Getting Orwell Wrong
I was ready to come to Amazon’s defense (and I will, eventually). In their long letter to the writing community, they made some excellent points. They inflamed our passions, gave us historical context for our discontent, and then quoted none other than George Orwell on the disruptive nature of paperbacks and the need for evil publishers to crack down on upstart, low-priced alternatives.
In the opening paragraph of the letter, Amazon notes the rise of paperbacks and how publishers wailed and gnashed their teeth at the prospect of selling their precious content at lower prices. The colluded. They flailed. Even George Orwell came to their defense. The “Amazon Books Team,” an Orwellian monicker if there ever was one, writes:
￼The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George…
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