A Tale of Two Orwells

A real, old-fashioned literary spat is developing on the pages of two of America’s most respected magazines, and the focus of the debate is George Orwell, the cynical cuss who penned Animal Farm and 1984 and coined the term “Cold War.” In the blue corner, arguing for Orwell’s continuing relevance in the age of George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein, is professional agitator Chris Hitchens, backed up by The New Republic’s literary editor, Leon Wieseltier. And in the red corner, arguing that Orwell wasn’t nearly as prescient and sagelike as he is often given credit for, is Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Louis Menand. Let’s get ready to grumblllllllle!