Animal Farm by George OrwellRead about another entry on the list.
A while ago I reviewed for [the Guardian] David Aaronovitch’s memoir Party Animals. Like mine, Aaronovitch’s parents were members of the Communist party of Great Britain (CPGB) and it was astonishing how similar his household was to mine, even down to sadistic “party” dentists. A lot of the characters who featured in Aaronovitch’s childhood also appeared in mine. Betty Ambatielos (formerly Betty Bartlett), communist wife of imprisoned Greek trade unionist Tony Ambatielos for example, or Lin Qui, the elegant Vietnamese journalist and spokeswoman for the Viet Cong, who sometimes sat in our front room in Anfield looking a bit confused over what she was doing there. In his house as in ours, George Orwell was hated; he was hated because he told the truth about the terrible things communists did. We studied Animal Farm in my early years at grammar school and I was both appalled and fascinated by what it revealed about the founding of the Soviet Union. I decided if I was going to be any animal at the farm I’d be the supreme opportunist that is the cat.
Animal Farm is among Lindsey Lewis Smithson's six essential books that were almost never published, Alex Clark's ten best quotable novels, Piers Torday's top ten books with animal villains, Robson Green's six best books, Heather Brooke's five books on holding power to account, Chuck Klosterman's most important books; it appears on John Mullan's list of ten of the best pigs in literature and Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs's list of well-known and beloved science fiction and fantasy novels that were rejected over and over.
Also see: Neel Mukherjee's top ten books about revolutionaries.