Bowker, Gordon. George Orwell. London: Little, Brown, 2004. A newer biography of George Orwell highlights formerly unexplored territory in his personal life and family influences.
Courtois, Stephane, et al. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. A history of human rights abuses under 20th- and 21st-century Communist governments and movements. Orwell drew on authoritarian human rights abuses in the Spanish Civil War and the Soviet Union to flesh out the world of 1984.
Crick, Bernard. George Orwell: A Life. Boston: Little, Brown, 1980. In what is widely considered the definitive biography of Orwell, Bernard Crick explores Orwell’s complex politics and legacy.
Cushman, Thomas, and John Rodden, eds. George Orwell: Into the Twenty-First Century. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2005. Published on the hundredth anniversary of Orwell’s birth, this collection of essays explores many different viewpoints about Orwell’s influence and legacy in a changing world.
Hitchens, Christopher. Why Orwell Matters. New York: Basic Books, 2003. Hitchens evaluates Orwell’s influence and contemporary reputation to make a case for his importance as a writer and thinker.
Kubal, David L. Outside the Whale: George Orwell’s Art & Politics. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1972. [This book is out of print.]
Meyers, Jeffrey. Orwell: Wintry Conscience of a Generation. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2000. A biography known for its controversial claims about Orwell’s psychology and personal relationships.
Newsinger, John. Orwell’s Politics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Newsinger examines Orwell’s political development within a historical context, giving lots of information about his real-world political and economic influences.
Orwell, George. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. New York: Signet Classic, 1996. A satire of totalitarianism and a warning to would-be revolutionaries, Animal Farm is an allegorical tale about a group of farm animals that take over an English farm and establish a revolutionary society, but one in which, ultimately, “all animals are equal—but some are more equal than others.”
———. Down and Out in Paris and London. New York: Mariner Books, 1972. A fictional but strongly autobiographical account of a struggling young writer living among downtrodden people of Paris and London.
———. A Collection of Essays. New York: Mariner Books, 1970. Contains Orwell’s more famous essays, such as “Shooting an Elephant,” “Politics and the English Language,” and “Why I Write,” as well as relatively unfamiliar writings on British imperialism and the Spanish Civil War.
Szanto, Andras, ed. What Orwell Didn’t Know: Propaganda and the New Face of American Politics. New York: Public Affairs, 2007. Published on the sixtieth anniversary of Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language,” a collection of writers of various viewpoints analyze contemporary political and media culture, arguing that propaganda and mind control are widespread.