January 13, 2021

Look at the top 2 best-selling books at Amazon.

List here. Orwell's "Animal Farm" ranks high too — at #18. Isn't it amazing that "1984" seems so continually relevant? I clicked into my Kindle, and it was the book that was already open. I'd been doing a search on a word — "fight" — after it came up in the context of re-impeaching Trump:

I note that the Trump quote [the Democrats included in the Article of Impeachment] did not make my list "The 7 most violence-inciting statements in Donald Trump's speech to the crowd on January 6th"! I thought "fight like hell" sounded too much like ordinary politics to make the list. We fight for our rights, we fight in political campaigns, we fight in court. Are we going to outlaw the word "fight"?! We'll be descending into Newspeak.

But it was this more general concept about Newspeak that was important — from the essay on Newspeak in the back of the book: 

As we have already seen in the case of the word free [retained only in the sense of "This dog is free from lice"], words which had once borne a heretical meaning were sometimes retained for the sake of convenience, but only with the undesirable meanings purged out of them. Countless other words such as honor, justice, morality, internationalism, democracy, science, and religion had simply ceased to exist. A few blanket words covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them. All words grouping themselves round the concepts of liberty and equality, for instance, were contained in the single word crimethink, while all words grouping themselves round the concepts of objectivity and rationalism were contained in the single word oldthink. Greater precision would have been dangerous.... 

And look at what's #2 on Amazon's list, "Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy" by Andy Ngo.

59 comments:

daskol said...

An inconvenient list. Revealed preferences.

daskol said...

Aldous Huxley is getting shafted.

Temujin said...

Treading on thin ground here, Althouse. Your betters are watching and they are not happy.

Nonapod said...

I have a lot of respect for guys like Andy Ngo, Glenn Greenwald, and Tim Pool Though they may consider themselves liberals, they're willing to point out and stand up against tyranny even when it comes from their supposed side.

Wince said...

Unwittingly, what the Democrats are doing is leaving the Biden administration exactly zero margin of error.

If divisions aren't healed, if the economy doesn't rebound, if freedoms are curtailed: the Democrats are going to be seen for exactly what they are spending their time doing and the result.

The hubris is fueled, at least on the economic front, because Trump made it look easy.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

The corrupt FBI will say that Antifa didn't infiltrate the maga - & wow are we lost as a nation.

Lucien said...

Temujin: "Dangerous ground", or "thin ice", not "thin ground".
Think of the "400 pound elephant in the room". A baby elephant, how adorable.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Or perhaps the FBI must follow orders from on high. or else.

tim in vermont said...

Words used by Mussolini that have changed in meaning so much, reading him in English is almost like reading Chaucer

Liberal: A person who believes in free market economics.

Fascism: "No action can be divorced from moral judgment; there is nothing in the world which can be deprived of the value which belongs to everything in its relation to moral ends. Life, therefore, as conceived by the Fascist, is serious, austere, religious: the whole of it is poised in a world supported by the moral and responsible forces of the spirit. The Fascist disdains the "comfortable" life.” - Mussolini

Corporatism: When the economy is organized like a human body (corps) , with different groups having different functions serving the whole.

Wince said...

How disruptively entrepreneurial!

Let's see Big Tech's response:

Epic! Twitter Competitor Gab Backed Up Trump's Twitter Account and Recreated It on Their Platform

BY MATT MARGOLIS JAN 13, 2021 10:56 AM ET

PM said...

In before Ann: Their = Its Platform

Nonapod said...

Wince said...
If divisions aren't healed, if the economy doesn't rebound, if freedoms are curtailed: the Democrats are going to be seen for exactly what they are spending their time doing and the result.


I agree. But at this point I've seen little evidence of Democrats actually behaving sensibly so far. The incoming administration seems to be champing at the bit to institute several sweeping, controversial reforms. And of course they're full steam ahead on impeachment. They want their Achilles dragging Hector's corpse through the streets moment with Trump, as Neo Neo put it.

They've been out of power for a long time, fuming and ruminating on what they'd do once they reaquired it. It's likely that that they'll be drunk with power for awhile. I fear they're going to do a great deal of damage over the next 18 months or so.

Eleanor said...

When the bookstore in Portland caved to Antifa's demands to take Andy Ngo's book off the shelves, they made the book the one everybody wants to read. Not that something like that has never happened before to give Antifa a clue about what would happen or anything. . .

mezzrow said...

This isn't the kind of reading people engage in when they have a good feeling about what comes next. If there IS someone with any kind of a good feeling about what's around the corner, they will probably be regarded with suspicion, if not hostility.

I've been lucky for a long time, and I've lived in a relatively placid world compared to my parental generation. I give thanks for that. I had hoped to be able to put the stoicism down sometime before I shuffle off, but it looks like I'm just going to have to put up with whatever comes and make the best of it.

We're not driving this bus. Seat belts probably won't be enough protection at this point. Loving something together as a culture would do the trick, but it's starting to look like that's behind us. I really want to be wrong about that behind us part.

Bob Smith said...


“Wince said...
If divisions aren't healed, if the economy doesn't rebound, if freedoms are curtailed: the Democrats are going to be seen for exactly what they are spending their time doing and the result.”

What’s going to be interesting? How much of the economy that went off the books comes back. My guess is not much.

Chennaul said...

Andy Ngo early on was beaten badly by Antifa. I think people already forget that it was a proud antifa member that shot a Trump supporter dead in the street up in Portland.

Antifa has protested at Powell’s bookstore in Portland and the bookstore has decided not to sell the book in the store so now antifa is protesting to get the bookstore to not sell it online.

Also I have not read this anywhere else but you find it on Andy NGO’s Twitter.


Andy Ngô
@MrAndyNgo
·
Jan 11
Alexander Stokes Contompasis, a journalist from Rensselaer, NY, has been charged over the stabbing attack of two men at an #Antifa protest in Albany. A review of Contompasis' online presence also reveals he is an Antifa member. (The victims were Trump supporters)

***********


Biden rode to victory with very little criticism, or even questions from the media and now Twitter is out policing.

Who keeps Biden in check now?

Mike Sylwester said...

I recently read a biography titled Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall.

This book is superb. The Amazon page reports that 81% of readers gave it five stars, and 13% gave it four starts.

Kendall was a Shakespeare scholar who became interested in Richard III because of the Shakespeare play, so he spent many years studying that king and the circumstances of his rule.

Richard III was accused of usurping the throne and of murdering his two nephews in order to do so. Kendall argues, however, that Richard was compelled to occupy the throne because he learned that the previous king, his older brother Edward IV, had illegitimately married Elizabeth Woodville. The two sons from that marriage therefore were not legitimate heirs to the throne.

Furthermore, Kendall argues that the two boys were murdered -- without Richard's knowledge or approval -- by the Duke of Buckingham.

Furthermore, Kendall portrays Richard III as a decent, well-intentioned, effective public servant who was beloved by the population of York, where he had governed for many years before he became the King.

As I read this biography, I thought often about similarities between Richard III and Donald Trump. Both of them have been falsely accused, vilified, even demonized.

Lucid-Ideas said...

The most important concept to take away from "1984" was the concept of double-think. So completely apropos to our current situation and the opposition.

In many ways it is why we can't understand why they can't see the hypocrisy. Yes, cognitive dissonance is not a programming error requiring resolution for them.

They can in fact hold multiple contradictory views in their heads at all times, and act on them.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

I'm not happy about the blatantly fraudulent election but, Jesus, I think the Death of the Republic vapors are a little premature. The Democrat's president is a corrupt senile mannequin, they hold razor-thin majorities in both houses, Big Tech is apparently bent on seppuku, and the only people I know who are buying the frantic incitement/impeachment narrative are rabid Progs or WuFlu-panicked seniors. Sure, some Republicans may cynically play along but they'll be gone soon enough.

In six months Donald Trump will be the most popular man in America. Bet on it.

daskol said...

In six months Donald Trump will be the most popular man in America. Bet on it.

And how do you not that's not the case today?

Chennaul said...

There is also this:

Andy Ngô
@MrAndyNgo
·
1h
Portland mayor
@tedwheeler
is offended when KATU reporter
@GenevieveReaume
asks the obvious: Did Portland's tolerance of months of riots help provide a new normal that political violence against government property is okay? #antifa


*************

The antifa riots not only set up a new “normal” they were successful. They won.

Rabel said...

Those are pre-orders. Ngo's book comes out Feb. 2.

n.n said...

Another reason why there is an interest to audit the vote. Demos-cracy is aborted in darkness, behind a wall, with a vote by the electoral press et al (steer the vote), and under cover of the haze at the Twilight fringe.

n.n said...

Biden rode to victory with very little criticism, or even questions from the media and now Twitter is out policing.

Who keeps Biden in check now?


His behavior is moderated by his ostensibly "secular" Pro-Choice selective, opportunistic, relativistic ("ethical"), politically congruent quasi-religious philosophy.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"In six months Donald Trump will be the most popular man in America. Bet on it.

And how do you not that's not the case today?"

A fair point.

Michael K said...

Blogger Rabel said...
Those are pre-orders. Ngo's book comes out Feb. 2.


I have preordered it. Antifa invaded Powell's bookstore in Portland to threaten them if they sell it. You can't get a better endorsement than that.

Michael K said...

As I read this biography, I thought often about similarities between Richard III and Donald Trump. Both of them have been falsely accused, vilified, even demonized.

Remember that Shakespeare was writing for his Tudor patrons. Sort of The Lincoln Project of the time.

Francisco D said...

Mike Sylwester said...I recently read a biography titled Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall.

Thanks Mike. I will be buying the book.

I became a pro-Richard Yorkist after reading Josephine Tey's as well as books by Sharon Kay Penman and Phillipa Gregory.

Henry VII was a master of propaganda regarding Richard. Sort of a Nancy Pelosi-Chuck Schumer combo and a similarly cooperative/controlled "media."

Francisco D said...

Josephine Tey's book was The Daughter of Time.

Something happened with Google, I think. Or Operator error.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

We know the book is in pre-order status. It tells you clearly when you click to order the book as a pre-order.

Do they count pre-orders as best-sellers?

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Francisco D said...
"Josephine Tey's book was The Daughter of Time."

Weird. I just started reading this yesterday and I've never heard it referenced anywhere in my life. Are you sure you're not Google?

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

re "1984" popularity--

...the Left is just dusting off their old training manual

TickTock said...

THAT IS EXTREMELY AMUSING.

I ordered copies of 1984 two days ago from Amazon, for both my brother and my son, both of whom are Biden supporters, and at least one of them a rabid anti-Trumper.

BarrySanders20 said...

"As I read this biography, I thought often about similarities between Richard III and Donald Trump. Both of them have been falsely accused, vilified, even demonized."

And, in the end, abandoned.

I started but paused Christopher Hitchen's Why Orwell Matters. It's good, but I can only take Hitchens in small doses. Probably time to get back into it.

BarrySanders20 said...

TickTock said...
I ordered copies of 1984 two days ago from Amazon, for both my brother and my son, both of whom are Biden supporters, and at least one of them a rabid anti-Trumper.

Orwell was a socialist, but he saw totalitarianism for what it was, and knew it could come from right or left. He fought for the leftists in the Spanish Civil War but became disillusioned with the Soviet communists who he rightly identified as unprincipled authoritarians. That he skewered them so well is because he knew them so well (or people he trusted knew them so well and told Orwell what was happening). That's what I recall from the parts of Hitchens' book that I have read. That may be common knowledge for the Orwellers among us, but it was news to me.

tim in vermont said...

Have you guys at least accepted that Richard III was indeed what could be termed in less sensitive times, a “hunchback”? Richard III is a brilliant play that doesn’t really even purport to be actual history, it was the first play in his series of historical plays that breaks with the sources and adds a whole new dramatic plot. Macbeth was an actual king who did none of what happened in his play either, and he probably has a greater beef with Shakespeare. Certainly Shakespeare knew he was writing fiction in that case too.

As for “Tudor patrons”? WTF? He worked for the money he made at the box office and had no “patron” in any sense of the word. Elizabeth I was certainly his queen and a Tudor and he could not piss her off, and she did ask him once to write a play, I think it was The Merry Wives of Windsor, not going to look it up, and she demanded that he bring the beloved character Falstaff back from the dead, but that was because he was hugely popular in London, not one of these artists who needs a patron because he can’t make a living. It probably cost him money to forgo a show at The Globe to play for the Queen.

Why can’t you just say that his play contained some stretchers, was not historically accurate, and leave it at that? You should watch the play once and ask yourself if anybody seeing that play would ever think it was an accurate historical account of Richard III’s reign.

Mike Sylwester said...

tim in vermont at 2:03 PM
Have you guys at least accepted that Richard III was indeed what could be termed in less sensitive times, a “hunchback”?

His body was found a few years ago, and the autopsy confirmed that he indeed was a hunchback. The Smithsonian cable-television channel occasionally broadcasts a documentary about the discovery of the body.

I have read and watched the Shakespeare play several times.

-------

It certainly was and is reasonable to think that Richard III usurped the throne and murdered his two nephews to so so. In particular, it was reasonable for Shakespeare to portray Richard III along those lines.

However, Kendall's book provides a very convincing explanation and defense of Richard's actions.

Mike Sylwester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sebastian said...

"Isn't it amazing that "1984" seems so continually relevant?"

No, it isn't. Orwell got progs' number, but it didn't stop them. The totalitarian impulse never dies.

Nor do we learn: nice liberals always preferred to ignore what progs were up to, and progs themselves could not care less about criticism.

roadgeek said...

A dot here, if the powers that be had the wit to see it. They won't.

Francisco D said...

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...Weird. I just started reading this yesterday and I've never heard it referenced anywhere in my life. Are you sure you're not Google?

LOL. I am just old enough to remember a few of the books I have read.

Kudos to my pinko godmother (RIP). She recommended that among a ton of terrific books over the decades. While we had very different contemporary political views, we both agreed that we were Yorkists at heart.

daskol said...

Orwell was a socialist

Principled people on the left get what's going on. There aren't that many of them, so it's not exactly a chorus, but they see what's going on. They saw what happened to Bernie, they saw Bernie line up for another willing snookering in 2019-2020.

Those folks who'd prefer to Bernie over the establishment, but absent Bernie would go for Trump, are the scariest thing to our establishment, notwithstanding the play-acting around insurrectionists in DC. That may be the real reason they're freaking out about animal-skin shaman man: I bet he's one of those flexible Bernie or Trump guys.

Francisco D said...

Blogger BarrySanders20 said...Orwell was a socialist, but he saw totalitarianism for what it was, and knew it could come from right or left. He fought for the leftists in the Spanish Civil War but became disillusioned with the Soviet communists who he rightly identified as unprincipled authoritarians.

is definitely worth reading, especially for liberals.

His collection of essays is terrific. The one about political speech is brilliant.

Francisco D said...

Google is screwing me up. The book I referred to was Homage to Catalonia.

Yancey Ward said...

It won't be long before Orwell is cancelled, too.

Biff said...

I imagine it won't be too long before Atlas Shrugged starts rising in the rankings again, though probably it'll be after the inauguration.

tommyesq said...

I am surprised that Amazon is still selling these books, perhaps Amazon should be de-platformed?

ColoComment said...

Sharon Kay Penman's books are phenomenal. Her research is impeccable, her writing style draws the reader into the lives of her characters, and she gives personality to historical events.
Josephine Tey's Daughter in Time was one of the first books of historical fiction that I read, oh so many decades ago, and was probably what hooked me on well-done historical fiction as my reading material of choice.
Re: Orwell. Thomas Ricks's book about Orwell and Churchill (yes, I know, ...quite the "odd couple," but he makes it "work") was quite fascinating.
Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. By Thomas E. Ricks
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32301946-churchill-and-orwell

Kathryn51 said...

Biff said...
I imagine it won't be too long before Atlas Shrugged starts rising in the rankings again, though probably it'll be after the inauguration.

After Obama's election, I purchased a 2nd copy of Atlas Shrugged (my old paperback was 3 inches thick and difficult to carry around). So, perhaps a rise in the rankings, but todays generation (millentials and younger) can't read anything longer than 200 pages - if they bother reading at all.

DimWhit said...

"The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’."
--George Orwell Politics and the English Language

Leland said...

Heh... I skipped over this post earlier, because I thought it was a Google Ad for some books at Amazon.

Lem said...

Andy has that story practically exclusively. As far as the main stream press is concerned, Antifa might as well be a story of blacks killing other blacks. They just don't go there.

Narayanan said...

Anthem predates Orwell for crimethink (first published May 1938) in UK

Narayanan said...


a valiant effort

Anti-Concepts: What They Are and How to Use Them

Achilles said...

Lucien said...

Temujin: "Dangerous ground", or "thin ice", not "thin ground".
Think of the "400 pound elephant in the room". A baby elephant, how adorable.


Actually the ground everywhere is relatively thin. The earth's crust looks like a scab covering the mantle.

Butkus51 said...

Read the book maybe 2010 or so. I thought it was spot on at that time. When they say a "means to and end". Thats the end. Why its so enticing for many is beyond me.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent,

We've discussed Tey's The Daughter of Time before here -- some months back? I didn't come at it from the historical-fiction angle; I'd just been reading Tey's mysteries, and thought that was another of them -- as it is, of course, only rather different from the rest.

I still think she's awfully hard on Thomas More. He can't be blamed for getting his own history mostly from Holinshed.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, Mark Steyn has been reading 1984 in chunks for his readership for four nights now. He says, plausibly, that people have been asking him to do so since he started the series, which is called "Tales For Our Time," over three years back, but that only now has it seemed the inevitable thing to do.

Biff said...

Kathryn51 said..."After Obama's election, I purchased a 2nd copy of Atlas Shrugged (my old paperback was 3 inches thick and difficult to carry around). So, perhaps a rise in the rankings, but todays generation (millentials and younger) can't read anything longer than 200 pages - if they bother reading at all."

I remember Atlas Shrugged returning to the best seller lists during the Obamacare/Tea Party days. I guess you made your contribution.

I predict that we'll see it climbing up the lists again fairly soon. It won't be long before Congress starts passing laws and the Biden administration starts formulating regulations that will seem to have been inspired by the old book.