The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell

Orwell is most well-known for his fiction, but this book was is a work of essay and journalism reportage that was originally commissioned by a politically leftist book club, and later rejected and outright censored by the same politically leftist book club. Its first half is a gritty and realistic depiction of British working class life during the hardest moments of the great depression. The second half is a brutally honest assessment on the state of the political left of the day, and how the movement of communism had devolved into mere ideology, isolating itself from the very proletariat it wanted so dearly to realize the hopes of.

Reading Wigan Pier with a historical viewpoint, it's not difficult to see that history has been advancing to a clearly progressive agenda of some kind, even if the route is not always through clearly defined left-wing or right-wing paths. There is a comfort in that, but a dangerous one that risks complacency.

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