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Animal Farm by George Orwell (Secker and Warburg, 1945)

Animal Farm is a political satire based on the socialist and communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

Unhappy with the status quo, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society. Unfortunately, the new leaders, the pigs, lead them into a worse situation after their declaration that though all farm animals are equal, some are more equal than others.

Orwell found publishing to be a tough sell. After four refusals and a fifth initial acceptance that ended in a refusal, Secker and Warburg finally accepted. It was feared that publishing the novel would upset the alliance between the U.S., Soviet Union and the UK. (Orwell was a Brit.) Initially, Animal Farm was not well received. Over the years, criticisms regarding the novel have softened and Animal Farm is considered one of the greatest books from the 20th century.