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Animal Farm: Centennial Edition Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 1 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 911 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Centennial edition (May 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452284244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452284241
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 0.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 911 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #891,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has rivaled Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About. (The latter is three pages longer and less fun to read.) Fueled by Orwell's intense disillusionment with Soviet Communism, Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. "We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of the farm depend on us. Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm. Satire Animal Farm may be, but it's a stony reader who remains unmoved when the stalwart workhorse, Boxer, having given his all to his comrades, is sold to the glue factory to buy booze for the pigs. Orwell's view of Communism is bleak indeed, but given the history of the Russian people since 1917, his pessimism has an air of prophecy. --Joyce Thompson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

This 50th-anniversary commemorative edition of Orwell's masterpiece is lavishly illustrated by Ralph Steadman. In addition, it contains Orwell's proposed introduction to the English-language version as well as his preface to the Ukrainian text. Though all editions of Animal Farm are equal, this one is more equal than others.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In terms of reading books that are classics, this one is pain free. The language is easy and it's short enough to get through in a day, and best of all the story is entertaining. My advice would be to spend a few hours on the net reading about the Russian Revolution and Stalin's bio before reading to make sure you appreciate all the allusion, allegory, metaphors and all that blah blah stuff that makes it an important book. This is the one book I actually liked when I had to read it in highschool, 10 or so years later I still enjoyed breezing through it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every time I read something by George Orwell, I'm convinced what a genius he was. This novel, along with 1984, is so entrenched in our collective consciousness now that it is difficult to remember a time when they didn't exist. I think that political extremists on either side would like to subvert Orwell's message for their own purposes. What makes Orwell great however is that he is not simply skewering the left or the right, but politics itself. To paraphrase Woody Allen in Sleeper (his take on 1984) "It doesn't matter who is in charge - they're all terrible."
Historically, Animal Farm was written as a polemic against Soviet communism after Orwell returned from fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Even though the USSR is his main target, Animal Farm reads like a blueprint for every violent revolution ever. I'm also reading a book on the French Revolution, and I'm amazed at how much the two link up. First comes the idyllic phase when the oppressors have been overthrown. Next, the "liberators" soon set themselves up as demi-gods. Next comes marshal law. Eventually, it does become impossible to distinguish the men from the pigs. "All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
This book, written before 1984, introduces some of the themes that Orwell will do much to develop later. For instance, like Big Brother, Napoleon - the leader - gradually does away with the animal's history and memory. He gradually alters the Seven Commandments of animals, while maintaining they were "always" that way. ("We are at war with Eastasia. We have ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.")
This book is so spot-on in its depiction of human (animal) behavior its scary.
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By Chris Gregory TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 10 2015
Format: Paperback
I first read Animal Farm in 1965 as a college freshman. I didn't think too much about it back then; there seemed to more pressing interests at the time.

Years later, as I reread the book I believed that it was a satire of Soviet Communism. Now I believe that it is a statement of man's inevitable use of the utopian yearning for a better, fairer world, and the chilling knowledge that some people and parties will use that desire to develop their own power. I believe this book is a warning to future generations - socialist bureaucracy can slowly encroach upon any government - even in a democractic-republic - and, it may be creeping up on us at this very time in history. We must fear the socialist desire to make a more perfect world... it might be at the expense of our precious, but frail liberty! Animal Farm
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Format: Paperback
there isn't too much i can say that hasn't already been said, i didn't do any research before reading this book, but I was familiar with the russian revolution. after reading it i figured it was about the russian revolution, stalin, et al, and came online to check it out. sure enough that's what it's about.

i think this is required reading, although i didn't have to read it in high school.

if you haven't read it, please do, it's a short, but fascinating read.
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Format: Paperback
Animal Farm is a powerful story of politics, corruption and power. It is most directly a commentary on the Russian Revolution, rise of the Communists and the deterioration of the values that gave rise to communist movement. I believe Animal Farm succeeds beyond this metaphor.

First, it is a touching story about hope and compassion. It is entertaining purely as a novel. The characters are sympathetic and the theme of simply wanting a better life is one that anyone can relate to and enjoy. Second, it is a powerful commentary on all political systems not just the Russian one so commonly tied to this story. Politicians regardless of ideology are inclined to say what they have to to get to the positions they desire. Once there they are inclined to pursue their own interests and not those of the people they represent.

This was clearly demonstrated in the US debt crises of Aug. 2011. Many politicians chose to manufacture a crises by threatening to cut off the supply of funds to the government. This hurt a challanged American economy. The politicians acted in the pursuit of their own personal political agendas. Few would argue this was done in the best interest of the citizens.

From this perspective Animal Farm maintains its place as a valuable political commentary. If politics and history or political drama's are of interest to you, read this book. You will like it. Everyone probably should read Animal Farm but realistically if you don't have any political interest you are less likely to enjoy it. If nothing else a book should be enjoyed.
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