It is for 1984 that George Orwell is best-known. The events of his life led him down a path that allowed him to see the world through a very clear lens. His belief system was well fostered and served to inspire him to write 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as other works of fiction and non-fiction that seek to promote democratic socialism over any form of totalitarianism. As a young man, Orwell lived in poverty in London and Paris in order to learn about the darkest parts of society. Unlike most men and women with strongly held beliefs, he stood up for them. When he traveled to Spain to write about the Spanish Civil War he ended up joining a militia in order to fight against fascism and Franco. He was shot in the neck and charged with treason for his efforts. Orwell was well aware of the dangers of totalitarianism and Soviet Communism and knew that the conditions he depicted in both novels could occur anywhere at any time. Today, the books are considered to be a reminder that democracy is not bulletproof. It is possible for our better-governing systems and better selves, to fail.

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