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Essay title: 1984

George Orwell published 1984 in 1949, the same year that the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb. The arms race that followed the Soviets' development of nuclear weaponry quickly escalated into the Cold War, which raged for the next four decades as the enormous ideological gulf separating capitalism and democracy from totalitarianism and Communism led to mutual hatred between the United States and the Soviet Union, the world's most powerful nations. During the long decades of the Cold War, perhaps no book better captured the moral objections against totalitarian Communism than 1984, written by Orwell originally to warn the world of the dangers of authoritarian regimes. Depicting a horrifying near-future of governmental oppression, slavery, and alienation, 1984 created a sensation upon its initial appearance, sounding the alarm that the atrocities committed under Communism upon human material security and freedom were possible not only in Russia and Eastern Europe, but in the West as well.

Many of the methods that the Party in 1984 uses to sustain its absolute power, such as the rewriting of history and the use of political icons, were actually employed in Communist nations around the world (Big Brother is similar to Lenin in the Soviet Union and Mao in China). A recent historical survey conducted by a group of French scholars, published in America as The Black Book of Communism in 1999, estimates that Communist governments were directly responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people during the twentieth century, more than died during World War I, World War II, or during

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