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George Orwell & Peter Stansky: Then and Now

Event Sponsor
Department of History, Stanford Libraries
Green Library, Bender Room
459 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305

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The in-person event is at capacity.

This event will feature a discussion of Peter Stansky's The Socialist Patriot: George Orwell and War (Stanford University Press, 2023), with remarks from John Rodden and Peter Stansky.

By carefully combing through Orwell's published works, Stansky's book teases apart Orwell's often paradoxical views on patriotism and socialism. The Socialist Patriot is ultimately an attempt to reconcile the apparent contradictions between Orwell's commitment to socialist ideals and his sharp critique of totalitarianism by demonstrating the centrality of his wartime experiences, giving twenty-first century readers greater insight into the inner world of one of the most influential writers of the modern age. 

Peter Stansky is the Frances and Charles Field Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University. His scholarship addresses many of the main themes of modern British history: the dissipation of the Liberal and growth of the Labour parties; the rise of aesthetic modernism (and the central role played by the Bloomsbury Group); the impact of two world wars and the Spanish Civil War on British intellectuals; and postwar manifestations of an "austere," "swinging," and "cool" Britain. He has written extensively on such topics as William Morris, the Bloomsbury Group and George Orwell.

John Rodden is widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on the legacy of George Orwell. Beginning with The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of ‘St George’ Orwell in 1989, Every Intellectual’s Big Brother in 2006, and continuing with editing The Cambridge Companion to George Orwell in 2007 and The Cambridge Introduction to George Orwell in 2012, The Unexamined Orwell in 2011 and more, he has established himself as the foremost expert on the cultural and political impact of Orwell on the world. His latest book, Becoming George Orwell: Life and Letters, Legend and Legacy, more than justifies that reputation.