Orwell’s Ghosts w/ Laura Beers

2 Jun 2024 – 17:00 - 18:00 BST
York Festival of Ideas
Tempest Anderson Hall
Yorkshire Museum
Museum Gardens
Museum Street

Join Laura Beers for this discussion of her book, Orwell’s Ghosts, at the York Festival of Ideas.

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?

Historian Laura Beers, author of Orwell’s Ghosts, will reveal 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 20th century and today’s world.

Discover how revisiting Orwell’s own age of rapid change and urgent crossroads can shed unique light on both our recent past and our current upheavals.

About the author

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.

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