- Quote: “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
- Answer: George Orwell most notably wrote social commentaries through the lens of fiction. His two bestselling works, “1984” and “Animal Farm,” made him one of the most successful authors of the 20th century. Before his success in writing, Orwell worked for the Indian Imperial Police while living in Burma and wrote propaganda for the BBC. His influence on popular culture remains, especially as privacy issues erode, along with a fleeting sense of the existence of individual freedoms across the connected, modern world.
- Quote: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
- Answer: Ernest Hemingway was a journalist, novelist, and short-story writer who is best known for his fiction. “A Farewell to Arms,” Hemingway’s first novel, was based around his experiences as an ambulance driver on the Italian front during World War II. His adventures continued, as did his outsized life. Each experience led to beautifully written stories which earned him a Nobel Prize.
- Quote: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.”
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- Answer: Ayn Rand immigrated to the United States from Russian in 1926. Soon after, she began her life in Hollywood, working at a film studio by day and writing at night. Rand’s works centered around individuals striving toward their own goals on their own, free of any influence or support. This philosophy, coined “objectivism,” has been used to support libertarian ideologies and small-government policies.
- Quote: “I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive.”
- Answer: Henry Miller was born in New York City, yet he did much of his writing in Paris. His novels were considered vulgar and obscene, as he wrote freely about sex, love, and his relationship with fellow writer Anaïs Nin. At the end of his life, Miller settled in Big Sur, California, where he compiled the short story collection “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird.” There remains today a memorial library in Big Sur that sells his work and hosts art and performances from other creators.
- Quote: “The only way to support a revolution is to make your own.”
- Answer: Political activist, writer, and anarchist, Abbie Hoffman wrote various essays, an autobiography, and the extremely popular “Steal This Book.” After an arrest for cocaine distribution, which might have been a setup, Hoffman went on the run from the police for a number of years. Even after undergoing plastic surgery to alter his appearance, Hoffman was eventually arrested again. He remained an activist and ardent leftist throughout his life.
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