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25th January 2017

Sales of Orwell's 1984 soar after 'alternative facts'

BY: Nathan Spackman

Orwell's classic novel is a tale of a society where facts are distorted using a fictional language called "newspeak".

Personal thought is suppressed using the term "doublethink", which Orwell wrote "means the power of holding contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them".

The book, first published in 1949, topped Amazon's bestseller list on Wednesday after Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway put forward what she called "alternative facts" in a TV interview.

She was defending claims that Mr Trump's inauguration drew in record crowds even though photographs showed more people attended Barack Obama's.

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary

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The comments prompted comparisons with 1984, which featured the "Ministry of Truth".

Orwell's book is not the only cautionary tale on the Amazon list.

Sinclair Lewis' 1935 novel about the election of an authoritarian president, It Can't Happen Here, was at number 46, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World at 71.

Sales also were up for Hannah Arendt's seminal non-fiction analysis The Origins Of Totalitarianism.

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