It’s both ironic and fitting that 1984 would join the American Library Association’s list of commonly challenged books given its bleak warning of totalitarian censorship. Written in 1949 by British author George Orwell while he lay dying of tuberculosis, the book chronicles the grim future of a society robbed of free will, privacy and truth. Some reviewers called it a veiled attack against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet ruler’s infamous “midnight purges,” though, oddly enough, parents in Jackson County, Florida, would challenge the book in 1981 for being “procommunist.” The book spawned terms like Big Brother and Orwellian and continues to appear in pop culture — most recently as the inspiration for a political YouTube hit. The year 1984 may have passed, but the book’s message remains as relevant as ever.
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