Big Brother

Sales of George Orwell?s 1984? spike after NSA surveillance revelations


Prophetic as 1984 was, George Orwell could not have imagined how advanced surveillance technology would become. His novel is now being actualized. Poor Orwell! If he were to walk into the world today and see what it?s like, he would probably die of fright. In his day it was all science fiction. Now it?s reality?and one that?s not going to go away.

As incredible as all of these technological advances are and as thought provoking as they may be to those who have read about Big Brother, we really shouldn?t be surprised. The Bible predicted just such a system more than 2,000 years ago. (Joseph Candel)


Big Brother is back.

George Orwell?s dystopian 1949 novel ?1984? is currently experiencing a renaissance in light of the recent National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance leaks.As of Tuesday afternoon, the book jumped an incredible 3,100 percent to number 6 on Amazon?s ?movers and shakers? list.

The book jumped 7,000 percent earlier in the day.

Its current sales rank is now 194 from 6,208, a spectacular leap for a book written more than a half-century ago.The recent leaks that exposed a massive surveillance program conducted by the NSA have some claiming that Orwell was prophetic in his description of a state that tracked not only the movements, but also the thoughts, of its citizens.

?Throwing out such a broad net of surveillance is exactly the kind of threat Orwell feared,? Michael Shelden, author of Orwell: The Authorized Biography told NPR.

?What he saw was that over time, surveillance would become pervasive,? Shelden said. ?He just took that idea and expanded it in Nineteen Eighty-Four to basically a police state.?

Oddly, Obama defended the surveillance program last Friday while referencing the novel: ?In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we?ve struck the right balance.?

Others believe that Franz Kafka?s novels like ?The Castle? and ?The Trial,? about the banal evil in out-of-control bureaucracies, are more apt to the NSA scandal.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the sales jump for 1984 was a nice birthday present for the book, which celebrated its 64th anniversary on June 8. It is not the first time that US government policies have sparked a book-buying spree.The 2008 bank bailout saw sales of Ayn Rand?s ode to capitalism ?Atlas Shrugged? soar.

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