The Same Man: George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh in Love and War

David Lebedoff, Author . Random $26 (264p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6634-6

For those wearied by doorstop biographies, this lean and urbane dual portrait is a breath of fresh air. As lawyer and writer Lebedoff (Cleaning Up ) makes clear, on the surface no two British writers could be more different. Evelyn Waugh was a loud convert to Catholicism, an even louder social climber and very much a man of Empire. George Orwell (Eric Blair) could best be described as a long-suffering atheistic humanist, a utopian socialist and dreamer. Waugh succeeded early; Orwell was an obscure polemicist until his masterpieces Animal Farm and 1984 , which were written at the end of his life. But both men were born the same year (1903) and came from the same class. They admired each other's writing and moral courage, says Lebedoff, and finally met six months before the bed-ridden Orwell's death in 1950. Both men, the author says, rejected not only the immorality of dictators in their own time but the moral relativism they foresaw in the future. Aside from a slightly rambling chapter of summation, Lebedoff nimbly compares and contrasts the lives and art of these literary titans. 8 pages of photos. (Aug. 5)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 203 pages - 978-1-58836-708-2
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