For all the differences between ideological groups in the political identity survey, they had one thing in common: for all of them, George Orwell was the most read writer.
Perhaps this is partly because he was one of only two writers on the survey list who is most famous as a novelist (though he was a very fine essayist as well), and not even the greatest treatise writers can absorb readers in the way novelists can. But clearly it is not simply the fact of being a novelist – the other novelist, Ayn Rand, came fifth even among libertarians.
Orwell’s cross-ideological appeal is presumably some mix of his skills as a stylist and observer of life, and the capacity of people from all political backgrounds to find something that appeals to their beliefs. Continue reading “Orwell’s great reach”