The Inimitable Orwell

eventy-five years ago, George Orwell (1903–1950) published the most famous political essay ever written—and also the most widely anthologized essay of the twentieth century: “Politics and the English Language.” Millions of American students have encountered it in college freshman composition courses or in introductory rhetoric and political-policy classes. A 1999 study found that between 1946 and 1996 it was reprinted 118 times in 325 editions of 58 anthologies intended for use in college-level composition classes—and that number has probably doubled in the past twenty years.

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