has any single novel had anywhere the same influence as his dystopian masterpiece, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”? As Dorian Lynskey writes in “The Ministry of Truth”, his masterful biography of “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, it “remains the book we turn to when truth is mutilated, language is distorted, power is abused,...
  • Barbara M
    Excellent, excellent! I will try to review soon.
  • Jessica
    More like a 3.5 but goodreads sucks and won’t let me rate books PROPERLY.
  • Susan Paxton
    Dorian Lynskey has, I think, produced one of the most perceptive pieces of Orwell scholarship in some time, and frankly I rather hope that he eventually sits down to the task of writing a complete biography as his view of the man and his work is vividly three-dimensional in a way few of Orwell's biographers have achieved.Lynskey's book is, of course, a biography of Orwell's most famous work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, a book which has never lost its r...
  • Katie (wife of book)
    I don't recall where I heard about this book, but as soon as I heard about it, I had to read it. Luckily, my library had the audio book so I nabbed it! The narrator has a authoritative and deep voice and I think he did a good job of this book. He may have gone a little overboard with some of the accents and pronunciations but overall, it was a good reading.This is a really excellent book to read if you are a big fan of Nineteen-Eighty Four, like ...
  • Nigeyb
    Part George Orwell biography, part social history, combined with a thorough, and always fascinating, look at the myriad influences which informed Nineteen Eighty-Four, and George Orwell's progress as a writer and thinker. The second part on the book looks at Nineteen Eighty-Four's enduring appeal and how it has come to mean different things in different eras. This analysis goes right up to the present day with an exploration of Nineteen Eighty-Fo...
  • Jason Wilson
    Fascinating. This sparkling book is both a biography of the writing of 1984 and an analysis of its prescience and effects. There is good stuff on how fighting in the Spanish Civil war destroyed Orwell’s early infatuation with communism , and I loved the account of his prickly relationship with HG Wells, whose sci-fi dystopias were a huge influence. The second section, which deals with the book’s afterlife , is good too. During the Cold War th...
  • Michelle Kidwell
    The Ministry of TruthThe Biography of George Orwell's 1984by Dorian LynskeyDoubleday BooksDoubledayBiographies & Memoirs , Nonfiction (Adult)Pub Date 04 Jun 2019I am reviewing a copy of The Ministry of Truth through Doubleday and Netgalley:When George Orwell’s book 1984 was published in the United Kingdom on June 8 1949, a critic couldn’t help but wonder how such a timely b The Ministry of TruthThe Biography of George Orwell's 1984by Dorian...
  • Utsob Roy
    This is a book about a book. Not any random book, but the '1984' by George Orwell. Both of them are phenomenally famous, ambiguous, and misinterpreted.If one loses sight of Orwell's politics (he was a Democratic Socialist), his background, struggles, and disillusionment ('Homage to Catalonia' is what one needs), it is natural to think that it was a pro-capitalist book to undermine socialism.This book deals with this misconception and many others....
  • Christan
    Incredible book about my favorite book. Ok, 1984 is in a virtual tie with Les Miserables. All three, highly recommended.
  • Mat Davies
    A biography of a novel may not sound like the most immediate grab you by the lapels option so it’s testament to the quality of @Dorianlynskey’s writing that this book is utterly riveting. A biography in two parts: part one deals with the genesis of the novel, Orwell’s influences and his contemporaries and it hurtles along, the prose elegant and thoughtful, the insight telling and elegant. Part Two looks at the influence of the book in the d...
  • Marc Cooper
    An excellent read if you have an interest in the genesis of 1984. It is extensively referenced too. 4.5/5.0Part I (2/3 of the book) tells the story of Orwell's internal and external lives, going into some detail about the history of utopian and dystopian novels up to his time.Part II (1/3 of the book) discusses the novel's impact post-publication (and, more or less, Orwell's death).My only gripe is the absence of referring to JG Ballard in Part I...
  • Tony
    Thank you to Net Galley and Mr. Lynskey for the ARC. I didn't read it before it came out because I am a dummy. I feel like Mr. Lynskey just hit the right nerve at the right time. He also dug into my brain and sang a song to me that I wanted to hear. It could be that I think 1984 is the most important book of all time, so a book about that book is going to be excellent. It could be that I was going to like this no matter what, but I don't think th...
  • D.B. John
    An insightful and highly readable telling of the pre- and after-life the most influential novel ever written. Decades after his death Orwell’s reputation seems to tower ever taller, not only for his prophetic warnings, which, as the author shows, seem to renew their relevance to the particular neuroses of each passing decade, but for his unerring personal decency, fair-mindedness, and his rigorous pursuit of prejudice-free objective truth, in h...
  • Scott
    comprehensive insight into both the man and the book
  • JQAdams
    Lynskey here takes on a history of 1984. The first, larger, part of the book is primarily a biography of Orwell interspersed with chapters about the major literary influences on/precursors for the book, while the second part lays out the impact of the book on later culture. I didn't know much about any of this, except in the broadest strokes, so it was generally okay even though I don't care too much about comparisons of dystopias in early twenti...
  • Jacques Poitras
    I would give this six stars if I could. It's a brilliant history of an idea--Orwell's idea of totalitarianism. I can't recommend it enough: smart and engaging and absolutely essential for any engaged citizen.
  • Hashim Alsughayer
    A powerful take on the world of George Orwell with many historical facts that will give a yhe perfect sense of what Orwell's book did yo the world, and with the addition of both social and political point of views that will explain the reasons for basically each famous reference in 1984. Plus the writing is well paced and easy to follow, which helped a lot.A well researched book, in my opinion, is a book that will make you think about each idea i...
  • James
    I devoured this wonderful book in two sittings. As a huge lover of Orwell’s novels - particularly Nineteen Eighty-Four - I was thrilled to find it nestled next to Orwell’s books in Barnes & Noble. I swiped it from the shelf, ran to the cash register and put it straight at the top of my To-Read pile. What a fascinating exploration of Orwell’s life, Utopia and Dystopia as literary genres, the politics of both Britain and the rest of the world...