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Orwell's efforts in (self-)persuasion
University of Pennsylvania Press
When George Orwell was appointed literary editor of London's Tribune magazine in late 1943 he was a financially unsuccessful author. Encouraged by his new position, he engaged in a campaign of journalistic persuasion. The campaign started by seeking to persuade the public to purchase more books. His initial enthusiasm was replaced by a despairing realization that the public's purchases were less than he suspected and that his campaign was unlikely to change the situation. His journalism then changed in a subtle way. On the surface he asked the public to admit their preference for movies, dog racing, and socialized alcohol consumption. But at a deeper level, Orwell's weekly columns were an effort in self-persuasion. Ironically, as his editorial campaign failed to persuade people to buy more books, his efforts to find a larger market for his own books started to succeed. Maybe this persuaded him to be more accepting of the public's preferences.
George Orwell , Economics , Books v. Cigarettes , Literary world , Value of reading , As I Please , Self-persuasion , Tribune magazine , London
Considine, J. (2023) 'Orwell's efforts in (self-)persuasion', Capitalism: A Journal of History and Economics, 4(1), pp. 181-186. Project MUSE. doi: 10.1353/cap.2023.a899275
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