George Orwell (1903–1950) was the author of Animal Farm and 1984, among many other works of fiction and journalism. dwight macdonald was an editor of Partisan Review and the founder, during World War II, of the magazine Politics, which he edited at the time of his correspondence with Orwell. Peter Davison edited the twenty volumes of Orwell’s Complete Works, the Facsimile Edition of the Manuscript of 1984, and The Lost Orwell.
Of course I intended it primarily as a satire on the Russian revolution. But I did mean it to have a wider application in so much that I meant that that kind of revolution (violent conspiratorial revolution, led by unconsciously power-hungry people) can only lead to a change of masters. I meant the moral to be that revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert and know how to chuck out their leaders as soon as the latter have done their job. The turning-point of the story was supposed to be when the pigs kept the milk and apples for themselves (Kronstadt). If the other animals had had the sense to put their foot down then, it would have been all right. If people think I am defending the status quo, that is, I think, because they have grown pessimistic and assume that there is no alternative except dictatorship or laissez-faire capitalism.