The Orwell Tapes
ASIN: 0995994633
ISBN: 9780995994614
Publisher: Locarno Press
Format: Hardcover
Length: 288 Pages
Price: USD$19.95 / CAD$26.95

The author of 1984 and Animal Farm was a brilliant, eccentric, complicated man. He was, at various times, a member of the colonial police force in Burma, a tramp, a dishwasher, a critic and journalist, a fighter in the Spanish Civil War, a teacher and a shopkeeper.

In the summer of 1983, radio producer Wadhams spent eight weeks crisscrossing Britain and Spain interviewing more than seventy people who had known Orwell. The result was a unique resource: more than fifty hours of interviews with a huge range of people, most of whom are now dead.

Their recollections are woven with biographical detail in this fascinating memoir to produce a very human portrait of one of the greatest writers of our time. The list of contributors includes well-known names such as Stephen Spender, Malcolm Muggeridge and Lord Astor, but also the unknown men and women who inspired much of Orwell’s writing: the men who fought beside him in Spain; classmates at Eton; his first girlfriends and confidantes; friends and family members.

“I am deeply indebted to Stephen Wadhams for the book and the tapes he produced back in 1984…. Of all the books devoted to George Orwell, especially around 1984, Stephen’s The Orwell Tapes was one of the very best. I can honestly say it is one of the shining lights in all the welter of books, articles, and website contributions that have followed it. This reissue should be welcomed by both scholars and those seeking an introduction to Orwell as a man and one of the twentieth century’s most significant writers…. what strands out is how brilliantly The Orwell Tapes has stood the test of time. It can be wholeheartedly recommended to a later generation of lovers of Orwell and his work.” — Peter Davison, world’s leading Orwell scholar, from his foreword
“In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth was to rewrite history. This book is intended to preserve it in its most raw and potent form. It's based on a unique archive, 50 hours of interviews with more than 70 people who knew Orwell. The recordings have led to two major radio documentaries. And they have led to this book.”
“We have always needed George Orwell but now we may need him more than ever, as the idea of truth itself is undermined by ‘fake news,’ ‘alternative facts’ and the polarization of political discourse stoked by politicians promising simple solutions to complex problems.
In the weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration, 1984 with its critiques of propaganda and doublespeak hit number one on the Amazon bestseller lists. The Orwell Tapes brings its author to vivid life.