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Publisher's Summary

Both George Orwell and Winston Churchill came close to death in the mid-1930s - Orwell shot in the neck in a trench line in the Spanish Civil War and Churchill struck by a car in New York City. If they'd died then, history would scarcely remember them. At the time Churchill was a politician on the outs, his loyalty to his class and party suspect. Orwell was a mildly successful novelist, to put it generously. No one would have predicted that by the end of the 20th century, they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly, in words and in deeds, against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together, to an extent not sufficiently appreciated, they kept the West's compass set toward freedom as its due north.
It's not easy to recall now how lonely a position both men once occupied. By the late 1930s, democracy was discredited in many circles, and authoritarian rulers were everywhere in the ascent. There were some who decried the scourge of communism but saw in Hitler and Mussolini 'men we could do business with', if not in fact saviours. And there were others who saw the Nazi and fascist threat as malign but tended to view communism as the path to salvation. Churchill and Orwell, on the other hand, had the foresight to see clearly that the issue was human freedom - that whatever its coloration, a government that denied its people basic freedoms was a totalitarian menace and had to be resisted.
In the end Churchill and Orwell proved their age's necessary men. The glorious climax of Churchill and Orwell is the work they both did in the decade of the 1940s to triumph over freedom's enemies. And though Churchill played the larger role in the defeat of Hitler and the Axis, Orwell's reckoning with the menace of authoritarian rule in Animal Farm and 1984 would define the stakes of the Cold War for its 50-year course and continues to give inspiration to fighters for freedom to this day. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks' masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction and to the courage it can take to stay true to it, through thick and thin.
©2017 Thomas E. Ricks (P)2017 Audible, Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Superbly illustrates that Churchill and Orwell made enduring cases for the necessity of moral and political fortitude in the face of authoritarianism...a bracing work for our times." (Publishers Weekly)
"The genius of Ricks's method is to tell the story of an ongoing struggle through the lives of two extraordinary men." (Booklist)
"An eminently readable, frankly inspirational and exceptionally timely tribute." (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
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Customer Reviews

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By Jack on 11-16-17

Fantastic

This book is one of my favourites of the year. Very well researched, balanced and interesting, and brilliantly read.

I would heartily recommend it to anyone.

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By Good Grain on 09-08-17

Nothing fresh but well written

What did you like most about Churchill & Orwell?

If you are already familiar with some of the voluminous writings that exist on both these fascinating men, then you will find little here that is new. But its thematic approach of examining each through their opposition to authoritarianism of the communist and nazi varieties means that it has an effective pace. Also its approach does highlight why these men are still such pivotal figures, they really were leaders in the fight for freedom.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Tony on 10-22-17

Excellent book

Great perspective on these men’s lives at critical points in history. Found the whole thing captivating & also very well read

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By Robert on 09-23-17

unexpectedly good

I really wasn't expecting to get so much out of this. As a fan of this era of history and particularly these two people, I wasn't expecting there would be so much in the comparison. well worth it.

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