1984 | The Great American Read

1984 cover

1984

by George Orwell

In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be. Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.

Discover a discussion guide for this and other books on the list from the Great Books Foundation.

George Orwell

George Orwell was born in India and served with the Imperial Police in Burma before joining the Republican Army in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was the author of six novels as well as numerous essays and nonfiction works.