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Great Missing the Point Moments in History - Three - An American Publisher

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One of the most ridiculous gaffes in literary history was made by the first American publisher to receive the manuscript of Animal Farm who rejected it because "there isn't much of a market for animal stories in the U.S. at the moment".

I suppose it is possible that this was a great "not reading the point moment in history" instead but there you go.

The picture below was taken when Orwell received the news and had just decided to go and see the publisher in person.

It is also worth noting that although Orwell's stated goal with this book was to "expose the Soviet myth in words that a child could understand" that does not mean to say that the book is an anti-socialist book. Anti-Stalinist would be a better appraisal.

As an example, we could say that immediately after the revolution things weren't going too badly for the animals at all. They worked less and ate more. It was only when the revolution was bastardised by Napoleon that things started to go badly.

And if you want to know what he meant about the capitalists then it is clear enough as the farmers (or men) that were overthrown in the first place were the capitalists. It is all very clear in the last line of the book...

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."

Other great missing the poing moments can be found here.


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Scotland's Michael Greenwell has worked, at various times, as a university tutor, a barman, a DJ ("not a very good one," he clarifies), an office lackey, supermarket worker, president of a small charity, a researcher, a librarian, a volunteer worker in Nepal during the civil war there, and "some other things that were too tedious to mention." Nowadays, he explains, "I am always in (more...)

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