ORWELL'S GHOSTS | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation


Wed Jun 12 2024 at 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm


Busboys and Poets 14th & V | Washington, DC

For the 75th anniversary of 1984, Laura Beers explores George Orwell’s still-radical ideas and why they are critical today
About this Event

George Orwell dedicated his career to exposing social injustice and political duplicity, urging his readers to face hard truths about Western society and politics. Now, the uncanny parallels between the interwar era and our own—rising inequality, censorship, and challenges to traditional social hierarchies—make his writing even more of the moment. Invocations of Orwell and his classic dystopian novel 1984 have reached new heights, with both sides of the political spectrum embracing the rhetoric of Orwellianism.

In Orwell’s Ghosts, historian Laura Beers considers Orwell’s full body of work—his six novels, three nonfiction works, and brilliant essays on politics, language, and the class system—to examine what “Orwellian” truly means and reveal the misconstrued thinker in all his complexity. She explores how Orwell’s writing on free speech addresses the proliferation of “fake news” and the emergence of cancel culture, highlights his vivid critiques of capitalism and the oppressive nature of the British Empire, and, in contrast, analyzes his failure to understand feminism.

Timely, wide-ranging, and thought-provoking, Orwell’s Ghosts investigates how the writings of a lionized champion of truth and freedom can help us face the crises of modernity.Dr. Laura Beers is joining us on the Busboys stage to explore George Orwell’s radical and iconic ideas with Dr. Eric Lohr. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during and after the event, and Beers will be signing following the program.

This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of ORWELL’S GHOST will be available for purchase before and after the event. Please note that this event is in person and will not be livestreamed. 

We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books

Dr. Laura Beers is author of Orwell’s Ghosts: Wisdom and Warnings for the Twenty-First Century (W.W. Norton, 2024), as well as Red Ellen: The Life of Ellen Wilkinson, Socialist, Feminist, Internationalist, and Your Britain: Media and the Making of the Labour Party, both published by Harvard University Press. She writes regularly on British and American politics for CNN.com and other publications, including the Washington Post and the London Review of Books. She is Professor of British History at American University.

Dr. Eric Lohr is the author of Russian Citizenship: From Empire to Soviet Union (Harvard University Press, 2012) and Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign Against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Harvard University Press, 2003). He is currently writing Russian Autocracy: A History and The Brothers Trubetskoi: Liberals between Tsar and Revolution.  He is chair of the History Department and James H. Billington Chair of Russian History and Culture at American University.


Where is it happening?

Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St NW, Washington, United States

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