Laura Beers in Conversation With Phil Tinline

1 Aug 2024 – 19:00 BST
Waterstones Trafalgar Square

Join Waterstones Trafalgar Square for this talk with Laura Beers and Phil Tinline to celebrate the publication of Laura’s latest book, Orwell’s Ghosts.

About the book

Seventy-five years after 1984 first published, George Orwell is back. Progressives denounce ‘Orwellian’ untruths by Trump, Johnson, Putin et al, while conservatives accuse governments and mainstream media of ‘Orwellian’ censorship. But what does ‘Orwellian’ really mean? What would the man himself say about these crises, and what can we learn from his ideas?

Orwell’s Ghosts reveals Orwell in all his complexity, exploring his commitment to political liberty and economic justice alongside his undeniable chauvinism. This sharp free thinker’s commentaries remain invaluable, whether on political truth, disinformation, class, race and empire, or highlighting the promise of socialism and the dangerous appeal of authoritarianism. Even Orwell’s misogyny offers troubling lessons about gender politics on the left. All of his books show remarkable resonance between the first half of the twentieth century and today’s world.

Revisiting Orwell’s own age of rapid change and urgent crossroads, this book sheds unique light on both our recent past and our current upheavals.

About the speakers

Laura Beers is a historian of modern Britain, and author of the award-winning Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist; and Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party. A professor at American University, she comments frequently on British politics for CNN and the BBC and has written for the Washington Post, New Statesman, and LRB.

Phil Tinline is the author of The Death of Consensus: 100 Years of British Political Nightmares, now out in paperback. Over the course of twenty years working for BBC Radio, he made and presented many acclaimed documentaries about how political history shapes our lives, including a Radio 4 series called Orwell in Five Words (2020). He has written for publications including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, BBC History Magazine, Prospect and The New Statesman. Phil is currently writing a book for Head of Zeus and Scribner about American political nightmares.

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