George Orwell is regarded as the greatest political writer in English of the twentieth century. The massive critical literature on Orwell has not only become extremely specialized, and therefore somewhat inaccessible to the nonscholar, but it has also attributed to and even created misconceptions about the man, the writer and his literary legacy. For these reasons, an overview of Orwell's writing and influence is an indispensable resource. Accordingly, this 2007 Companion serves as both an introduction to Orwell's work and furnishes numerous innovative interpretations and fresh critical perspectives on it. Throughout the Companion, which includes chapters dedicated to two of Orwell's major novels, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Orwell's work is placed within the context of the political and social climate of the time. His response to the Depression, British imperialism, Stalinism, World War II, and the politics of the British Left are also examined.