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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Why Orwell Still Matters
George Orwell was a writer who shunned many of the political trends of his day. But, says Christopher Hitchens in this video essay, his fierce independence has earned him an enduring legacy.

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More than 50 years after his death, George Orwell still excites the passions of many.

His influence is undisputed - his novel 1984 coined the term Big Brother. He was a patriot who knew the dangers of nationalism; a public schoolboy who focused on the plight of the poor; a colonial policeman who turned against the Empire.

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Christopher will respond on Friday, 5 July
Orwell was always too much of a free thinker fully to embrace a political party or a single doctrine. It made him many enemies.

Yet history has proved him right, says journalist Christopher Hitchens. Orwell's fierce independence, his dogged insistence to always speak his mind, is his greatest legacy.

In these times of widespread cynicism about "career politicians" Orwell, through his legacy, stands tall as a someone who would never compromise, says Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens is a writer and broadcaster. His latest book, Orwell's Victory, is published by Penguin.

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02 Apr 01 | Arts
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