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, Politics, Biography, Writing, Books About Books, Literature, Philosophy

Reviews The Ministry of Truth

  • Nancy
    In January 2017, Sarah Huckabee Sanders 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 Sanders 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 catchphr...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 book could exert the same power over generations to come.Readers of the...
  • 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,...
  • 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...
  • Billhotto
    Lynskey describes the influences that led Orwell to spend the last few years of his life writing the classic dystopian novel. (Dystopian was coined after 1984 was published in 1949. So was Orwellian.) Orwell saw his book as a dissection of the techniques of totalitarianism and a warning of what could happen following the devastation of WW II. It was a prediction of what would happen,rather like in A Christmas Carol by one of Orwell's favorite aut...
  • Kristine
    The Ministry of Truth by Dorian Lynskey is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June.1984 as a standby standard when reality becomes distorted by current events with its terms and phrases entering the common lexicon and people rediscovering its relevance all the time. This book, on the other hand, mainly wants to look at Orwell’s backstory before and while he wrote it, as well as go further into 1984 inspiring works of media & politik wh...
  • Forest Ormes
    Dorian Lynskey’s, The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell’s 1984, while covering aspects of George Orwell’s (Eric Blair) life, documents the influences of utopian and dystopian literature upon Orwell in his creation of 1984. Influences include the more obvious, Looking Backward (1888) by Edward Bellamy, Huxley’s, Brave New World (1932), but also Zamyatin’s, We (1924). Orwell’s volunteer fighting with POUM, during the Spani...
  • Christopher
    This "biography" is split into two parts. The first is a bio of George Orwell and a history of the times that lead to the creation of Nineteen Eighty-Four. The author is an excellent storyteller and this part was quite engaging. Those interested in world history/intellectual history from WWI to the decade following WWII will enjoy this. The one area I would have liked to see more coverage was Orwell's Animal Farm. It was in the book, but as it wa...
  • 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...
  • Jake M.
    This is a biography of the most durable work of literature put to paper. Lynskey divides the book into parts: part one has a focus on Orwell himself and those who influenced his writings, while part two focuses on the impact 1984 had on post-war political discourse. Lynskey successfully shows how 1984 criticized totalitarianism outright, rather than railing against the right or left specifically. The themes of constant warfare, contorted truths a...
  • 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...
  • 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 D.
    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...
  • Neanderthal
    1984 had me when “the clocks were striking thirteen.” The Ministry of Truth: the Biography of George Orwell’s 1984 added even more to my appreciation of the book by looking at it from all possible angles: “alternative facts,” influences from Orwell’s life, including fighting in the Spanish Civil War, working for the BBC during World War II, earlier and later utopias and dystopias, his other writings and the ongoing legacy of the novel...
  • Jeri
    A good book, and definitely worth reading. For me, it just got bogged down in the minutiae of the many dystopian precursors and imitators. Lynskey's best moments come when he shows why most of misread (to some extent) this complex text, and in describing its appropriation for political purposes across the left/right spectrum.
  • 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.
  • Craig Barner
    3.5 starsReview to follow.
  • Jo Coley
    "Orwell understood the difference between 'what the public is interested in' and 'the public interest',".Great gift from Mr Coley.
  • Scott
    comprehensive insight into both the man and the book