Sunday, 30 April 2017

1984 In The 21st Century edited by Lori Perkins

1984 In The 21st Century edited by Lori Perkins
Published in America by Riverdale Avenue Books on the 25th March 2017.

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Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
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How I got this book:
Received a copy from the publisher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

1984 is a classic novel whose relevance continues to confront us every day. Some people thought it was a book about the future of the past. The future is now. After the election of Donald Trump and his advisor, Kellyanne Conway’s suggestion we get used to using “alternative facts,” the nearly 70 year-old dystopian novel made the # 1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller list. 1984 in the 21st Century offers readers 25 different opinions and viewpoints on this seminal novel from right to left on the political spectrum, with pieces from teachers to journalists and writers, lawyers and politicians, and union activists. The essays range from academic treatises to personal reminiscences to political rants and screeds, and even fiction and theater.

This fairly balanced collection of essays uses often-bandied 1984 concepts as a starting point for twenty-five Americans to express thoughts on the political situation in their country in 2017. The book is a shameless jump onto the dystopian revival bandwagon, but does include ideas that I thought were worth expanding upon further as well as references to other novels in a similar vein that would make for interesting reading in the current climate. My main disappointments with this anthology are two-fold. The majority of the essays pick up on and explain the same points from 1984 which results in a lot of repetition through the volume. I would also have liked perhaps fewer, but certainly deeper essays. All the offerings are short - some just a page or two - which, after the aforementioned repetition, doesn't give the essayist time to fully explore their theme. In several cases, this left me feeling that I only had a superficial view.

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Books by Lori Perkins / Politics / Books from America


  1. 1984 is so relevant right now. Sorry some points were repetitive, though. I feel like it never got to whatever point it was trying to make.

    1. It was interesting to see how this one classic novel could be used to illustrate completely opposing points of view