Orwell's Revenge Book Summary - Orwell's Revenge Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Orwell's Revenge summary

Peter Huber

The 1984 Palimpsest

2.7 (54 ratings)
11 mins
4 key ideas
Audio & text

What is Orwell's Revenge about?

In Orwell’s Revenge (1994), author Peter Huber used a computer program to write a response to George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, 1984, using Orwell’s own writings and ideas. In doing so, Huber has constructed a completely different narrative, showing that despite fears of a totalitarian future, technology and the free market have instead become a force for good.

About the Author

Author Peter Huber is a partner at the law firm Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel and a senior fellow at the conservative think tank, The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Table of Contents

    Orwell's Revenge
    summarized in 4 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 4

    Despite George Orwell’s 1984 fears, machines and technology aren’t the enemies of humanity.

    Big Brother is watching you. You’ve no doubt heard people use this phrase, but perhaps have wondered where it came from.

    The specter of a future surveillance state, coldly crushing human liberties, was the brainchild of British author and journalist George Orwell and described in his novel, 1984. Orwell believed that the development of technology would be used as a tool to strengthen totalitarian regimes.

    In his novel, Orwell imagined a mechanical device called the telescreen. A telescreen acts as both a television and a camera, allowing a government to feed propaganda to its citizens while keeping them under constant surveillance.

    Orwell clearly wasn’t a fan of modern technology. He worried that the advent of advanced machines represented the end of personal freedoms, if not actually the end of humanity.

    He felt that if machines became too advanced, we’d rely on technology too much, and essentially human intellect would erode. We would become less human, surrendering our thinking and spending all our time simply eating and sleeping.

    Yet in reality, Orwell’s fears were unfounded for one simple reason – machines require humans to operate them.

    It’s true that a machine will never be able to fully replace a person. In intelligence gathering, for instance, it’s the people on the ground who actually talk to suspects and apprehend wanted individuals, not machines crunching numbers in some far-off compound. A machine can’t build a trusting relationship, or draw out a confession or a confidence, for example.

    And technology doesn’t automatically lead to totalitarianism, either. Consider the many encrypted or back-channel modes of communication online, methods that allow for the unfettered expression of ideas. Such technology doesn’t destroy freedom of thought, it instead encourages it!

    Machines too aren’t indestructible. A network can always fail, which means that constant, unlimited surveillance simply isn’t something that is possible.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Orwell's Revenge?

    Key ideas in Orwell's Revenge

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    Who should read Orwell's Revenge

    • People who fear modern technology and its influence
    • Fans of author George Orwell and his book, 1984
    • Readers taking part in Mark Zuckerberg’s book club, “A Year of Books”

    Categories with Orwell's Revenge

    What our members say

    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    Start growing with Blinkist now
    25 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    Of Blinkist members create a better reading habit*
    *Based on survey data from Blinkist customers
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 5,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial