In the last few years, George Orwell’s writing and thinking have come to seem ever more timely. But they are also much misrepresented. As BBC Radio 4 marks the 70th anniversary of his early death, BBC documentary-maker Phil Tinline takes five words that resonate through Orwell’s work, and tests out what light they can shed on our problems today.
Orwell thought the very idea of objective truth was in mortal danger from the totalitarian mindset, writing that: “The truth, it is felt, becomes untruth when your enemy utters it.”
In the era of ‘fake news’ and extreme online polarisation, copies of Orwell’s work have been flying off the shelves. But he wasn’t only worried about dictators and demagogues. So today, just how widely do his fears for the future of truth apply?
Series contributors include: Abduweli Ayup, Nick Cohen, David Dwan, Maurice Glasman, Joanna Kavenna, Robert Jay Lifton, Dorian Lynskey, James Millward, Ferdinand Mount, Jean Seaton, Joanne Smith Finley, Timothy Snyder, Mihrigul Tursun
Presenter/ Producer: Phil Tinline