21 January 2010
Eric Blair: 25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950
From what I have read about him, Eric Blair was not an easy person to get along with, and enjoyed challenging the status quo. He had strongly-held political opinions and was reluctant to be silenced. He resigned from his job with the BBC because he opposed censorship. His family supported the British establishment, but he came to oppose it. Blair was a proponent of a federal socialist Europe, a position outlined in his 1947 essay Toward European Unity. He was left-wing in his politics, but was also highly critical of the left. He hated anything politically authoritarian, which is how he came to write Nineteen Eighty Four. In Why I Write (1946) he wrote "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it."