When Nineteen Eighty-Four appeared on June 8, 1949, George Orwell did not believe his novel would be a success. He was dying of tuberculosis and predicted, “I shall be lucky if I make 500 quid out of it.” Shortly after the book’s release, he entered hospital for the last time and died at 46 in January, 1950.By Linda Diebel, Ann Finlayson13 min
Everything about the appointment of Jeanne Sauvé as the country’s 23rd governor general was wrong—except the candidate. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau failed to inform his cabinet of the plan, neglected to tell his caucus, and waited until Parliament was deserted for Christmas to elevate his old friend and Liberal colleague as the Queen’s representative.
For Winston Smith, the rebellious hero of Nineteen Eighty-Four, there was no privacy. On the landing outside his grubby little flat hung a poster of an enormous face with eyes that followed him everywhere and a caption that read: “Big Brother is watching you.”
The conventional view of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four is that it fictionalized the despotism of an alien and distant police state like the Soviet Union and other Communist countries. For conservatives, it is comforting to read Orwell’s novel as an anti-Communist horror story which also proves that socialism, however well intentioned, inevitably leads to the Gulag.By Michael Harrington7 min
One afternoon just before Christmas I had several encounters which turned on leadership. Just off the Hill in the street I met a U of T classmate whom I had not seen in 20 years. He had gone into External Affairs, had become an ambassador. In Ottawa shop talk he had a good reputation for his grasp of European affairs.By Douglas Fisher5 min
It has been a new experience for Canadians, worrying about becoming characters in a book. Nineteen Eighty-Four is the name of a novel in which totalitarianism occurs on a grand, enthusiastic and imaginative scale. It is also the name of this year.By Charles Gordon5 min
The provision of “topflight equipment” and “topflight training” for the Canadian forces is a “topflight” goal (A government in waiting, Q&A, Dec. 12). The others Opposition Leader Brian Mulroney mentioned are questionable at best.
Amid the stock, one-dimensional children who abound in television drama, a character like Al Brenner is a welcome figure. The adolescent hero of R. W., a CBC minidrama scheduled to appear on Jan. 12, Al is neither cloying angel nor incurable misfit, the two prevailing stereotypes of young people on TV.By Patricia Hluchy4 min
The next 12 months promise to be one of those golden seasons that the high priests of free enterprise will celebrate as their rightful due. Canada’s gross national product will zoom up by eight per cent (in real terms) right into 1984’s third quarter; the Dow Index will burst through the magic 1,300-point barrier; corporate capital spending budgets will loosen up and make an imposing impact on unemployment statistics.By Peter C. Newman4 min
Late this month, six days short of his 73rd birthday, Ronald Reagan will make it official. In a 15-minute televised statement from the Oval Office, the nation’s oldest-ever president plans to announce his bid for a second term. The speech will cite his achievements in rebuilding the U.S. economy and the nation’s military strength.By Michael Posner4 min
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