George Orwell’s 1984 novel about a dystopian future under an authoritarian regime, is back as a best-seller and being reprinted decades after it was written as readers grapple with the Trump administration’s defense of “alternative facts.”
The book, first published in 1949, features a devious “Big Brother” government that spies on its citizens and forces them into “doublethink,” or simultaneously accepting contradictory versions of the truth.
Sales spiked after a senior White House official, Kellyanne Conway, used the term “alternative facts” on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday during a discussion about the size of the crowd at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Some commentators denounced her expression as “Orwellian.” By Monday, the novel by the late British author had hit Amazon’s list of top 10 best-sellers, which is updated hourly. On Wednesday, it was No.1.
Responding to the renewed interest, its publisher ordered a 75,000-copy reprint this week, Signet Classics said in a statement. That’s more than normally would be reprinted, a company spokesman told CNN late Tuesday.
The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has vowed to “resist” the president’s policies on immigration and other issues, said on Twitter it had picked 1984 for its book club participants to read this month.
Conway was responding to accusations that the Trump administration was fixated on the size of his inauguration crowds, saying: “We feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there.”
Amid widespread criticism of the expression, even Merriam-Webster chimed in to challenge Trump’s former campaign manager. “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality,” the dictionary publisher tweeted.