Kyle Mills — Sphere of Influence — Videos

Posted on April 8, 2017. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Crime, Culture, Drug Cartels, Employment, Entertainment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiction, Fraud, Homicide, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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“Order to Kill” by Kyle Mills

Elliot In The Morning: Kyle Mills (Part 1 of 2) [INTERVIEW]

Elliot In The Morning: Kyle Mills (Part 2 of 2) [INTERVIEW]

Order to Kill by Kyle Mills and Vince Flynn Audiobook Excerpt

Kyle Mills (author)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the New Zealand cricketer, see Kyle Mills.
Kyle Mills
Born 1966
Occupation Novelist
Genre Political thriller
Website
kylemills.com

Kyle Mills (born 1966) is an American writer of thriller novels including Rising Phoenix, Fade, and The Second Horseman. Several of his books (Rising Phoenix, Storming Heaven, Sphere of Influence, Free Fall and Darkness Falls) include a character Mark Beamon, an FBI special agent. He also wrote The Ares Decision (2011), The Utopia Experiment (2013), and The Patriot Attack (2015), the eighth, tenth, and twelfth installments of the Covert-One series, originally created by Robert Ludlum.

Mills lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with his wife and they are both avid rock climbers. Mills grew up in Oregon, and his father was an agent with the FBI.

Novels

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyle_Mills_(author)

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Greg Iles –Natchez Burning, The Bone Tree and Mississippi Blood — Videos

Posted on March 26, 2017. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Fiction, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literature, media, Music, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Rants, Raves, Video, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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A Conversation with Greg Iles about Mississippi Blood

Author Greg Iles: “Mississippi Blood”

Broken Bones | Greg Iles | A

Word on Words | NPT

Greg Iles Pulls from History for His Natchez Thriller Trilogy

Greg Iles: A Writer’s Conversation

Greg Iles Introduces Natchez Burning

The Death Factory by Greg Iles | Book Review

Natchez Burning Fans!

Book Looks – “Natchez Burning”

Greg Iles Interview Part 1 of 6

Greg Iles Interview Part 2 of 6

Greg Iles Interview Part 3 of 6

Greg Iles Interview Part 4 of 6

Greg Iles Interview Part 5 of 6

Rock Bottom Remainders – Midnight Hour

The Original Rock Bottom Remainders

Rock Bottom Remainders on The Late Late Show

Greg Iles sings “Steamroller”

dirty water, part 1 – rock bottom remainders

Rock Bottom Remainders at ALA 2012

wild thing – rock bottom remainders

Steve Martin, a banjo and RBR

Amy Tan and Airport Security

Bruce Springsteen

Roger and Ridley

Greg Iles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Greg Iles
Born 1960 (age 56–57)
Stuttgart, Germany
Nationality American
Occupation Writer

Greg Iles (born 1960) is a novelist who lives in Mississippi. He has published 15 novels and one novella, spanning a variety of genres.

Biography

Early life

Iles was born in 1960 in Stuttgart, Germany, where his physician father ran the U.S. Embassy Medical Clinic. He was raised in Natchez, Mississippi, the setting of many of his novels.[1] After attending Trinity Episcopal Day School, he graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983.

Career

Iles spent several years as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter in the band Frankly Scarlet.[2] He quit the band after he was married and began working on his first novel, Spandau Phoenix, a thriller about Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess. Spandau Phoenix was published in 1993.

In 2002, Iles wrote the script 24 Hours from his novel of the same name. Rewritten by director Don Roos, it was renamed Trapped. Iles then rewrote the script during the shoot, at the request of the producers and actors.[3]

In 2011, Iles was seriously injured in a traffic accident on U.S. Route 61 near Natchez.[4] He sustained life-threatening injuries, including a ruptured aorta.[5] He was put into an induced coma for eight days, and lost his right leg below the knee. During his three-year recovery, he wrote three volumes of a trilogy set in Natchez, Mississippi, and featuring former prosecutor Penn Cage.[6][7]

Iles is a member of the literary musical group The Rock Bottom Remainders, which includes or has included authors Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Matt Groening, and James McBride.[8] In July 2013, he co-authored Hard Listening (2013) with the group.[9] The ebook combines essays, fiction, musings, email exchanges and conversations, photographs, audio and video clips, and interactive quizzes to give readers a view into the private lives of the authors/musicians.

Works

Fiction

Nonfiction

  • Hard Listening (2013), with Rock Bottom Remainders

References

External links

Silver Dollar Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Silver Dollar Group was an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan white nationalist militant group, composed of leaderless resistance cells that took up violent actions to support Klan goals. The group was largely found in Mississippi and Louisiana, and was named for their practice of identifying themselves by carrying a silver dollar. The group is believed to have had only some twenty members.[1] The group formed in 1964 at the Shamrock Motor Hotel in Vidalia, Louisiana, amidst dissatisfaction at the lack of forceful action by Klan groups in the region.

The group killed an African American man, Frank Morris, by arson in Ferriday, Louisiana for alleged flirting with white women, and is suspected in two car bombings of NAACP leaders in Natchez, Mississippi, George Metcalfe and Wharlest Jackson.[2] Morris had a shoe repair shop in Ferriday, and died after his shoe repair shop was burned.

2007 prosecution

In 2007, Group member James Ford Seale was charged and convicted for the May 1964 kidnapping of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, two African-American young men in Meadville, Mississippi.[3]

References

  1. Jump up^ Quarles, C.L. (1999). The Ku Klux Klan and Related American Racialist and Antisemitic Organizations: A History and Analysis. McFarland. p. 124. ISBN 9780786406470. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  2. Jump up^ Newton, M. (2005). The FBI and the KKK: A Critical History. p. 151. ISBN 9781476605104. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  3. Jump up^ “Americas | US man in 1964 race attack charge”. BBC News. January 25, 2007. Retrieved February 13, 2011.

 

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Sharyl Attkisson — Stonewalled — Videos

Posted on March 18, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Computers, Computers, Documentary, Education, External Hard Drives, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Links, Literacy, Mobile Phones, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Non-Fiction, Philosophy, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulations, Security, Spying, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Sharyl Attkisson: Presidents CAN authorize ILLEGAL surveillance and nobody would ever know!

Sharyl Attkisson Talks “Stonewalled”

Sharyl Attkisson: CBS Had Hidden Clip of Obama Contradicitng Himself on the 2012 Benghazi Attack

Malzberg | Sharyl Attkisson to discuss her new book “Stonewalled” | Part 1

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjAoVEhlrPc]

Malzberg | Sharyl Attkisson to discuss her new book “Stonewalled” | Part 2

Sharyl Attkisson: why she left CBS

 

Sharyl Attkisson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sharyl Attkisson
AttkissonB52.jpg

Attkisson on USAF B-52 in 1999, one of the first journalists to fly on a combat mission over Kosovo
Born January 26, 1961 (age 56)
Sarasota, Florida, United States
Education University of Florida
Occupation Writer, journalist, television correspondent
Website sharylattkisson.com

Sharyl Attkisson (born January 26, 1961)[1] is an American author and host of the weekly Sunday public affairs program Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, which airs on television stations operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[2] She was formerly an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News. She had also substituted as anchor for the CBS Evening News. She resigned from CBS News on March 10, 2014 after 21 years with the network. Her book Stonewalled reached number 3 on New York Times e-book non-fiction best seller list in November 2014[3] and number 5 on The New York Times combined print and e-book non-fiction best-seller list the same week.[4]

Contents

 [show] 

Early life

Attkisson was born in 1961 in Sarasota, Florida.[5] Her step-father is an orthopedic surgeon, and her brother is an emergency room physician. Attkisson graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1982.[6]

Career

Attkisson began her broadcast journalism career in 1982, aged 22, as a reporter at WUFT-TV, the PBS station in Gainesville, Florida. She later worked as an anchor and reporter at WTVX-TV Fort Pierce/West Palm Beach, Florida from 1982–1985, WBNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio from 1985–86, and WTVT Tampa, Florida (1986–1990).[7]

1990s

From 1990–1993, Attkisson was an anchor for CNN, and also served as a key anchor for CBS space exploration coverage in 1993.[8] Attkisson left CNN in 1993,[9] moving to CBS, where she anchored the television news broadcast CBS News Up to the Minute and became an investigative correspondent based in Washington, D.C.[7]

She served on the University of Florida‘s Journalism College Advisory Board (1993–1997) and was its chair in 1996.[7] The University gave her an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1997. From 1997 to 2003, Attkisson simultaneously hosted CBS News Up to the Minute and the PBS health-news magazine HealthWeek.[10]

2000s

Attkisson received an Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) Finalist award for Dangerous Drugs in 2000.[11] In 2001, Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award nomination for Firestone Tire Fiasco from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.[12]

In 2002, she co-authored a college textbook, Writing Right for Broadcast and Internet News; later that same year she won an Emmy Award for her Investigative Journalism about the American Red Cross.[7] The award was presented in New York City on September 10, 2002.[13] Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2005 for Overall Excellence.[11]

In 2006, Attkisson served as Capitol Hill correspondent for CBS,[14] as one of a small number of female anchors covering the 2006 midterms.[15] Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2008 for Overall Excellence.[11]

In 2008, Attkisson reported that a claim by Hillary Clinton to have dodged sniper fire in Bosnia was unfounded: Clinton’s trip to Bosnia was risky, Attkisson said, but no real bullets were dodged. Attkisson was on the trip with Clinton.[16] The day after Attkisson’s report on the CBS Evening News, Clinton admitted there was no sniper fire and said she “misspoke.” [17][18]In 2009, Attkisson won an Investigative Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting for her exclusive reports on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the bank bailout.[11] The award was presented on December 7 at Fordham University‘s Lincoln Center Campus in New York City.[19]

2010s[edit]

Attkisson returned to the University of Florida as a keynote speaker at the College of Journalism and Communications in 2010.[6] That same year, she received an Emmy Award nomination for her investigations into members of Congress, and she also received a 2010 Emmy Award nomination for her investigation into waste of tax dollars.[20] In July 2011, Attkisson was nominated for an Emmy Award for her Follow the Money investigations into Congressional travel to the Copenhagen climate summit, and problems with aid to Haiti earthquake victims.[11][21]

In 2011, Paul Offit criticized Attkisson’s reporting on vaccines in his book Deadly Choices as “damning by association” and lacking sufficient evidence.[22] Dr. Offit has been criticized for providing false information about Attkisson and his vaccine industry ties. [23] Attkisson has been identified in the medical literature as using problematic rhetorical tactics that “imply that because there is no conclusive answer to certain problems, vaccines remain a plausible culprit.”[24] Attkisson’s reporting was cited favorably in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine by neurosurgeon Jon Poling who wrote that Offit had “misrepresented” the case of Hannah Poling v. HHS, and that Offit’s remarks on the case were “not evidence based.”[25]

In 2012, CBS News accepted an Investigative Reporting Award given to Attkisson’s reporting on ATF’s Fast and Furious gunwalker controversy. The award was from Accuracy in Media, a non-profit news media watchdog group, and was presented at a Conservative Political Action Conference.[26]

In June 2012, Attkisson’s investigative reporting for the Gunwalker story also won the CBS Evening News the Radio and Television News Directors Association’s National Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Investigative Reporting. The award was presented October 8, 2012 in New York City.[27] In July 2012, Attkisson’s Gunwalker: Fast and Furious reporting received an Emmy Award[28]

On March 10, 2014, Attkisson resigned from CBS News.[29] She stated that the parting was “amicable”.[30] Politico reported that according to sources within CBS there had been tensions leading to “months of hard-fought negotiations” – that Attkisson had been frustrated over what she perceived to be the network’s liberal bias and lack of dedication to investigative reporting, as well as issues she had with the network’s corporate partners, while some[who?] within the network saw her reporting as agenda-driven and doubted her impartiality.[30]

Later that year came the release of her New York Times Best Seller, Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington (Harpers),[4] in which she accused CBS of protecting the Obama administration by not giving enough coverage to such stories as the 2012 Benghazi attack and slow initial enrollments under Obamacare.[31]

In February 2015, Attkisson gave a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada. In the talk, she said that astroturfing was swaying public opinion, legislation and media outlets.[32]

Report of Attkisson’s computer being hacked[edit]

In May 2013, while still employed at CBS, Attkisson alleged that her personal and work computers had been “compromised” for more than two years.[33] CBS News stated that it had investigated her work computer and found evidence of multiple unauthorized accesses by a third party in late 2012.[34] The U.S. Department of Justice denied any involvement.[35] In her 2014 book, she alleged that her personal computer was hacked with keystroke logging spyware, enabling an intruder to read all her e-mail messages and gain access to the passwords for her financial accounts.[36]

In late January 2015, Attkisson appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee[37] during a confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Attkisson’s testimony concentrated on the Justice Department under Holder and was not related to Lynch’s qualifications.[by whom?] As part of her appearance in front of that committee, a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was released[38] stating that “their investigation was not able to substantiate… allegations that Attkisson’s computers were subject to remote intrusions by the FBI, other government personnel, or otherwise” and the deletion seen in Attkinsson’s video “appeared to be caused by the backspace key being stuck, rather than a remote intrusion”.[39][40][41] “CBS News told the OIG that they did not conduct any analysis on her personal computer.”[42]

In February 2015, The Washington Examiner clarified that the OIG did not examine Attkisson’s compromised CBS News computer,[42] the OIG only inspected Attkisson’s personal devices.[43]

In March 2015, Attkisson and her family filed a suit against Holder, Patrick R. Donahoe and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia claiming to have been subject to illegal surveillance activities.[44][45]

Personal life[edit]

Attkisson has reached third-degree black belt in taekwondo.[5] She is married and has a daughter.[46]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Gill, Kay (2007). Who, a Directory of Prominent People. Omnigraphics. ISBN 9780780808096. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  2. Jump up^ Erik Wemple (April 22, 2015). “Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch Sunday show hosted by Sharyl Attkisson”. The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  3. Jump up^ “NYT Best Seller List”. The New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction”. The New York Times]]. November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “Sharyl Attkisson, Investigative Correspondent”. CBS. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b “21st Century Newsroom”. University of Florida. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Sharyl Attkisson full biography”. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Hogan, Alfred. “Televising the Space Age: A descriptive chronology of CBS News special coverage of space exploration from 1957 to 2003” (PDF). University of Maryland. p. 260. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  9. Jump up^ “TV Notes”. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 28, 1993. p. 42. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  10. Jump up^ “Sharyl Attkisson–About This Person”. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e “Sharyl Attkisson profile”. CBS News. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  12. Jump up^ “The 22nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Award Nominees Announced by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences” (PDF). National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. July 19, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014. Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson
  13. Jump up^ “23rd Annua; News & Documentary Emmy Awards – With Prominent 9/11 Coverage”. Emmyonline.org. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  14. Jump up^ “Sharyl Attkisson Is Named Cbs News Capitol Hill Correspondent”. CBS Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  15. Jump up^ Stanley, Alessandra (November 8, 2006). “Election Coverage Still a Men’s Club”. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  16. Jump up^ “Video shows tarmac welcome, no snipers”. Tampa Bay Times. March 25, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  17. Jump up^ “Clinton says she “misspoke’ about dodging sniper fire”. NYT.com. New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  18. Jump up^ “Clinton say she “misspoke” about sniper fire”. CNN.com. CNN. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  19. Jump up^ “7th Annual Business & Financial Emmy Awards – Nominations”. Emmyonline.org. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  20. Jump up^ “Full List of Nominations for the 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Awards: Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos”. TVWeek. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  21. Jump up^ Attkisson 2011 Emmy nomination, emmyonline.tv; accessed October 28, 2014.
  22. Jump up^ Offit, Paul (2011). Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. ISBN 0465023568.
  23. Jump up^ “Corrections for April 18”. Orange County Register. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  24. Jump up^ Kata, Anna (28 May 2012). “Anti-vaccine activists, Web 2.0, and the postmodern paradigm – An overview of tactics and tropes used online by the anti-vaccination movement”. Vaccine. 30 (25): 3778–3779. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.112.
  25. Jump up^ Poling, Jon (7 August 2008). “Vaccines and Autism Revisited”. NEJM. 359 (10): 655–656. doi:10.1056/NEJMc086269.
  26. Jump up^ “Loesch, Attkisson to receive AIM awards”. Politico. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  27. Jump up^ “2012 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners”. Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  28. Jump up^ “33rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations” (PDF). Emmyonline.tv. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  29. Jump up^ Macneal, Caitlin (March 10, 2014). “CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Resigns From Network”. Talking Points Memo. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  30. ^ Jump up to:a b Byers, Dylan (March 10, 2014). “Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS News”. Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  31. Jump up^ Smith, Kyle (October 25, 2014), “Ex-CBS reporter’s book reveals how liberal media protects Obama”, New York Post, retrieved November 3, 2014
  32. Jump up^ “Astroturf and manipulation of media messages”. YouTube.com. TEDxUniversityofNevada. February 6, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  33. Jump up^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 21, 2013). “CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson: My Computers Were Compromised, ‘Could Be Some Relationship’ To DOJ Scandals”. The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  34. Jump up^ “CBS News Confirms Sharyl Attkisson’s Computer Breached”. The Huffington Post. June 14, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  35. Jump up^ “Sharyl Attkisson’s Computer Not Compromised, DOJ Says”. The Huffington Post. May 22, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  36. Jump up^ Smith, Kyle; Golding, Bruce (October 27, 2014), “Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer”, New York Post, retrieved October 28, 2014
  37. Jump up^ “Why is Sharyl Attkisson testifying at Loretta Lynch’s confirmation hearing?”. Washington Post.
  38. Jump up^ “DOJ OIG Report – Sharyl Attkisson”. scribd.com.
  39. Jump up^ Hattem, Julian. “Watchdog: Attkisson wasn’t hacked, had ‘delete’ key stuck”. TheHill. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  40. Jump up^ Groch-Begley, Hannah; Strupp, Joe (October 31, 2014). “Computer Security Experts: Attkisson Video Of Purported “Hacking” Likely Just A Stuck Backspace Key”. Media Matters for America. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  41. Jump up^ Fisher, Max (October 31, 2014). “The video of Sharyl Attkisson getting “hacked” actually just shows a stuck delete key”. Vox. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  42. ^ Jump up to:a b “Media Matters report on Attkisson claims”. Media Matters for America. January 29, 2015.
  43. Jump up^ T. Becket Adams (February 3, 2015). “Sharyl Attkisson: What was left out of reports on hacking”. The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 22 November 2015. The IG did not rule out computer intrusions. It did not substantiate but neither did it rule out.
  44. Jump up^ Attkisson sues government over computer intrusions, Washington Post; Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  45. Jump up^ Editorial Opinion re Attkisson, Washington Post; Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  46. Jump up^ “Attkisson biography”. Televisionnewscenter.org. Retrieved March 11, 2014.

External links[edit]

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George Orwell — Videos

Posted on March 7, 2017. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Computers, Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiction, Food, Freedom, government spending, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Love, media, Movies, Newspapers, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Quotations, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religious, Security, Speech, Technology, Terrorism, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Top 20 George Orwell Quotes (Author of 1984)

George Orwell 1984 Telescreen Exercise

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George Orwell: A Life in Pictures Full Documentary (High Quality)

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ANIMAL FARM – full movie

1984 George Orwell – Full Movie – Hollywood best Greatest blockbuster movie Film

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George Orwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
George Orwell
A photo showing the head and shoulders of a middle-aged man with black hair and a slim moustache.

Orwell’s press card portrait, 1943
Born Eric Arthur Blair
25 June 1903
Motihari, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now East Champaran, Bihar, India)
Died 21 January 1950 (aged 46)
University College Hospital, London, England, United Kingdom
Resting place Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Pen name George Orwell
Occupation Novelist, essayist, journalist, critic
Alma mater Eton College
Genre Dystopia, roman à clef, satire
Subject Anti-fascism, anti-Stalinism, democratic socialism, literary criticism, news, polemic
Notable works Animal Farm
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Years active 1928–1950
Spouse Eileen O’Shaughnessy
(m. 1935; her death 1945)
Sonia Brownell
(m. 1949; his death 1950)

Signature Eric Blair ("George Orwell")

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.[2][3]

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[4]

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian – descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices – has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including cold war, Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, memory hole, newspeak, doublethink, and thoughtcrime.[5]

Contents

 [show] 

Life

Early years

Blair family home at Shiplake, Oxfordshire

Eric Arthur Blair was born on 25 June 1903, in Motihari, Bengal Presidency (present-day Bihar), in British India.[6] His great-grandfather Charles Blair was a wealthy country gentleman in Dorset who married Lady Mary Fane, daughter of the Earl of Westmorland, and had income as an absentee landlord of plantations in Jamaica.[7] His grandfather, Thomas Richard Arthur Blair, was a clergyman.[8] Although the gentility passed down the generations, the prosperity did not; Eric Blair described his family as “lower-upper-middle class“.[9] His father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service.[10] His mother, Ida Mabel Blair (née Limouzin), grew up in Moulmein, Burma, where her French father was involved in speculative ventures.[7] Eric had two sisters: Marjorie, five years older, and Avril, five years younger. When Eric was one year old, his mother took him and his sister to England.[11][n 1] His birthplace and ancestral house in Motihari has been declared a protected monument of historical importance.[12]

In 1904, Ida Blair settled with her children at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. Eric was brought up in the company of his mother and sisters, and apart from a brief visit in mid-1907,[13] they did not see the husband and father Richard Blair until 1912.[8] His mother’s diary from 1905 describes a lively round of social activity and artistic interests.

Before the First World War, the family moved to Shiplake, Oxfordshire where Eric became friendly with the Buddicom family, especially their daughter Jacintha. When they first met, he was standing on his head in a field. On being asked why, he said, “You are noticed more if you stand on your head than if you are right way up.”[14] Jacintha and Eric read and wrote poetry, and dreamed of becoming famous writers. He said that he might write a book in the style of H. G. Wells‘s A Modern Utopia. During this period, he also enjoyed shooting, fishing and birdwatching with Jacintha’s brother and sister.[14]

Playing fields at St. Cyprian’s. Blair’s time at the school inspired his essay “Such, Such Were the Joys“.

At the age of five, Eric was sent as a day-boy to a convent school in Henley-on-Thames, which Marjorie also attended. It was a Roman Catholic convent run by French Ursuline nuns, who had been exiled from France after religious education was banned in 1903.[15] His mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fees, and he needed to earn a scholarship. Ida Blair’s brother Charles Limouzin recommended St Cyprian’s School, Eastbourne, East Sussex.[8] Limouzin, who was a proficient golfer, knew of the school and its headmaster through the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club, where he won several competitions in 1903 and 1904.[16] The headmaster undertook to help Blair to win a scholarship, and made a private financial arrangement that allowed Blair’s parents to pay only half the normal fees. In September 1911 Eric arrived at St Cyprian’s. He boarded at the school for the next five years, returning home only for school holidays. He knew nothing of the reduced fees, although he “soon recognised that he was from a poorer home”.[17] Blair hated the school[18] and many years later wrote an essay “Such, Such Were the Joys“, published posthumously, based on his time there. At St. Cyprian’s, Blair first met Cyril Connolly, who became a writer. Many years later, as the editor of Horizon, Connolly published several of Orwell’s essays.

While at St Cyprian’s, Blair wrote two poems that were published in the Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard.[19][20] He came second to Connolly in the Harrow History Prize, had his work praised by the school’s external examiner, and earned scholarships to Wellington and Eton. But inclusion on the Eton scholarship roll did not guarantee a place, and none was immediately available for Blair. He chose to stay at St Cyprian’s until December 1916, in case a place at Eton became available.[8]

In January, Blair took up the place at Wellington, where he spent the Spring term. In May 1917 a place became available as a King’s Scholar at Eton. He remained at Eton until December 1921, when he left midway between his 18th and 19th birthday. Wellington was “beastly”, Orwell told his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, but he said he was “interested and happy” at Eton.[21] His principal tutor was A. S. F. Gow, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, who also gave him advice later in his career.[8] Blair was briefly taught French by Aldous Huxley. Stephen Runciman, who was at Eton with Blair, noted that he and his contemporaries appreciated Huxley’s linguistic flair.[22] Cyril Connolly followed Blair to Eton, but because they were in separate years, they did not associate with each other.[23]

Blair’s academic performance reports suggest that he neglected his academic studies,[22] but during his time at Eton he worked with Roger Mynors to produce a College magazine, The Election Times, joined in the production of other publications – College Days and Bubble and Squeak – and participated in the Eton Wall Game. His parents could not afford to send him to a university without another scholarship, and they concluded from his poor results that he would not be able to win one. Runciman noted that he had a romantic idea about the East,[22] and the family decided that Blair should join the Imperial Police, the precursor of the Indian Police Service. For this he had to pass an entrance examination. His father had retired to Southwold, Suffolk, by this time; Blair was enrolled at a crammer there called Craighurst, and brushed up on his Classics, English, and History. He passed the entrance exam, coming seventh out of the 26 candidates who exceeded the pass mark.[8][24]

Policing in Burma

Blair pictured in a passport photo during his Burma years

Blair’s maternal grandmother lived at Moulmein, so he chose a posting in Burma. In October 1922 he sailed on board SS Herefordshire via the Suez Canal and Ceylon to join the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. A month later, he arrived at Rangoon and travelled to the police training school in Mandalay. After a short posting at Maymyo, Burma’s principal hill station, he was posted to the frontier outpost of Myaungmya in the Irrawaddy Delta at the beginning of 1924.

Working as an imperial policeman gave him considerable responsibility while most of his contemporaries were still at university in England. When he was posted farther east in the Delta to Twante as a sub-divisional officer, he was responsible for the security of some 200,000 people. At the end of 1924, he was promoted to Assistant District Superintendent and posted to Syriam, closer to Rangoon. Syriam had the refinery of the Burmah Oil Company, “the surrounding land a barren waste, all vegetation killed off by the fumes of sulphur dioxide pouring out day and night from the stacks of the refinery.” But the town was near Rangoon, a cosmopolitan seaport, and Blair went into the city as often as he could, “to browse in a bookshop; to eat well-cooked food; to get away from the boring routine of police life”.[25] In September 1925 he went to Insein, the home of Insein Prison, the second largest jail in Burma. In Insein, he had “long talks on every conceivable subject” with Elisa Maria Langford-Rae (who later married Kazi Lhendup Dorjee). She noted his “sense of utter fairness in minutest details”.[26]

British Club in Katha (in Orwell’s time, it occupied only the ground floor)

In April 1926 he moved to Moulmein, where his maternal grandmother lived. At the end of that year, he was assigned to Katha in Upper Burma, where he contracted dengue fever in 1927. Entitled to a leave in England that year, he was allowed to return in July due to his illness. While on leave in England and on holiday with his family in Cornwall in September 1927, he reappraised his life. Deciding against returning to Burma, he resigned from the Indian Imperial Police to become a writer. He drew on his experiences in the Burma police for the novel Burmese Days (1934) and the essays “A Hanging” (1931) and “Shooting an Elephant” (1936).

In Burma, Blair acquired a reputation as an outsider. He spent much of his time alone, reading or pursuing non-pukka activities, such as attending the churches of the Karen ethnic group. A colleague, Roger Beadon, recalled (in a 1969 recording for the BBC) that Blair was fast to learn the language and that before he left Burma, “was able to speak fluently with Burmese priests in ‘very high-flown Burmese.'”[27] Blair made changes to his appearance in Burma that remained for the rest of his life. “While in Burma, he acquired a moustache similar to those worn by officers of the British regiments stationed there. [He] also acquired some tattoos; on each knuckle he had a small untidy blue circle. Many Burmese living in rural areas still sport tattoos like this – they are believed to protect against bullets and snake bites.”[28] Later, he wrote that he felt guilty about his role in the work of empire and he “began to look more closely at his own country and saw that England also had its oppressed …”

London and Paris

Blair’s 1927 lodgings in Portobello Road, London

In England, he settled back in the family home at Southwold, renewing acquaintance with local friends and attending an Old Etonian dinner. He visited his old tutor Gow at Cambridge for advice on becoming a writer.[29] In 1927 he moved to London.[30] Ruth Pitter, a family acquaintance, helped him find lodgings, and by the end of 1927 he had moved into rooms in Portobello Road;[31] a blue plaque commemorates his residence there.[32] Pitter’s involvement in the move “would have lent it a reassuring respectability in Mrs Blair’s eyes.” Pitter had a sympathetic interest in Blair’s writing, pointed out weaknesses in his poetry, and advised him to write about what he knew. In fact he decided to write of “certain aspects of the present that he set out to know” and “ventured into the East End of London – the first of the occasional sorties he would make to discover for himself the world of poverty and the down-and-outers who inhabit it. He had found a subject. These sorties, explorations, expeditions, tours or immersions were made intermittently over a period of five years.”[33]

In imitation of Jack London, whose writing he admired (particularly The People of the Abyss), Blair started to explore the poorer parts of London. On his first outing he set out to Limehouse Causeway, spending his first night in a common lodging house, possibly George Levy’s ‘kip’. For a while he “went native” in his own country, dressing like a tramp, adopting the name P. S. Burton and making no concessions to middle-class mores and expectations; he recorded his experiences of the low life for use in “The Spike“, his first published essay in English, and in the second half of his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933).

Rue du Pot de Fer, on the Left Bank, in the 5th arrondissement, where Blair lived in Paris

In early 1928 he moved to Paris. He lived in the rue du Pot de Fer, a working class district in the 5th Arrondissement.[8] His aunt Nellie Limouzin also lived in Paris and gave him social and, when necessary, financial support. He began to write novels, including an early version of Burmese Days, but nothing else survives from that period.[8] He was more successful as a journalist and published articles in Monde, a political/literary journal edited by Henri Barbusse (his first article as a professional writer, “La Censure en Angleterre”, appeared in that journal on 6 October 1928); G. K.’s Weekly, where his first article to appear in England, “A Farthing Newspaper”, was printed on 29 December 1928;[34] and Le Progrès Civique (founded by the left-wing coalition Le Cartel des Gauches). Three pieces appeared in successive weeks in Le Progrès Civique: discussing unemployment, a day in the life of a tramp, and the beggars of London, respectively. “In one or another of its destructive forms, poverty was to become his obsessive subject – at the heart of almost everything he wrote until Homage to Catalonia.”[35]

He fell seriously ill in February 1929 and was taken to the Hôpital Cochin in the 14th arrondissement, a free hospital where medical students were trained. His experiences there were the basis of his essay “How the Poor Die“, published in 1946. He chose not to identify the hospital, and indeed was deliberately misleading about its location. Shortly afterwards, he had all his money stolen from his lodging house. Whether through necessity or to collect material, he undertook menial jobs like dishwashing in a fashionable hotel on the rue de Rivoli, which he later described in Down and Out in Paris and London. In August 1929, he sent a copy of “The Spike” to John Middleton Murry‘s New Adelphi magazine in London. The magazine was edited by Max Plowman and Sir Richard Rees, and Plowman accepted the work for publication.

Southwold

Southwold – North Parade

In December 1929, after nearly two years in Paris, Blair returned to England and went directly to his parents’ house in Southwold, which remained his base for the next five years. The family was well established in the town and his sister Avril was running a tea-house there. He became acquainted with many local people, including Brenda Salkeld, the clergyman’s daughter who worked as a gym-teacher at St Felix Girls’ School, Southwold. Although Salkeld rejected his offer of marriage, she remained a friend and regular correspondent for many years. He also renewed friendships with older friends, such as Dennis Collings, whose girlfriend Eleanor Jacques was also to play a part in his life.[8]

In early 1930 he stayed briefly in Bramley, Leeds, with his sister Marjorie and her husband Humphrey Dakin, who was as unappreciative of Blair as when they knew each other as children. Blair was writing reviews for Adelphi and acting as a private tutor to a disabled child at Southwold. He then became tutor to three young brothers, one of whom, Richard Peters, later became a distinguished academic.[36] “His history in these years is marked by dualities and contrasts. There is Blair leading a respectable, outwardly eventless life at his parents’ house in Southwold, writing; then in contrast, there is Blair as Burton (the name he used in his down-and-out episodes) in search of experience in the kips and spikes, in the East End, on the road, and in the hop fields of Kent.”[37] He went painting and bathing on the beach, and there he met Mabel and Francis Fierz, who later influenced his career. Over the next year he visited them in London, often meeting their friend Max Plowman. He also often stayed at the homes of Ruth Pitter and Richard Rees, where he could “change” for his sporadic tramping expeditions. One of his jobs was domestic work at a lodgings for half a crown (two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound) a day.[38]

Blair now contributed regularly to Adelphi, with “A Hanging” appearing in August 1931. From August to September 1931 his explorations of poverty continued, and, like the protagonist of A Clergyman’s Daughter, he followed the East End tradition of working in the Kent hop fields. He kept a diary about his experiences there. Afterwards, he lodged in the Tooley Street kip, but could not stand it for long, and with financial help from his parents moved to Windsor Street, where he stayed until Christmas. “Hop Picking”, by Eric Blair, appeared in the October 1931 issue of New Statesman, whose editorial staff included his old friend Cyril Connolly. Mabel Fierz put him in contact with Leonard Moore, who became his literary agent.

At this time Jonathan Cape rejected A Scullion’s Diary, the first version of Down and Out. On the advice of Richard Rees, he offered it to Faber and Faber, but their editorial director, T. S. Eliot, also rejected it. Blair ended the year by deliberately getting himself arrested,[39] so that he could experience Christmas in prison, but the authorities did not regard his “drunk and disorderly” behaviour as imprisonable, and he returned home to Southwold after two days in a police cell.

Teaching career

In April 1932 Blair became a teacher at The Hawthorns High School, a school for boys in Hayes, West London. This was a small school offering private schooling for children of local tradesmen and shopkeepers, and had only 14 or 16 boys aged between ten and sixteen, and one other master.[40] While at the school he became friendly with the curate of the local parish church and became involved with activities there. Mabel Fierz had pursued matters with Moore, and at the end of June 1932, Moore told Blair that Victor Gollancz was prepared to publish A Scullion’s Diary for a £40 advance, through his recently founded publishing house, Victor Gollancz Ltd, which was an outlet for radical and socialist works.

At the end of the summer term in 1932, Blair returned to Southwold, where his parents had used a legacy to buy their own home. Blair and his sister Avril spent the holidays making the house habitable while he also worked on Burmese Days.[41] He was also spending time with Eleanor Jacques, but her attachment to Dennis Collings remained an obstacle to his hopes of a more serious relationship.

The pen name “George Orwell” was inspired by the River Orwell in the English county of Suffolk[42]

“Clink”, an essay describing his failed attempt to get sent to prison, appeared in the August 1932 number of Adelphi. He returned to teaching at Hayes and prepared for the publication of his book, now known as Down and Out in Paris and London. He wished to publish under a different name to avoid any embarrassment to his family over his time as a “tramp”.[43] In a letter to Moore (dated 15 November 1932), he left the choice of pseudonym to Moore and to Gollancz. Four days later, he wrote to Moore, suggesting the pseudonyms P. S. Burton (a name he used when tramping), Kenneth Miles, George Orwell, and H. Lewis Allways.[44] He finally adopted the nom de plume George Orwell because, as he told Eleanor Jacques, “It is a good round English name.” Down and Out in Paris and London was published on 9 January 1933, as Orwell continued to work on Burmese Days. Down and Out was successful and was next published by Harper & Brothers in New York.

In mid-1933 Blair left Hawthorns to become a teacher at Frays College, in Uxbridge, Middlesex. This was a much larger establishment with 200 pupils and a full complement of staff. He acquired a motorcycle and took trips through the surrounding countryside. On one of these expeditions he became soaked and caught a chill that developed into pneumonia. He was taken to Uxbridge Cottage Hospital, where for a time his life was believed to be in danger. When he was discharged in January 1934, he returned to Southwold to convalesce and, supported by his parents, never returned to teaching.

He was disappointed when Gollancz turned down Burmese Days, mainly on the grounds of potential suits for libel, but Harper were prepared to publish it in the United States. Meanwhile, Blair started work on the novel A Clergyman’s Daughter, drawing upon his life as a teacher and on life in Southwold. Eleanor Jacques was now married and had gone to Singapore and Brenda Salkield had left for Ireland, so Blair was relatively isolated in Southwold – working on the allotments, walking alone and spending time with his father. Eventually in October, after sending A Clergyman’s Daughter to Moore, he left for London to take a job that had been found for him by his aunt Nellie Limouzin.

Hampstead

Orwell’s former home at 77 Parliament Hill, Hampstead, London

This job was as a part-time assistant in Booklovers’ Corner, a second-hand bookshop in Hampstead run by Francis and Myfanwy Westrope, who were friends of Nellie Limouzin in the Esperanto movement. The Westropes were friendly and provided him with comfortable accommodation at Warwick Mansions, Pond Street. He was sharing the job with Jon Kimche, who also lived with the Westropes. Blair worked at the shop in the afternoons and had his mornings free to write and his evenings free to socialise. These experiences provided background for the novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936). As well as the various guests of the Westropes, he was able to enjoy the company of Richard Rees and the Adelphi writers and Mabel Fierz. The Westropes and Kimche were members of the Independent Labour Party, although at this time Blair was not seriously politically active. He was writing for the Adelphi and preparing A Clergyman’s Daughter and Burmese Days for publication.

At the beginning of 1935 he had to move out of Warwick Mansions, and Mabel Fierz found him a flat in Parliament Hill. A Clergyman’s Daughter was published on 11 March 1935. In early 1935 Blair met his future wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy, when his landlady, Rosalind Obermeyer, who was studying for a master’s degree in psychology at University College London, invited some of her fellow students to a party. One of these students, Elizaveta Fen, a biographer and future translator of Chekhov, recalled Orwell and his friend Richard Rees “draped” at the fireplace, looking, she thought, “moth-eaten and prematurely aged.”[45] Around this time, Blair had started to write reviews for the New English Weekly.

Orwell’s time as a bookseller is commemorated with this plaque in Hampstead

In June, Burmese Days was published and Cyril Connolly’s review in the New Statesman prompted Orwell (as he then became known) to re-establish contact with his old friend. In August, he moved into a flat in Kentish Town, which he shared with Michael Sayers and Rayner Heppenstall. The relationship was sometimes awkward and Orwell and Heppenstall even came to blows, though they remained friends and later worked together on BBC broadcasts.[46] Orwell was now working on Keep the Aspidistra Flying, and also tried unsuccessfully to write a serial for the News Chronicle. By October 1935 his flatmates had moved out and he was struggling to pay the rent on his own. He remained until the end of January 1936, when he stopped working at Booklovers’ Corner.

The Road to Wigan Pier

At this time, Victor Gollancz suggested Orwell spend a short time investigating social conditions in economically depressed northern England.[n 2] Two years earlier J. B. Priestley had written about England north of the Trent, sparking an interest in reportage. The depression had also introduced a number of working-class writers from the North of England to the reading public.

On 31 January 1936, Orwell set out by public transport and on foot, reaching Manchester via Coventry, Stafford, the Potteries and Macclesfield. Arriving in Manchester after the banks had closed, he had to stay in a common lodging-house. The next day he picked up a list of contacts sent by Richard Rees. One of these, the trade union official Frank Meade, suggested Wigan, where Orwell spent February staying in dirty lodgings over a tripe shop. At Wigan, he visited many homes to see how people lived, took detailed notes of housing conditions and wages earned, went down Bryn Hall coal mine, and used the local public library to consult public health records and reports on working conditions in mines.

During this time, he was distracted by concerns about style and possible libel in Keep the Aspidistra Flying. He made a quick visit to Liverpool and during March, stayed in south Yorkshire, spending time in Sheffield and Barnsley. As well as visiting mines, including Grimethorpe, and observing social conditions, he attended meetings of the Communist Party and of Oswald Mosley – “his speech the usual claptrap – The blame for everything was put upon mysterious international gangs of Jews” – where he saw the tactics of the Blackshirts – “one is liable to get both a hammering and a fine for asking a question which Mosley finds it difficult to answer.”[48] He also made visits to his sister at Headingley, during which he visited the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth, where he was “chiefly impressed by a pair of Charlotte Brontë‘s cloth-topped boots, very small, with square toes and lacing up at the sides.”[49]

A former warehouse at Wigan Pier is named after Orwell

No 2 Kits Lane, Wallington, Hertfordshire. Orwell’s residence c. 1936–1940

The result of his journeys through the north was The Road to Wigan Pier, published by Gollancz for the Left Book Club in 1937. The first half of the book documents his social investigations of Lancashire and Yorkshire, including an evocative description of working life in the coal mines. The second half is a long essay on his upbringing and the development of his political conscience, which includes an argument for Socialism (although he goes to lengths to balance the concerns and goals of Socialism with the barriers it faced from the movement’s own advocates at the time, such as ‘priggish’ and ‘dull’ Socialist intellectuals, and ‘proletarian’ Socialists with little grasp of the actual ideology). Gollancz feared the second half would offend readers and added a disculpatory preface to the book while Orwell was in Spain.

Orwell needed somewhere he could concentrate on writing his book, and once again help was provided by Aunt Nellie, who was living at Wallington, Hertfordshire in a very small 16th-century cottage called the “Stores”. Wallington was a tiny village 35 miles north of London, and the cottage had almost no modern facilities. Orwell took over the tenancy and moved in on 2 April 1936.[50] He started work on The Road to Wigan Pier by the end of April, but also spent hours working on the garden and testing the possibility of reopening the Stores as a village shop. Keep the Aspidistra Flying was published by Gollancz on 20 April 1936. On 4 August Orwell gave a talk at the Adelphi Summer School held at Langham, entitled An Outsider Sees the Distressed Areas; others who spoke at the school included John Strachey, Max Plowman, Karl Polanyi and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Orwell’s research for The Road to Wigan Pier led to him being placed under surveillance by the Special Branch from 1936, for 12 years, until one year before the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four.[51]

Orwell married Eileen O’Shaughnessy on 9 June 1936. Shortly afterwards, the political crisis began in Spain and Orwell followed developments there closely. At the end of the year, concerned by Francisco Franco‘s military uprising, (supported by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and local groups such as Falange), Orwell decided to go to Spain to take part in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. Under the erroneous impression that he needed papers from some left-wing organisation to cross the frontier, on John Strachey‘s recommendation he applied unsuccessfully to Harry Pollitt, leader of the British Communist Party. Pollitt was suspicious of Orwell’s political reliability; he asked him whether he would undertake to join the International Brigade and advised him to get a safe-conduct from the Spanish Embassy in Paris.[52] Not wishing to commit himself until he had seen the situation in situ, Orwell instead used his Independent Labour Party contacts to get a letter of introduction to John McNair in Barcelona.

The Spanish Civil War

The square in Barcelona renamed in Orwell’s honour

Orwell set out for Spain on about 23 December 1936, dining with Henry Miller in Paris on the way. The American writer told Orwell that going to fight in the Civil War out of some sense of obligation or guilt was ‘sheer stupidity,’ and that the Englishman’s ideas ‘about combating Fascism, defending democracy, etc., etc., were all baloney.’[53] A few days later, in Barcelona, Orwell met John McNair of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) Office who quoted him: “I’ve come to fight against Fascism”.[54] Orwell stepped into a complex political situation in Catalonia. The Republican government was supported by a number of factions with conflicting aims, including the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification (POUM – Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista), the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (a wing of the Spanish Communist Party, which was backed by Soviet arms and aid). The ILP was linked to the POUM so Orwell joined the POUM.

After a time at the Lenin Barracks in Barcelona he was sent to the relatively quiet Aragon Front under Georges Kopp. By January 1937 he was at Alcubierre 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level, in the depth of winter. There was very little military action, and Orwell was shocked by the lack of munitions, food, and firewood, and other extreme deprivations.[55] Orwell, with his Cadet Corps and police training, was quickly made a corporal. On the arrival of a British ILP Contingent about three weeks later, Orwell and the other English militiaman, Williams, were sent with them to Monte Oscuro. The newly arrived ILP contingent included Bob Smillie, Bob Edwards, Stafford Cottman and Jack Branthwaite. The unit was then sent on to Huesca.

Meanwhile, back in England, Eileen had been handling the issues relating to the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier before setting out for Spain herself, leaving Nellie Limouzin to look after The Stores. Eileen volunteered for a post in John McNair’s office and with the help of Georges Kopp paid visits to her husband, bringing him English tea, chocolate, and cigars.[56] Orwell had to spend some days in hospital with a poisoned hand[57] and had most of his possessions stolen by the staff. He returned to the front and saw some action in a night attack on the Nationalist trenches where he chased an enemy soldier with a bayonet and bombed an enemy rifle position.

In April, Orwell returned to Barcelona.[57] Wanting to be sent to the Madrid front, which meant he “must join the International Column”, he approached a Communist friend attached to the Spanish Medical Aid and explained his case. “Although he did not think much of the Communists, Orwell was still ready to treat them as friends and allies. That would soon change.”[58] This was the time of the Barcelona May Days and Orwell was caught up in the factional fighting. He spent much of the time on a roof, with a stack of novels, but encountered Jon Kimche from his Hampstead days during the stay. The subsequent campaign of lies and distortion carried out by the Communist press,[59] in which the POUM was accused of collaborating with the fascists, had a dramatic effect on Orwell. Instead of joining the International Brigades as he had intended, he decided to return to the Aragon Front. Once the May fighting was over, he was approached by a Communist friend who asked if he still intended transferring to the International Brigades. Orwell expressed surprise that they should still want him, because according to the Communist press he was a fascist.[60] “No one who was in Barcelona then, or for months later, will forget the horrible atmosphere produced by fear, suspicion, hatred, censored newspapers, crammed jails, enormous food queues and prowling gangs of armed men.”[61]

After his return to the front, he was wounded in the throat by a sniper’s bullet. At 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Orwell was considerably taller than the Spanish fighters[62] and had been warned against standing against the trench parapet. Unable to speak, and with blood pouring from his mouth, Orwell was carried on a stretcher to Siétamo, loaded on an ambulance and after a bumpy journey via Barbastro arrived at the hospital at Lérida. He recovered sufficiently to get up and on 27 May 1937 was sent on to Tarragona and two days later to a POUM sanatorium in the suburbs of Barcelona. The bullet had missed his main artery by the barest margin and his voice was barely audible. It had been such a clean shot that the wound immediately went through the process of cauterisation. He received electrotherapy treatment and was declared medically unfit for service.[63]

By the middle of June the political situation in Barcelona had deteriorated and the POUM – painted by the pro-Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organisation – was outlawed and under attack. The Communist line was that the POUM were “objectively” Fascist, hindering the Republican cause. “A particularly nasty poster appeared, showing a head with a POUM mask being ripped off to reveal a Swastika-covered face beneath.”[64] Members, including Kopp, were arrested and others were in hiding. Orwell and his wife were under threat and had to lie low,[n 3] although they broke cover to try to help Kopp.

Finally with their passports in order, they escaped from Spain by train, diverting to Banyuls-sur-Mer for a short stay before returning to England. In the first week of July 1937 Orwell arrived back at Wallington; on 13 July 1937 a deposition was presented to the Tribunal for Espionage & High Treason, Valencia, charging the Orwells with “rabid Trotskyism“, and being agents of the POUM.[65] The trial of the leaders of the POUM and of Orwell (in his absence) took place in Barcelona in October and November 1938. Observing events from French Morocco, Orwell wrote that they were ” – only a by-product of the Russian Trotskyist trials and from the start every kind of lie, including flagrant absurdities, has been circulated in the Communist press.”[66] Orwell’s experiences in the Spanish Civil War gave rise to Homage to Catalonia (1938).

Rest and recuperation

Laurence O’Shaughnessy’s former home, the large house on the corner, 24 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London[67]

Orwell returned to England in June 1937, and stayed at the O’Shaughnessy home at Greenwich. He found his views on the Spanish Civil War out of favour. Kingsley Martin rejected two of his works and Gollancz was equally cautious. At the same time, the communist Daily Worker was running an attack on The Road to Wigan Pier, misquoting Orwell as saying “the working classes smell”; a letter to Gollancz from Orwell threatening libel action brought a stop to this. Orwell was also able to find a more sympathetic publisher for his views in Frederic Warburg of Secker & Warburg. Orwell returned to Wallington, which he found in disarray after his absence. He acquired goats, a rooster he called “Henry Ford”, and a poodle puppy he called “Marx”[68][69][70] and settled down to animal husbandry and writing Homage to Catalonia.

There were thoughts of going to India to work on the Pioneer, a newspaper in Lucknow, but by March 1938 Orwell’s health had deteriorated. He was admitted to Preston Hall Sanatorium at Aylesford, Kent, a British Legion hospital for ex-servicemen to which his brother-in-law Laurence O’Shaughnessy was attached. He was thought initially to be suffering from tuberculosis and stayed in the sanatorium until September. A stream of visitors came to see him including Common, Heppenstall, Plowman and Cyril Connolly. Connolly brought with him Stephen Spender, a cause of some embarrassment as Orwell had referred to Spender as a “pansy friend” some time earlier. Homage to Catalonia was published by Secker & Warburg and was a commercial flop. In the latter part of his stay at the clinic Orwell was able to go for walks in the countryside and study nature.

The novelist L. H. Myers secretly funded a trip to French Morocco for half a year for Orwell to avoid the English winter and recover his health. The Orwells set out in September 1938 via Gibraltar and Tangier to avoid Spanish Morocco and arrived at Marrakech. They rented a villa on the road to Casablanca and during that time Orwell wrote Coming Up for Air. They arrived back in England on 30 March 1939 and Coming Up for Air was published in June. Orwell spent time in Wallington and Southwold working on a Dickens essay and it was in July 1939 that Orwell’s father, Richard Blair, died.

Second World War and Animal Farm

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Orwell’s wife Eileen started working in the Censorship Department of the Ministry of Information in central London, staying during the week with her family in Greenwich. Orwell also submitted his name to the Central Register for war work, but nothing transpired. “They won’t have me in the army, at any rate at present, because of my lungs”, Orwell told Geoffrey Gorer. He returned to Wallington, and in late 1939 he wrote material for his first collection of essays, Inside the Whale. For the next year he was occupied writing reviews for plays, films and books for The Listener, Time and Tide and New Adelphi. On 29 March 1940 his long association with Tribune began[71] with a review of a sergeant’s account of Napoleon‘s retreat from Moscow. At the beginning of 1940, the first edition of Connolly’s Horizon appeared, and this provided a new outlet for Orwell’s work as well as new literary contacts. In May the Orwells took lease of a flat in London at Dorset Chambers, Chagford Street, Marylebone. It was the time of the Dunkirk evacuation and the death in France of Eileen’s brother Lawrence caused her considerable grief and long-term depression. Throughout this period Orwell kept a wartime diary.

Orwell was declared “unfit for any kind of military service” by the Medical Board in June, but soon afterwards found an opportunity to become involved in war activities by joining the Home Guard. He shared Tom Wintringham‘s socialist vision for the Home Guard as a revolutionary People’s Militia. His lecture notes for instructing platoon members include advice on street fighting, field fortifications, and the use of mortars of various kinds. Sergeant Orwell managed to recruit Frederic Warburg to his unit. During the Battle of Britain he used to spend weekends with Warburg and his new Zionist friend, Tosco Fyvel, at Warburg’s house at Twyford, Berkshire. At Wallington he worked on “England Your England” and in London wrote reviews for various periodicals. Visiting Eileen’s family in Greenwich brought him face-to-face with the effects of the blitz on East London. In mid-1940, Warburg, Fyvel and Orwell planned Searchlight Books. Eleven volumes eventually appeared, of which Orwell’s The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, published on 19 February 1941, was the first.[72]

Early in 1941 he started writing for the American Partisan Review which linked Orwell with The New York Intellectuals, like him anti-Stalinist, but committed to staying on the Left,[73] and contributed to Gollancz anthology The Betrayal of the Left, written in the light of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (although Orwell referred to it as the Russo-German Pact and the Hitler-Stalin Pact[74]). He also applied unsuccessfully for a job at the Air Ministry. Meanwhile, he was still writing reviews of books and plays and at this time met the novelist Anthony Powell. He also took part in a few radio broadcasts for the Eastern Service of the BBC. In March the Orwells moved to a seventh-floor flat at Langford Court, St John’s Wood, while at Wallington Orwell was “digging for victory” by planting potatoes.

One could not have a better example of the moral and emotional shallowness of our time, than the fact that we are now all more or less pro Stalin. This disgusting murderer is temporarily on our side, and so the purges, etc., are suddenly forgotten.

— George Orwell, in his war-time diary, 3 July 1941[75]

In August 1941, Orwell finally obtained “war work” when he was taken on full-time by the BBC’s Eastern Service. He supervised cultural broadcasts to India to counter propaganda from Nazi Germany designed to undermine Imperial links. This was Orwell’s first experience of the rigid conformity of life in an office, and it gave him an opportunity to create cultural programmes with contributions from T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, E. M. Forster, Ahmed Ali, Mulk Raj Anand, and William Empson among others.

At the end of August he had a dinner with H. G. Wells which degenerated into a row because Wells had taken offence at observations Orwell made about him in a Horizon article. In October Orwell had a bout of bronchitis and the illness recurred frequently. David Astor was looking for a provocative contributor for The Observer and invited Orwell to write for him – the first article appearing in March 1942. In early 1942 Eileen changed jobs to work at the Ministry of Food and in mid-1942 the Orwells moved to a larger flat, a ground floor and basement, 10a Mortimer Crescent in Maida Vale/Kilburn – “the kind of lower-middle-class ambience that Orwell thought was London at its best.” Around the same time Orwell’s mother and sister Avril, who had found work in a sheet-metal factory behind Kings Cross Station, moved into a flat close to George and Eileen.[76]

Orwell at the BBC in 1941. Despite having spoken on many broadcasts, no recordings of Orwell’s voice are known to survive.[77][78][79]

At the BBC, Orwell introduced Voice, a literary programme for his Indian broadcasts, and by now was leading an active social life with literary friends, particularly on the political left. Late in 1942, he started writing regularly for the left-wing weekly Tribune[80]:306[81]:441 directed by Labour MPs Aneurin Bevan and George Strauss. In March 1943 Orwell’s mother died and around the same time he told Moore he was starting work on a new book, which turned out to be Animal Farm.

In September 1943, Orwell resigned from the BBC post that he had occupied for two years.[82]:352 His resignation followed a report confirming his fears that few Indians listened to the broadcasts,[83] but he was also keen to concentrate on writing Animal Farm. Just six days before his last day of service, on 24 November 1943, his adaptation of the fairy tale, Hans Christian Andersen‘s The Emperor’s New Clothes was broadcast. It was a genre in which he was greatly interested and which appeared on Animal Farms title-page.[84] At this time he also resigned from the Home Guard on medical grounds.[85]

In November 1943, Orwell was appointed literary editor at Tribune, where his assistant was his old friend Jon Kimche. Orwell was on staff until early 1945, writing over 80 book reviews[86] and on 3 December 1943 started his regular personal column, “As I Please“, usually addressing three or four subjects in each.[87] He was still writing reviews for other magazines, including Partisan Review, Horizon, and the New York Nation and becoming a respected pundit among left-wing circles but also a close friend of people on the right such as Powell, Astor and Malcolm Muggeridge. By April 1944 Animal Farm was ready for publication. Gollancz refused to publish it, considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war. A similar fate was met from other publishers (including T. S. Eliot at Faber and Faber) until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it.

In May the Orwells had the opportunity to adopt a child, thanks to the contacts of Eileen’s sister Gwen O’Shaughnessy, then a doctor in Newcastle upon Tyne. In June a V-1 flying bomb struck Mortimer Crescent and the Orwells had to find somewhere else to live. Orwell had to scrabble around in the rubble for his collection of books, which he had finally managed to transfer from Wallington, carting them away in a wheelbarrow.

Another bombshell was Cape’s reversal of his plan to publish Animal Farm. The decision followed his personal visit to Peter Smollett, an official at the Ministry of Information. Smollett was later identified as a Soviet agent.[88][89]

The Orwells spent some time in the North East, near Carlton, County Durham, dealing with matters in the adoption of a boy whom they named Richard Horatio Blair.[90] By September 1944 they had set up home in Islington, at 27b Canonbury Square.[91] Baby Richard joined them there, and Eileen gave up her work at the Ministry of Food to look after her family. Secker & Warburg had agreed to publish Animal Farm, planned for the following March, although it did not appear in print until August 1945. By February 1945 David Astor had invited Orwell to become a war correspondent for the Observer. Orwell had been looking for the opportunity throughout the war, but his failed medical reports prevented him from being allowed anywhere near action. He went to Paris after the liberation of France and to Cologne once it had been occupied by the Allies.

It was while he was there that Eileen went into hospital for a hysterectomy and died under anaesthetic on 29 March 1945. She had not given Orwell much notice about this operation because of worries about the cost and because she expected to make a speedy recovery. Orwell returned home for a while and then went back to Europe. He returned finally to London to cover the 1945 general election at the beginning of July. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story was published in Britain on 17 August 1945, and a year later in the US, on 26 August 1946.

Jura and Nineteen Eighty-Four

Animal Farm struck a particular resonance in the post-war climate and its worldwide success made Orwell a sought-after figure.

For the next four years Orwell mixed journalistic work – mainly for Tribune, The Observer and the Manchester Evening News, though he also contributed to many small-circulation political and literary magazines – with writing his best-known work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in 1949.

Barnhill on the Isle of Jura off the west coast of Scotland

In the year following Eileen’s death he published around 130 articles and a selection of his Critical Essays, while remaining active in various political lobbying campaigns. He employed a housekeeper, Susan Watson, to look after his adopted son at the Islington flat, which visitors now described as “bleak”. In September he spent a fortnight on the island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides and saw it as a place to escape from the hassle of London literary life. David Astor was instrumental in arranging a place for Orwell on Jura.[92] Astor’s family owned Scottish estates in the area and a fellow Old Etonian Robin Fletcher had a property on the island. In late 1945 and early 1946 Orwell made several hopeless and unwelcome marriage proposals to younger women, including Celia Kirwan (who was later to become Arthur Koestler‘s sister-in-law), Ann Popham who happened to live in the same block of flats and Sonia Brownell, one of Connolly’s coterie at the Horizon office. Orwell suffered a tubercular haemorrhage in February 1946 but disguised his illness. In 1945 or early 1946, while still living at Canonbury Square, Orwell wrote an article on “British Cookery”, complete with recipes, commissioned by the British Council. Given the post-war shortages, both parties agreed not to publish it.[93] His sister Marjorie died of kidney disease in May and shortly after, on 22 May 1946, Orwell set off to live on the Isle of Jura.

Barnhill[94] was an abandoned farmhouse with outbuildings near the northern end of the island, situated at the end of a five-mile (8 km), heavily rutted track from Ardlussa, where the owners lived. Conditions at the farmhouse were primitive but the natural history and the challenge of improving the place appealed to Orwell. His sister Avril accompanied him there and young novelist Paul Potts made up the party. In July Susan Watson arrived with Orwell’s son Richard. Tensions developed and Potts departed after one of his manuscripts was used to light the fire. Orwell meanwhile set to work on Nineteen Eighty-Four. Later Susan Watson’s boyfriend David Holbrook arrived. A fan of Orwell since school days, he found the reality very different, with Orwell hostile and disagreeable probably because of Holbrook’s membership of the Communist Party.[95] Susan Watson could no longer stand being with Avril and she and her boyfriend left.

Orwell returned to London in late 1946 and picked up his literary journalism again. Now a well-known writer, he was swamped with work. Apart from a visit to Jura in the new year he stayed in London for one of the coldest British winters on record and with such a national shortage of fuel that he burnt his furniture and his child’s toys. The heavy smog in the days before the Clean Air Act 1956 did little to help his health about which he was reticent, keeping clear of medical attention. Meanwhile, he had to cope with rival claims of publishers Gollancz and Warburg for publishing rights. About this time he co-edited a collection titled British Pamphleteers with Reginald Reynolds. As a result of the success of Animal Farm, Orwell was expecting a large bill from the Inland Revenue and he contacted a firm of accountants of which the senior partner was Jack Harrison. The firm advised Orwell to establish a company to own his copyright and to receive his royalties and set up a “service agreement” so that he could draw a salary. Such a company “George Orwell Productions Ltd” (GOP Ltd) was set up on 12 September 1947 although the service agreement was not then put into effect. Jack Harrison left the details at this stage to junior colleagues.[96]

Orwell left London for Jura on 10 April 1947.[8] In July he ended the lease on the Wallington cottage.[97] Back on Jura he worked on Nineteen Eighty-Four and made good progress. During that time his sister’s family visited, and Orwell led a disastrous boating expedition, on 19 August,[98] which nearly led to loss of life whilst trying to cross the notorious gulf of Corryvreckan and gave him a soaking which was not good for his health. In December a chest specialist was summoned from Glasgow who pronounced Orwell seriously ill and a week before Christmas 1947 he was in Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, then a small village in the countryside, on the outskirts of Glasgow. Tuberculosis was diagnosed and the request for permission to import streptomycin to treat Orwell went as far as Aneurin Bevan, then Minister of Health. David Astor helped with supply and payment and Orwell began his course of streptomycin on 19 or 20 February 1948.[99] By the end of July 1948 Orwell was able to return to Jura and by December he had finished the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four. In January 1949, in a very weak condition, he set off for a sanatorium at Cranham, Gloucestershire, escorted by Richard Rees.

The sanatorium at Cranham consisted of a series of small wooden chalets or huts in a remote part of the Cotswolds near Stroud. Visitors were shocked by Orwell’s appearance and concerned by the short-comings and ineffectiveness of the treatment. Friends were worried about his finances, but by now he was comparatively well-off. He was writing to many of his friends, including Jacintha Buddicom, who had “rediscovered” him, and in March 1949, was visited by Celia Kirwan. Kirwan had just started working for a Foreign Office unit, the Information Research Department, set up by the Labour government to publish anti-communist propaganda, and Orwell gave her a list of people he considered to be unsuitable as IRD authors because of their pro-communist leanings. Orwell’s list, not published until 2003, consisted mainly of writers but also included actors and Labour MPs.[88][100] Orwell received more streptomycin treatment and improved slightly. In June 1949 Nineteen Eighty-Four was published to immediate critical and popular acclaim.

Final months and death

University College Hospital in London where Orwell died

Orwell’s health had continued to decline since the diagnosis of tuberculosis in December 1947. In mid-1949, he courted Sonia Brownell, and they announced their engagement in September, shortly before he was removed to University College Hospital in London. Sonia took charge of Orwell’s affairs and attended him diligently in the hospital, causing concern to some old friends such as Muggeridge. In September 1949, Orwell invited his accountant Harrison to visit him in hospital, and Harrison claimed that Orwell then asked him to become director of GOP Ltd and to manage the company, but there was no independent witness.[96] Orwell’s wedding took place in the hospital room on 13 October 1949, with David Astor as best man.[101] Orwell was in decline and visited by an assortment of visitors including Muggeridge, Connolly, Lucian Freud, Stephen Spender, Evelyn Waugh, Paul Potts, Anthony Powell, and his Eton tutor Anthony Gow.[8] Plans to go to the Swiss Alps were mooted. Further meetings were held with his accountant, at which Harrison and Mr and Mrs Blair were confirmed as directors of the company, and at which Harrison claimed that the “service agreement” was executed, giving copyright to the company.[96] Orwell’s health was in decline again by Christmas. On the evening of 20 January 1950, Potts visited Orwell and slipped away on finding him asleep. Jack Harrison visited later and claimed that Orwell gave him 25% of the company.[96] Early on the morning of 21 January, an artery burst in Orwell’s lungs, killing him at age 46.[102]

Orwell had requested to be buried in accordance with the Anglican rite in the graveyard of the closest church to wherever he happened to die. The graveyards in central London had no space, and fearing that he might have to be cremated against his wishes, his widow appealed to his friends to see whether any of them knew of a church with space in its graveyard.

George Orwell’s grave in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire

David Astor lived in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, and arranged for Orwell to be interred in All Saints’ Churchyard there.[103] Orwell’s gravestone bears the simple epitaph: “Here lies Eric Arthur Blair, born June 25th 1903, died January 21st 1950”; no mention is made on the gravestone of his more famous pen name.

Orwell’s son, Richard Horatio Blair, was brought up by Orwell’s sister Avril. He maintains a public profile as patron of the Orwell Society.[104] He gives interviews about the few memories he has of his father.

In 1979, Sonia Brownell brought a High Court action against Harrison, who had in the meantime transferred 75% of the company’s voting stock to himself and had dissipated much of the value of the company. She was considered to have a strong case, but was becoming increasingly ill and eventually was persuaded to settle out of court on 2 November 1980. She died on 11 December 1980, aged 62.[96]

Literary career and legacy

During most of his career, Orwell was best known for his journalism, in essays, reviews, columns in newspapers and magazines and in his books of reportage: Down and Out in Paris and London (describing a period of poverty in these cities), The Road to Wigan Pier (describing the living conditions of the poor in northern England, and class division generally) and Homage to Catalonia. According to Irving Howe, Orwell was “the best English essayist since Hazlitt, perhaps since Dr Johnson.”[105]

Modern readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to reflect degeneration in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism; the latter, life under totalitarian rule. Nineteen Eighty-Four is often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; both are powerful dystopian novels warning of a future world where the state machine exerts complete control over social life. In 1984, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 were honoured with the Prometheus Award for their contributions to dystopian literature. In 2011 he received it again for Animal Farm.

Coming Up for Air, his last novel before World War II is the most “English” of his novels; alarms of war mingle with images of idyllic Thames-side Edwardian childhood of protagonist George Bowling. The novel is pessimistic; industrialism and capitalism have killed the best of Old England, and there were great, new external threats. In homely terms, Bowling posits the totalitarian hypotheses of Borkenau, Orwell, Silone and Koestler: “Old Hitler’s something different. So’s Joe Stalin. They aren’t like these chaps in the old days who crucified people and chopped their heads off and so forth, just for the fun of it … They’re something quite new – something that’s never been heard of before”.

Literary influences

In an autobiographical piece that Orwell sent to the editors of Twentieth Century Authors in 1940, he wrote: “The writers I care about most and never grow tired of are: Shakespeare, Swift, Fielding, Dickens, Charles Reade, Flaubert and, among modern writers, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is W. Somerset Maugham, whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills.” Elsewhere, Orwell strongly praised the works of Jack London, especially his book The Road. Orwell’s investigation of poverty in The Road to Wigan Pier strongly resembles that of Jack London’s The People of the Abyss, in which the American journalist disguises himself as an out-of-work sailor to investigate the lives of the poor in London. In his essay “Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver’s Travels” (1946) Orwell wrote: “If I had to make a list of six books which were to be preserved when all others were destroyed, I would certainly put Gulliver’s Travels among them.”

Other writers admired by Orwell included: Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Gissing, Graham Greene, Herman Melville, Henry Miller, Tobias Smollett, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad and Yevgeny Zamyatin.[106] He was both an admirer and a critic of Rudyard Kipling,[107][108] praising Kipling as a gifted writer and a “good bad poet” whose work is “spurious” and “morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting,” but undeniably seductive and able to speak to certain aspects of reality more effectively than more enlightened authors.[109] He had a similarly ambivalent attitude to G. K. Chesterton, whom he regarded as a writer of considerable talent who had chosen to devote himself to “Roman Catholic propaganda”.[110]

Orwell as literary critic

Throughout his life Orwell continually supported himself as a book reviewer, writing works so long and sophisticated they have had an influence on literary criticism. He wrote in the conclusion to his 1940 essay on Charles Dickens,

When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer. I feel this very strongly with Swift, with Defoe, with Fielding, Stendhal, Thackeray, Flaubert, though in several cases I do not know what these people looked like and do not want to know. What one sees is the face that the writer ought to have. Well, in the case of Dickens I see a face that is not quite the face of Dickens’s photographs, though it resembles it. It is the face of a man of about forty, with a small beard and a high colour. He is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity. It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry – in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.

George Woodcock suggested that the last two sentences characterised Orwell as much as his subject.[111]

Orwell wrote a critique of George Bernard Shaw‘s play Arms and the Man. He considered this Shaw’s best play and the most likely to remain socially relevant, because of its theme that war is not, generally speaking, a glorious romantic adventure. His 1945 essay In Defense of P.G. Wodehouse contains an amusing assessment of his writing and also argues that his broadcasts from Germany (during the war) did not really make him a traitor. He accused The Ministry of Information of exaggerating Wodehouse’s actions for propaganda purposes.

Reception and evaluations of Orwell’s works

Arthur Koestler mentioned Orwell’s “uncompromising intellectual honesty [which] made him appear almost inhuman at times.”[112] Ben Wattenberg stated: “Orwell’s writing pierced intellectual hypocrisy wherever he found it.”[113] According to historian Piers Brendon, “Orwell was the saint of common decency who would in earlier days, said his BBC boss Rushbrook Williams, ‘have been either canonised – or burnt at the stake'”.[114] Raymond Williams in Politics and Letters: Interviews with New Left Review describes Orwell as a “successful impersonation of a plain man who bumps into experience in an unmediated way and tells the truth about it.”[115] Christopher Norris declared that Orwell’s “homespun empiricist outlook – his assumption that the truth was just there to be told in a straightforward common-sense way – now seems not merely naïve but culpably self-deluding”.[116] The American scholar Scott Lucas has described Orwell[117] as an enemy of the Left. John Newsinger has argued[118] that Lucas could only do this by portraying “all of Orwell’s attacks on Stalinism [-] as if they were attacks on socialism, despite Orwell’s continued insistence that they were not.”

Orwell’s work has taken a prominent place in the school literature curriculum in England,[119] with Animal Farm a regular examination topic at the end of secondary education (GCSE), and Nineteen Eighty-Four a topic for subsequent examinations below university level (A Levels). Alan Brown noted that this brings to the forefront questions about the political content of teaching practices. Study aids, in particular with potted biographies, might be seen to help propagate the Orwell myth so that as an embodiment of human values he is presented as a “trustworthy guide”, while examination questions sometimes suggest a “right ways of answering” in line with the myth.[120][clarification needed]

Historian John Rodden stated: “John Podhoretz did claim that if Orwell were alive today, he’d be standing with the neo-conservatives and against the Left. And the question arises, to what extent can you even begin to predict the political positions of somebody who’s been dead three decades and more by that time?”[113]

In Orwell’s Victory, Christopher Hitchens argues, “In answer to the accusation of inconsistency Orwell as a writer was forever taking his own temperature. In other words, here was someone who never stopped testing and adjusting his intelligence”.[121]

John Rodden points out the “undeniable conservative features in the Orwell physiognomy” and remarks on how “to some extent Orwell facilitated the kinds of uses and abuses by the Right that his name has been put to. In other ways there has been the politics of selective quotation.”[113] Rodden refers to the essay “Why I Write“, in which Orwell refers to the Spanish Civil War as being his “watershed political experience”, saying “The Spanish War and other events in 1936–37, turned the scale. Thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism as I understand it.” (emphasis in original)[113] Rodden goes on to explain how, during the McCarthy era, the introduction to the Signet edition of Animal Farm, which sold more than 20 million copies, makes use of “the politics of ellipsis”:

If the book itself, Animal Farm, had left any doubt of the matter, Orwell dispelled it in his essay Why I Write: ‘Every line of serious work that I’ve written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against Totalitarianism … dot, dot, dot, dot.’ “For Democratic Socialism” is vaporised, just like Winston Smith did it at the Ministry of Truth, and that’s very much what happened at the beginning of the McCarthy era and just continued, Orwell being selectively quoted.[113]

Fyvel wrote about Orwell: “His crucial experience … was his struggle to turn himself into a writer, one which led through long periods of poverty, failure and humiliation, and about which he has written almost nothing directly. The sweat and agony was less in the slum-life than in the effort to turn the experience into literature.”[122][123]

In October 2015 Finlay Publisher, for the Orwell Society, published George Orwell ‘The Complete Poetry’, compiled and presented by Dione Venables.[124]

Influence on language and writing

In his essay “Politics and the English Language” (1946), Orwell wrote about the importance of precise and clear language, arguing that vague writing can be used as a powerful tool of political manipulation because it shapes the way we think. In that essay, Orwell provides six rules for writers:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.[125]

Andrew N. Rubin argues, “Orwell claimed that we should be attentive to how the use of language has limited our capacity for critical thought just as we should be equally concerned with the ways in which dominant modes of thinking have reshaped the very language that we use.”[126]

The adjective Orwellian connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past. In Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell described a totalitarian government that controlled thought by controlling language, making certain ideas literally unthinkable. Several words and phrases from Nineteen Eighty-Four have entered popular language. Newspeak is a simplified and obfuscatory language designed to make independent thought impossible. Doublethink means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. The Thought Police are those who suppress all dissenting opinion. Prolefeed is homogenised, manufactured superficial literature, film and music, used to control and indoctrinate the populace through docility. Big Brother is a supreme dictator who watches everyone.

Orwell may have been the first to use the term cold war to refer to the state of tension between powers in the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc that followed the Second World War, in his essay, “You and the Atom Bomb”, published in Tribune, 19 October 1945. He wrote:

We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham‘s theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications – this is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a State which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of ‘cold war’ with its neighbours.[127]

Museum

In 2014 it was announced that Orwell’s birthplace, a bungalow in Motihari, Bihar, in India would become the world’s first Orwell museum.[10][128]

Modern Culture

In 2014 a play written by playwright Joe Sutton titled Orwell in America was first performed. It is a fictitious account of Orwell doing a book tour in America (something he never did in his lifetime). It moved to Off-Broadway in 2016.[129]

Personal life

Childhood

Jacintha Buddicom‘s account Eric & Us provides an insight into Blair’s childhood.[130] She quoted his sister Avril that “he was essentially an aloof, undemonstrative person” and said herself of his friendship with the Buddicoms: “I do not think he needed any other friends beyond the schoolfriend he occasionally and appreciatively referred to as ‘CC'”. She could not recall his having schoolfriends to stay and exchange visits as her brother Prosper often did in holidays.[131] Cyril Connolly provides an account of Blair as a child in Enemies of Promise.[23] Years later, Blair mordantly recalled his prep school in the essay “Such, Such Were the Joys“, claiming among other things that he “was made to study like a dog” to earn a scholarship, which he alleged was solely to enhance the school’s prestige with parents. Jacintha Buddicom repudiated Orwell’s schoolboy misery described in the essay, stating that “he was a specially happy child”. She noted that he did not like his name, because it reminded him of a book he greatly disliked – Eric, or, Little by Little, a Victorian boys’ school story.[132]

Connolly remarked of him as a schoolboy, “The remarkable thing about Orwell was that alone among the boys he was an intellectual and not a parrot for he thought for himself”.[23] At Eton, John Vaughan Wilkes, his former headmaster’s son recalled, “… he was extremely argumentative – about anything – and criticising the masters and criticising the other boys … We enjoyed arguing with him. He would generally win the arguments – or think he had anyhow.”[133] Roger Mynors concurs: “Endless arguments about all sorts of things, in which he was one of the great leaders. He was one of those boys who thought for himself …”[134]

Blair liked to carry out practical jokes. Buddicom recalls him swinging from the luggage rack in a railway carriage like an orangutan to frighten a woman passenger out of the compartment.[14] At Eton he played tricks on John Crace, his Master in College, among which was to enter a spoof advertisement in a College magazine implying pederasty.[135] Gow, his tutor, said he “made himself as big a nuisance as he could” and “was a very unattractive boy”.[136] Later Blair was expelled from the crammer at Southwold for sending a dead rat as a birthday present to the town surveyor.[137] In one of his As I Please essays he refers to a protracted joke when he answered an advertisement for a woman who claimed a cure for obesity.[138]

Blair had an interest in natural history which stemmed from his childhood. In letters from school he wrote about caterpillars and butterflies,[139] and Buddicom recalls his keen interest in ornithology. He also enjoyed fishing and shooting rabbits, and conducting experiments as in cooking a hedgehog[14] or shooting down a jackdaw from the Eton roof to dissect it.[134] His zeal for scientific experiments extended to explosives – again Buddicom recalls a cook giving notice because of the noise. Later in Southwold his sister Avril recalled him blowing up the garden. When teaching he enthused his students with his nature-rambles both at Southwold[140] and Hayes.[141] His adult diaries are permeated with his observations on nature.

Relationships and marriage

Buddicom and Blair lost touch shortly after he went to Burma, and she became unsympathetic towards him. She wrote that it was because of the letters he wrote complaining about his life, but an addendum to Eric & Us by Venables reveals that he may have lost her sympathy through an incident which was, at best, a clumsy attempt at seduction.[14]

Mabel Fierz, who later became Blair’s confidante, said: “He used to say the one thing he wished in this world was that he’d been attractive to women. He liked women and had many girlfriends I think in Burma. He had a girl in Southwold and another girl in London. He was rather a womaniser, yet he was afraid he wasn’t attractive.”[142]

Brenda Salkield (Southwold) preferred friendship to any deeper relationship and maintained a correspondence with Blair for many years, particularly as a sounding board for his ideas. She wrote: “He was a great letter writer. Endless letters, and I mean when he wrote you a letter he wrote pages.”[22] His correspondence with Eleanor Jacques (London) was more prosaic, dwelling on a closer relationship and referring to past rendezvous or planning future ones in London and Burnham Beeches.[143]

When Orwell was in the sanatorium in Kent, his wife’s friend Lydia Jackson visited. He invited her for a walk and out of sight “an awkward situation arose.”[144] Jackson was to be the most critical of Orwell’s marriage to Eileen O’Shaughnessy, but their later correspondence hints at a complicity. Eileen at the time was more concerned about Orwell’s closeness to Brenda Salkield. Orwell had an affair with his secretary at Tribune which caused Eileen much distress, and others have been mooted. In a letter to Ann Popham he wrote: “I was sometimes unfaithful to Eileen, and I also treated her badly, and I think she treated me badly, too, at times, but it was a real marriage, in the sense that we had been through awful struggles together and she understood all about my work, etc.”[145]Similarly he suggested to Celia Kirwan that they had both been unfaithful.[146] There are several testaments that it was a well-matched and happy marriage.[147][148][149]

Blair was very lonely after Eileen’s death, and desperate for a wife, both as companion for himself and as mother for Richard. He proposed marriage to four women, including Celia Kirwan, and eventually Sonia Brownell accepted.[150] Orwell had met her when she was assistant to Cyril Connolly, at Horizon literary magazine.[151] They were married on 13 October 1949, only three months before Orwell’s death. Some maintain that Sonia was the model for Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Religious views

Orwell regularly participated in the social and civic life of the church, and yet was an atheist, both critical of religious doctrine and of religious organisations. He attended Holy Communion at the Church of England regularly,[152] and makes allusions to Anglican rites in his book A Clergyman’s Daughter. He was extremely well-read in Biblical literature and could quote lengthy passages from the Book of Common Prayer from memory.[153] However, his forensic knowledge of the Bible came coupled with unsparing criticism of its philosophy, and as an adult he could not bring himself to believe in its tenets. He said clearly in part V of his essay, “Such, Such Were the Joys“: “Till about the age of fourteen I believed in God, and believed that the accounts given of him were true. But I was well aware that I did not love him.”[154] Of his regular Church attendance, he said: “It seems rather mean to go to HC [Holy Communion] when one doesn’t believe, but I have passed myself off for pious & there is nothing for it but to keep up with the deception.”[155]Despite this, he had two Anglican marriages and left instructions for an Anglican funeral.[156] Orwell directly contrasted Christianity with secular humanism in his essay “Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool“, finding the latter philosophy more palatable and less “self-interested.” Literary critic James Wood wrote that in the struggle, as he saw it, between Christianity and humanism, “Orwell was on the humanist side, of course—basically an unmetaphysical, English version of Camus’s philosophy of perpetual godless struggle.”[157]

Orwell’s writing was often explicitly critical of religion, and Christianity in particular. He found the church to be a “selfish … church of the landed gentry” with its establishment “out of touch” with the majority of its communicants and altogether a pernicious influence on public life.[158] In their 1972 study, The Unknown Orwell, the writers Peter Stansky and William Abrahams noted that at Eton Blair displayed a “sceptical attitude” to Christian belief.[159] Crick observed that Orwell displayed “a pronounced anti-Catholicism”.[160] Evelyn Waugh, writing in 1946, acknowledged Orwell’s high moral sense and respect for justice but believed “he seems never to have been touched at any point by a conception of religious thought and life.”[161] His contradictory and sometimes ambiguous views about the social benefits of religious affiliation mirrored the dichotomies between his public and private lives: Stephen Ingle wrote that it was as if the writer George Orwell “vaunted” his unbelief while Eric Blair the individual retained “a deeply ingrained religiosity”. Ingle later noted that Orwell did not accept the existence of an afterlife, believing in the finality of death while living and advocating a moral code based on Judeo-Christian beliefs.[162][163]

Political views

Orwell liked to provoke arguments by challenging the status quo, but he was also a traditionalist with a love of old English values. He criticised and satirised, from the inside, the various social milieux in which he found himself – provincial town life in A Clergyman’s Daughter; middle-class pretension in Keep the Aspidistra Flying; preparatory schools in “Such, Such Were the Joys”; colonialism in Burmese Days, and some socialist groups in The Road to Wigan Pier. In his Adelphi days he described himself as a “Toryanarchist.”[164][165]

In 1928, Orwell began his career as a professional writer in Paris at a journal owned by the French Communist Henri Barbusse. His first article, “La Censure en Angleterre“, was an attempt to account for the ‘extraordinary and illogical’ moral censorship of plays and novels then practised in Britain. His own explanation was that the rise of the “puritan middle class,” who had stricter morals than the aristocracy, tightened the rules of censorship in the 19th century. Orwell’s first published article in his home country, “A Farthing Newspaper”, was a critique of the new French daily the Ami de Peuple. This paper was sold much more cheaply than most others, and was intended for ordinary people to read. Orwell pointed out that its proprietor François Coty also owned the right-wing dailies Le Figaro and Le Gaulois, which the Ami de Peuple was supposedly competing against. Orwell suggested that cheap newspapers were no more than a vehicle for advertising and anti-leftist propaganda, and predicted the world might soon see free newspapers which would drive legitimate dailies out of business.[166]

The Spanish Civil War played the most important part in defining Orwell’s socialism. He wrote to Cyril Connolly from Barcelona on 8 June 1937: “I have seen wonderful things and at last really believe in Socialism, which I never did before.”[167][168] Having witnessed the success of the anarcho-syndicalist communities, for example in Anarchist Catalonia, and the subsequent brutal suppression of the anarcho-syndicalists, anti-Stalin communist parties and revolutionaries by the Soviet Union-backed Communists, Orwell returned from Catalonia a staunch anti-Stalinist and joined the Independent Labour Party, his card being issued on 13 June 1938.[169] Although he was never a Trotskyist, he was strongly influenced by the Trotskyist and anarchist critiques of the Soviet regime, and by the anarchists’ emphasis on individual freedom. In Part 2 of The Road to Wigan Pier, published by the Left Book Club, Orwell stated: “a real Socialist is one who wishes – not merely conceives it as desirable, but actively wishes – to see tyranny overthrown.” Orwell stated in “Why I Write” (1946): “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.”[170] Orwell was a proponent of a federal socialist Europe, a position outlined in his 1947 essay “Toward European Unity,” which first appeared in Partisan Review. According to biographer John Newsinger,

the other crucial dimension to Orwell’s socialism was his recognition that the Soviet Union was not socialist. Unlike many on the left, instead of abandoning socialism once he discovered the full horror of Stalinist rule in the Soviet Union, Orwell abandoned the Soviet Union and instead remained a socialist – indeed he became more committed to the socialist cause than ever.”[60]

In his 1938 essay “Why I joined the Independent Labour Party,” published in the ILP-affiliated New Leader, Orwell wrote:

For some years past I have managed to make the capitalist class pay me several pounds a week for writing books against capitalism. But I do not delude myself that this state of affairs is going to last forever … the only régime which, in the long run, will dare to permit freedom of speech is a Socialist régime. If Fascism triumphs I am finished as a writer – that is to say, finished in my only effective capacity. That of itself would be a sufficient reason for joining a Socialist party.[171]

Towards the end of the essay, he wrote: “I do not mean I have lost all faith in the Labour Party. My most earnest hope is that the Labour Party will win a clear majority in the next General Election.”[172]

Orwell was opposed to rearmament against Nazi Germany – but he changed his view after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the outbreak of the war. He left the ILP because of its opposition to the war and adopted a political position of “revolutionary patriotism”. In December 1940 he wrote in Tribune (the Labour left’s weekly): “We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a patriot has to be a revolutionary.” During the war, Orwell was highly critical of the popular idea that an Anglo-Soviet alliance would be the basis of a post-war world of peace and prosperity. In 1942, commenting on journalist E. H. Carr‘s pro-Soviet views, Orwell stated: “all the appeasers, e.g. Professor E. H. Carr, have switched their allegiance from Hitler to Stalin.”[173]

On anarchism, Orwell wrote in The Road to Wigan Pier: “I worked out an anarchistic theory that all government is evil, that the punishment always does more harm than the crime and the people can be trusted to behave decently if you will only let them alone.” He continued and argued that “it is always necessary to protect peaceful people from violence. In any state of society where crime can be profitable you have got to have a harsh criminal law and administer it ruthlessly.”

In his reply (dated 15 November 1943) to an invitation from the Duchess of Atholl to speak for the British League for European Freedom, he stated that he did not agree with their objectives. He admitted that what they said was “more truthful than the lying propaganda found in most of the press” but added that he could not “associate himself with an essentially Conservative body” that claimed to “defend democracy in Europe” but had “nothing to say about British imperialism.” His closing paragraph stated: “I belong to the Left and must work inside it, much as I hate Russian totalitarianism and its poisonous influence in this country.”[174]

Orwell joined the staff of Tribune as literary editor, and from then until his death, was a left-wing (though hardly orthodox) Labour-supporting democratic socialist.[175] On 1 September 1944, about the Warsaw uprising, Orwell expressed in Tribune his hostility against the influence of the alliance with the USSR over the allies: “Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Do not imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the sovietic regime, or any other regime, and then suddenly return to honesty and reason. Once a whore, always a whore.” According to Newsinger, although Orwell “was always critical of the 1945–51 Labour government’s moderation, his support for it began to pull him to the right politically. This did not lead him to embrace conservatism, imperialism or reaction, but to defend, albeit critically, Labour reformism.”[176] Between 1945 and 1947, with A. J. Ayer and Bertrand Russell, he contributed a series of articles and essays to Polemic, a short-lived British “Magazine of Philosophy, Psychology, and Aesthetics” edited by the ex-Communist Humphrey Slater.[177][178]

Writing in early 1945 a long essay titled “Antisemitism in Britain,” for the Contemporary Jewish Record, Orwell stated that anti-Semitism was on the increase in Britain, and that it was “irrational and will not yield to arguments.” He argued that it would be useful to discover why anti-Semites could “swallow such absurdities on one particular subject while remaining sane on others.”[179] He wrote: “For quite six years the English admirers of Hitler contrived not to learn of the existence of Dachau and Buchenwald. … Many English people have heard almost nothing about the extermination of German and Polish Jews during the present war. Their own anti-Semitism has caused this vast crime to bounce off their consciousness.”[180] In Nineteen Eighty-Four, written shortly after the war, Orwell portrayed the Party as enlisting anti-Semitic passions against their enemy, Goldstein.

Orwell publicly defended P.G. Wodehouse against charges of being a Nazi sympathiser – occasioned by his agreement to do some broadcasts over the German radio in 1941 – a defence based on Wodehouse’s lack of interest in and ignorance of politics.[181]

Special Branch, the intelligence division of the Metropolitan Police, maintained a file on Orwell for more than 20 years of his life. The dossier, published by The National Archives, states that, according to one investigator, Orwell had “advanced Communist views and several of his Indian friends say that they have often seen him at Communist meetings.” MI5, the intelligence department of the Home Office, noted: “It is evident from his recent writings – ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’ – and his contribution to Gollancz’s symposium The Betrayal of the Left that he does not hold with the Communist Party nor they with him.”[182]

Social interactions

Orwell was noted for very close and enduring friendships with a few friends, but these were generally people with a similar background or with a similar level of literary ability. Ungregarious, he was out of place in a crowd and his discomfort was exacerbated when he was outside his own class. Though representing himself as a spokesman for the common man, he often appeared out of place with real working people. His brother-in-law Humphrey Dakin, a “Hail fellow, well met” type, who took him to a local pub in Leeds, said that he was told by the landlord: “Don’t bring that bugger in here again.”[183] Adrian Fierz commented “He wasn’t interested in racing or greyhounds or pub crawling or shove ha’penny. He just did not have much in common with people who did not share his intellectual interests.”[184] Awkwardness attended many of his encounters with working-class representatives, as with Pollitt and McNair,[185] but his courtesy and good manners were often commented on. Jack Common observed on meeting him for the first time, “Right away manners, and more than manners – breeding – showed through.”[186]

In his tramping days, he did domestic work for a time. His extreme politeness was recalled by a member of the family he worked for; she declared that the family referred to him as “Laurel” after the film comedian.[38] With his gangling figure and awkwardness, Orwell’s friends often saw him as a figure of fun. Geoffrey Gorer commented “He was awfully likely to knock things off tables, trip over things. I mean, he was a gangling, physically badly co-ordinated young man. I think his feeling [was] that even the inanimate world was against him …”[187] When he shared a flat with Heppenstall and Sayer, he was treated in a patronising manner by the younger men.[188] At the BBC, in the 1940s, “everybody would pull his leg,”[189] and Spender described him as having real entertainment value “like, as I say, watching a Charlie Chaplin movie.”[190] A friend of Eileen’s reminisced about her tolerance and humour, often at Orwell’s expense.[148] Psychiatrist Michael Fitzgerald has speculated that Orwell’s social and physical awkwardness, limited interests and monotone voice were the result of Asperger syndrome.[191]

One biography of Orwell accused him of having had an authoritarian streak.[192] In Burma, he struck out at a Burmese boy who, while “fooling around” with his friends, had “accidentally bumped into him” at a station, resulting in Orwell falling “heavily” down some stairs.[193] One of his former pupils recalled being beaten so hard he could not sit down for a week.[194] When sharing a flat with Orwell, Heppenstall came home late one night in an advanced stage of loud inebriation. The upshot was that Heppenstall ended up with a bloody nose and was locked in a room. When he complained, Orwell hit him across the legs with a shooting stick and Heppenstall then had to defend himself with a chair. Years later, after Orwell’s death, Heppenstall wrote a dramatic account of the incident called “The Shooting Stick”[195] and Mabel Fierz confirmed that Heppenstall came to her in a sorry state the following day.[196]

Orwell got on well with young people. The pupil he beat considered him the best of teachers, and the young recruits in Barcelona tried to drink him under the table – though without success. His nephew recalled Uncle Eric laughing louder than anyone in the cinema at a Charlie Chaplin film.[147]

In the wake of his most famous works, he attracted many uncritical hangers-on, but many others who sought him found him aloof and even dull. With his soft voice, he was sometimes shouted down or excluded from discussions.[197] At this time, he was severely ill; it was wartime or the austerity period after it; during the war his wife suffered from depression; and after her death he was lonely and unhappy. In addition to that, he always lived frugally and seemed unable to care for himself properly. As a result of all this, people found his circumstances bleak.[198] Some, like Michael Ayrton, called him “Gloomy George,” but others developed the idea that he was a “secular saint.”

Although Orwell was frequently heard on the BBC for panel discussion and one-man broadcasts, no recorded copy of his voice is known to exist.[199]

Lifestyle

“By putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk, whereas one is likely to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round”

– One of Orwell’s eleven rules for making tea from his essay “A Nice Cup of Tea“, appearing in the London Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.[200]

Orwell was a heavy smoker, who rolled his own cigarettes from strong shag tobacco, despite his bronchial condition. His penchant for the rugged life often took him to cold and damp situations, both in the long term, as in Catalonia and Jura, and short term, for example, motorcycling in the rain and suffering a shipwreck. Described by The Economist as “perhaps the 20th century’s best chronicler of English culture“,[201] Orwell considered fish and chips, association football, the pub, strong tea, cut price chocolate, the movies, and radio among the chief comforts for the working class.[202] Orwell enjoyed strong tea – he had Fortnum & Mason‘s tea brought to him in Catalonia.[8] His 1946 essay, “A Nice Cup of Tea“, appeared in the London Evening Standard article on how to make tea, with Orwell writing, “tea is one of the mainstays of civilisation in this country and causes violent disputes over how it should be made”, with the main issue being whether to put tea in the cup first and add the milk afterward, or the other way round, on which he states, “in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject”.[203] He appreciated English beer, taken regularly and moderately, despised drinkers of lager[204] and wrote about an imagined, ideal British pub in his 1946 English Standard article, “The Moon Under Water“.[205] Not as particular about food, he enjoyed the wartime “Victory Pie”[206] and extolled canteen food at the BBC.[189] He preferred traditional English dishes, such as roast beef and kippers.[207] Reports of his Islington days refer to the cosy afternoon tea table.[208]

His dress sense was unpredictable and usually casual.[209] In Southwold, he had the best cloth from the local tailor[210] but was equally happy in his tramping outfit. His attire in the Spanish Civil War, along with his size-12 boots, was a source of amusement.[211][212]David Astor described him as looking like a prep school master,[213] while according to the Special Branch dossier, Orwell’s tendency to dress “in Bohemian fashion” revealed that the author was “a Communist”.[214]

Orwell’s confusing approach to matters of social decorum – on the one hand expecting a working-class guest to dress for dinner,[215] and on the other, slurping tea out of a saucer at the BBC canteen[216] – helped stoke his reputation as an English eccentric.

Views on homosexuality

Orwell was openly homophobic, at a time when such prejudice was not uncommon. Speaking at the 2003 George Orwell Centenary Conference, Daphne Patai said: “Of course he was homophobic. That has nothing to do with his relations with his homosexual friends. Certainly he had a negative attitude and a certain kind of anxiety, a denigrating attitude towards homosexuality. That is definitely the case. I think his writing reflects that quite fully.”[217]

Orwell used the homophobic epithets “Nancy” and “pansy” as terms of abuse, notably in his expressions of contempt for what he called the “pansy Left”, and “nancy poets”, i.e. left-wing homosexual or bisexual writers and intellectuals such as Stephen Spender and W. H. Auden.[218] The protagonist of Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Gordon Comstock, conducts an internal critique of his customers when working in a bookshop, and there is an extended passage of several pages in which he concentrates on a homosexual male customer, and sneers at him for his “Nancy” characteristics, including a lisp, which he identifies in detail, with some disgust.[219] Dr Thomas S Veale, in The Banality of Virtue: A Multifaceted view of George Orwell as champion of the common man, refers to Orwell’s “homophobia most probably based on the perceived weakness of homosexuals and their preferences’ betrayal of the natural order”. Stephen Spender, however, “thought Orwell’s occasional homophobic outbursts were part of his rebellion against the public school”.[220]

Biographies of Orwell

Orwell’s will requested that no biography of him be written, and his widow Sonia Brownell repelled every attempt by those who tried to persuade her to let them write about him. Various recollections and interpretations were published in the 1950s and ’60s, but Sonia saw the 1968 Collected Works[138] as the record of his life. She did appoint Malcolm Muggeridge as official biographer, but later biographers have seen this as deliberate spoiling as Muggeridge eventually gave up the work.[221] In 1972, two American authors, Peter Stansky and William Abrahams,[222] produced The Unknown Orwell, an unauthorised account of his early years that lacked any support or contribution from Sonia Brownell.

Sonia Brownell then commissioned Bernard Crick, a left-wing professor of politics at the University of London, to complete a biography and asked Orwell’s friends to co-operate.[223] Crick collated a considerable amount of material in his work, which was published in 1980,[82] but his questioning of the factual accuracy of Orwell’s first-person writings led to conflict with Brownell, and she tried to suppress the book. Crick concentrated on the facts of Orwell’s life rather than his character, and presented primarily a political perspective on Orwell’s life and work.[224]

After Sonia Brownell’s death, other works on Orwell were published in the 1980s, with 1984 being a particularly fruitful year for Orwelliana. These included collections of reminiscences by Coppard and Crick[137] and Stephen Wadhams.[22]

In 1991, Michael Shelden, an American professor of literature, published a biography.[26] More concerned with the literary nature of Orwell’s work, he sought explanations for Orwell’s character and treated his first-person writings as autobiographical. Shelden introduced new information that sought to build on Crick’s work.[223] Shelden speculated that Orwell possessed an obsessive belief in his failure and inadequacy.

Peter Davison‘s publication of the Complete Works of George Orwell, completed in 2000,[225] made most of the Orwell Archive accessible to the public. Jeffrey Meyers, a prolific American biographer, was first to take advantage of this and published a book in 2001[226] that investigated the darker side of Orwell and questioned his saintly image.[223] Why Orwell Matters (released in the UK as Orwell’s Victory) was published by Christopher Hitchens in 2002.[227]

In 2003, the centenary of Orwell’s birth resulted in biographies by Gordon Bowker[228] and D. J. Taylor, both academics and writers in the United Kingdom. Taylor notes the stage management which surrounds much of Orwell’s behaviour,[8] and Bowker highlights the essential sense of decency which he considers to have been Orwell’s main motivation.[229][230]

Ancestry

Bibliography

Main article: George Orwell bibliography

Novels

Nonfiction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell

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Posted on February 22, 2017. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Education, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Money, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Rants, Raves, Religious, Terrorism, Video, Wahhabism, War, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , |

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Book | Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism

Wahhabism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wahhabism (Arabic: الوهابية‎‎, al-Wahhābiya(h)) or Wahhabi mission[1] (/wəˈhɑːbi, wɑː/;[2] Arabic: الدعوة الوهابية‎‎, ad-Da’wa al-Wahhābiya(h) ) is a sect,[3][4][5][6] religious movement or branch of Islam.[7][8][9][10] It has been variously described as “ultraconservative”,[11] “austere”,[7] “fundamentalist”,[12] or “puritan(ical)”[13][14] and as an Islamic “reform movement” to restore “pure monotheistic worship” (tawhid) by devotees,[15] and as a “deviant sectarian movement”,[15] “vile sect”[16] and a distortion of Islam by its opponents.[7][17] The term Wahhabi(ism) is often used polemically and adherents commonly reject its use, preferring to be called Salafi or muwahhid.[18][19][20] The movement emphasises the principle oftawhid[21] (the “uniqueness” and “unity” of God).[22] It claims its principal influences to be Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780–855) and Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), both belonging to the Hanbalischool,[23] although the extent of their actual influence upon the tenets of the movement has been contested.[24][25]

Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792).[26] He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd,[27] advocating a purging of such widespread Sunni practices as the intercession of saints, and the visitation to their tombs, both of which were practiced all over the Islamic world, but which he considered idolatry (shirk), impurities and innovations in Islam (Bid’ah).[9][22] Eventually he formed a pact with a local leader Muhammad bin Saudoffering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement mean “power and glory” and rule of “lands and men.”[28]

The alliance between followers of ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Muhammad bin Saud’s successors (the House of Saud) proved to be a durable one. The House of Saud continued to maintain its politico-religious alliance with the Wahhabi sect through the waxing and waning of its own political fortunes over the next 150 years, through to its eventual proclamation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, and then afterwards, on into modern times. Today Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab’s teachings are the official, state-sponsored form of Sunni Islam[7][29] in Saudi Arabia.[30] With the help of funding from Saudi petroleum exports[31] (and other factors[32]), the movement underwent “explosive growth” beginning in the 1970s and now has worldwide influence.[7] The US State Department has estimated that over the past four decades Riyadh has invested more than $10bn (£6bn) into charitable foundations in an attempt to replace mainstream Sunni Islam with the harsh intolerance of its Wahhabism.[33]

The “boundaries” of Wahhabism have been called “difficult to pinpoint”,[34] but in contemporary usage, the terms Wahhabi and Salafi are often used interchangeably, and they are considered to be movements with different roots that have merged since the 1960s.[35][36][37] However, Wahhabism has also been called “a particular orientation within Salafism”,[38] or an ultra-conservative, Saudi brand of Salafism.[39][40] Estimates of the number of adherents to Wahhabism vary, with one source (Mehrdad Izady) giving a figure of fewer than 5 million Wahhabis in the Persian Gulf region (compared to 28.5 million Sunnis and 89 million Shia).[30][41]

The majority of mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims worldwide strongly disagree with the interpretation of Wahhabism and consider it a “vile sect”.[16] Islamic scholars, including those from the Al-Azhar University, regularly denounce Wahhabism with terms such as “Satanic faith”.[16] Wahhabism has been accused of being “a source of global terrorism”,[42][43]inspiring the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),[44] and for causing disunity in Muslim communities by labelling Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of monotheism as apostates[45] (takfir) and justifying their killing.[46][47][48] It has also been criticized for the destruction of historic shrines of saints, mausoleums, and other Muslim and non-Muslim buildings and artifacts.[49][50][51]

Definitions and etymology

Definitions

Some definitions or uses of the term Wahhabi Islam include:

  • “a corpus of doctrines”, and “a set of attitudes and behavior, derived from the teachings of a particularly severe religious reformist who lived in central Arabia in the mid-eighteenth century” (Gilles Kepel)[52]
  • “pure Islam” (David Commins, paraphrasing supporters’ definition),[17] that does not deviate from Sharia law in any way and should be called Islam and not Wahhabism. (King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the King of the Saudi Arabia)[53]
  • “a misguided creed that fosters intolerance, promotes simplistic theology, and restricts Islam’s capacity for adaption to diverse and shifting circumstances” (David Commins, paraphrasing opponents’ definition)[17]
  • “a conservative reform movement … the creed upon which the kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded, and [which] has influenced Islamic movements worldwide” (Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim world)[54]
  • “a sect dominant in Saudi Arabia and Qatar” with footholds in “India, Africa, and elsewhere”, with a “steadfastly fundamentalist interpretation of Islam in the tradition of Ibn Hanbal” (Cyril Glasse)[21]
  • an “eighteenth-century reformist/revivalist movement for sociomoral reconstruction of society”, “founded by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab” (Oxford Dictionary of Islam).[55]
  • originally a “literal revivification” of Islamic principles that ignored the spiritual side of Islam, that “rose on the wings of enthusiasm апd longing and then sank down into the lowlands of pharisaic self-righteousness” after gaining power and losing its “longing and humility” (Muhammad Asad)[56]
  • “a political trend” within Islam that “has been adopted for power-sharing purposes”, but cannot be called a sect because “It has no special practices, nor special rites, and no special interpretation of religion that differ from the main body of Sunni Islam” (Abdallah Al Obeid, the former dean of the Islamic University of Medina and member of the Saudi Consultative Council)[34]
  • “the true salafist movement”. Starting out as a theological reform movement, it had “the goal of calling (da’wa) people to restore the ‘real’ meaning of tawhid (oneness of God or monotheism) and to disregard and deconstruct ‘traditional’ disciplines and practices that evolved in Islamic history such as theology and jurisprudence and the traditions of visiting tombs and shrines of venerated individuals.” (Ahmad Moussalli)[57]
  • a term used by opponents of Salafism in hopes of besmirching that movement by suggesting foreign influence and “conjuring up images of Saudi Arabia”. The term is “most frequently used in countries where Salafis are a small minority” of the Muslim community but “have made recent inroads” in “converting” the local population to Salafism. (Quintan Wiktorowicz)[18]
  • a blanket term used inaccurately to refer to “any Islamic movement that has an apparent tendency toward misogyny, militantism, extremism, or strict and literal interpretation of the Quran and hadith” (Natana J. DeLong-Bas)[58]

Etymology

According to Saudi writer Abdul Aziz Qassim and others, it was the Ottomans who “first labelled Abdul Wahhab’s school of Islam in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism”. The British also adopted it and expanded its use in the Middle East.[59]

Naming controversy: Wahhabis, Muwahhidun, and Salafis

Wahhabis do not like – or at least did not like – the term. Ibn Abd-Al-Wahhab was averse to the elevation of scholars and other individuals, including using a person’s name to label an Islamic school.[18][46][60]

According to Robert Lacey “the Wahhabis have always disliked the name customarily given to them” and preferred to be called Muwahhidun (Unitarians).[61] Another preferred term was simply “Muslims” since their creed is “pure Islam”.[62] However, critics complain these terms imply non-Wahhabis are not monotheists or Muslims,[62][63] and the English translation of that term causes confusion with the Christian denomination (Unitarian Universalism).

Other terms Wahhabis have been said to use and/or prefer include ahl al-hadith (“people of hadith”), Salafi Da’wa or al-da’wa ila al-tawhid[64] (“Salafi preaching” or “preaching of monotheism”, for the school rather than the adherents) or Ahl ul-Sunna wal Jama’a (“people of the tradition of Muhammad and the consensus of the Ummah”),[38] Ahl al-Sunnah (“People of the Sunna”),[65] or “the reform or Salafi movement of the Sheikh” (the sheikh being ibn Abdul-Wahhab).[66] Early Salafis referred to themselves simply as “Muslims”, believing the neighboring Ottoman Caliphate was al-dawlah al-kufriyya (a heretical nation) and its self-professed Muslim inhabitants actually non-Muslim.[45][67][68][69] The prominent 20th-century Muslim scholar Nasiruddin Albani, who considered himself “of the Salaf,” referred to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab‘s activities as “Najdi da’wah.”[70]

Many, such as writer Quinton Wiktorowicz, urge use of the term Salafi, maintaining that “one would be hard pressed to find individuals who refer to themselves as Wahhabis or organizations that use ‘Wahhabi’ in their title, or refer to their ideology in this manner (unless they are speaking to a Western audience that is unfamiliar with Islamic terminology, and even then usage is limited and often appears as ‘Salafi/Wahhabi’).”[18] A New York Timesjournalist writes that Saudis “abhor” the term Wahhabism, “feeling it sets them apart and contradicts the notion that Islam is a monolithic faith.”[71] Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for example has attacked the term as “a doctrine that doesn’t exist here (Saudi Arabia)” and challenged users of the term to locate any “deviance of the form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia from the teachings of the Quran and Prophetic Hadiths“.[72][73] Ingrid Mattsonargues that, “‘Wahhbism’ is not a sect. It is a social movement that began 200 years ago to rid Islam of rigid cultural practices that had (been) acquired over the centuries.”[74]

On the other hand, according to authors at Global Security and Library of Congress the term is now commonplace and used even by Wahhabi scholars in the Najd,[9][75] a region often called the “heartland” of Wahhabism.[76]Journalist Karen House calls Salafi, “a more politically correct term” for Wahhabi.[77]

In any case, according to Lacey, none of the other terms have caught on, and so like the Christian Quakers, Wahhabis have “remained known by the name first assigned to them by their detractors.”[61]

Wahhabis and Salafis

Many scholars and critics distinguish between Wahhabi and Salafi. According to American scholar Christopher M. Blanchard,[78] Wahhabism refers to “a conservative Islamic creed centered in and emanating from Saudi Arabia,” while Salafiyya is “a more general puritanical Islamic movement that has developed independently at various times and in various places in the Islamic world.”[46]

However, many call Wahhabism a more strict, Saudi form of Salafi.[79][80] Wahhabism is the Saudi version of Salafism, according to Mark Durie, who states Saudi leaders “are active and diligent” using their considerable financial resources “in funding and promoting Salafism all around the world.”[81] Ahmad Moussalli tends to agree Wahhabism is a subset of Salafism, saying “As a rule, all Wahhabis are salafists, but not all salafists are Wahhabis”.[57]

Hamid Algar lists three “elements” Wahhabism and Salafism had in common.

  1. above all disdain for all developments subsequent to al-Salaf al-Salih (the first two or three generations of Islam),
  2. the rejection of Sufism, and
  3. the abandonment of consistent adherence to one of the four or five Sunni Madhhabs (schools of fiqh).

And “two important and interrelated features” that distinguished Salafis from the Wahhabis:

  1. a reliance on attempts at persuasion rather than coercion in order to rally other Muslims to their cause; and
  2. an informed awareness of the political and socio-economic crises confronting the Muslim world.[82]

Hamid Algar and another critic, Khaled Abou El Fadl, argue Saudi oil-export funding “co-opted” the “symbolism and language of Salafism”, during the 1960s and 70s, making them practically indistinguishable by the 1970s,[83]and now the two ideologies have “melded”. Abou El Fadl believes Wahhabism rebranded itself as Salafism knowing it could not “spread in the modern Muslim world” as Wahhabism.[35]

History

The Wahhabi mission started as a revivalist movement in the remote, arid region of Najd. With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the Al Saud dynasty, and with it Wahhabism, spread to the holy cities of Meccaand Medina. After the discovery of petroleum near the Persian Gulf in 1939, it had access to oil export revenues, revenue that grew to billions of dollars. This money – spent on books, media, schools, universities, mosques, scholarships, fellowships, lucrative jobs for journalists, academics and Islamic scholars – gave Wahhabism a “preeminent position of strength” in Islam around the world.[84]

In the country of Wahhabism’s founding – and by far the largest and most powerful country where it is the state religion – Wahhabi ulama gained control over education, law, public morality and religious institutions in the 20th century, while permitting as a “trade-off” doctrinally objectionable actions such as the import of modern technology and communications, and dealings with non-Muslims, for the sake of the consolidation of the power of its political guardian, the Al Saud dynasty.[85]

However, in the last couple of decades of the twentieth century several crises worked to erode Wahhabi “credibility” in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Muslim world – the November 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque by militants; the deployment of US troops in Saudi during the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq; and the 9/11 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.[86]

In each case the Wahhabi establishment was called on to support the dynasty’s efforts to suppress religious dissent – and in each case it did[86] – exposing its dependence on the Saudi dynasty and its often unpopular policies.[87][88]

In the West, the end of the Cold War and the anti-communist alliance with conservative, religious Saudi Arabia, and the 9/11 attacks created enormous distrust towards the kingdom and especially its official religion.[89]

Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab

The founder of Wahhabism, Mohammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, was born around 1702-03 in the small oasis town of ‘Uyayna in the Najd region, in what is now central Saudi Arabia.[90] He studied in Basra,[91] in what is now Iraq, and possibly Mecca and Medina while there to perform Hajj, before returning to his home town of ‘Uyayna in 1740. There he worked to spread the call (da’wa) for what he believed was a restoration of true monotheistic worship (Tawhid).[92]

The “pivotal idea” of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching was that people who called themselves Muslims but who participated in alleged innovations were not just misguided or committing a sin, but were “outside the pale of Islam altogether,” as were Muslims who disagreed with his definition. [93]

This included not just lax, unlettered, nomadic Bedu, but Shia, Sunnis such as the Ottomans.[94] Such infidels were not to be killed outright, but to be given a chance to repent first.[95] With the support of the ruler of the town – Uthman ibn Mu’ammar – he carried out some of his religious reforms in ‘Uyayna, including the demolition of the tomb of Zayd ibn al-Khattab, one of the Sahaba (companions) of the prophet Muhammad, and the stoning to death of an adulterous woman. However, a more powerful chief (Sulaiman ibn Muhammad ibn Ghurayr) pressured Uthman ibn Mu’ammar to expel him from ‘Uyayna.[citation needed]

Alliance with the House of Saud

Further information:

1744–1818

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after unification in 1932

The ruler of nearby town, Muhammad ibn Saud, invited ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab to join him, and in 1744 a pact was made between the two. [96] Ibn Saud would protect and propagate the doctrines of the Wahhabi mission, while ibn Abdul Wahhab “would support the ruler, supplying him with ‘glory and power.'” Whoever championed his message, ibn Abdul Wahhab promised, “will, by means of it, rule the lands and men.” [28] Ibn Saud would abandon un-Sharia taxation of local harvests, and in return God might compensate him with booty from conquest and sharia compliant taxes that would exceed what he gave up.[97] The alliance between the Wahhabi mission and Al Saud family has “endured for more than two and half centuries,” surviving defeat and collapse.[96][98] The two families have intermarried multiple times over the years and in today’s Saudi Arabia, the minister of religion is always a member of the Al ash-Sheikh family, i.e., a descendent of Ibn Abdul Wahhab.[99]

According to most sources, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab declared jihad against neighboring tribes, whose practices of praying to saints, making pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, he believed to be the work of idolaters/unbelievers.[47][63][95][100]

One academic disputes this. According to Natana DeLong-Bas, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab was restrained in urging fighting with perceived unbelievers, preferring to preach and persuade rather than attack.[101] [102][103] It was only after the death of Muhammad bin Saud in 1765 that, according to DeLong-Bas, Muhammad bin Saud’s son and successor, Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad, used a “convert or die” approach to expand his domain,[104] and when Wahhabis adopted the takfir ideas of Ibn Taymiyya.[105]

However, various scholars, including Simon Ross Valentine, have strongly rejected such a view of Wahhab, arguing that “the image of Abd’al-Wahhab presented by DeLong-Bas is to be seen for what it is, namely a re-writing of history that flies in the face of historical fact”.[106] Conquest expanded through the Arabian Peninsula until it conquered Mecca and Medina the early 19th century.[107][108] It was at this time, according to DeLong-Bas, that Wahhabis embraced the ideas of Ibn Taymiyya, which allow self-professed Muslim who do not follow Islamic law to be declared non-Muslims – to justify their warring and conquering the Muslim Sharifs of Hijaz.[105]

One of their most noteworthy and controversial attacks was on Karbala in 1802. There, according to a Wahhabi chronicler `Uthman b. `Abdullah b. Bishr: “The Muslims” – as the Wahhabis referred to themselves, not feeling the need to distinguish themselves from other Muslims, since they did not believe them to be Muslims –

scaled the walls, entered the city … and killed the majority of its people in the markets and in their homes. [They] destroyed the dome placed over the grave of al-Husayn [and took] whatever they found inside the dome and its surroundings … the grille surrounding the tomb which was encrusted with emeralds, rubies, and other jewels … different types of property, weapons, clothing, carpets, gold, silver, precious copies of the Qur’an.”[109][110]

Wahhabis also massacred the male population and enslaved the women and children of the city of Ta’if in Hejaz in 1803.[111]

Saud bin Abdul-Aziz bin Muhammad bin Saud managed to establish his rule over southeastern Syria between 1803 and 1812. However, Egyptian forces acting under the Ottoman Empire and led by Ibrahim Pasha, were eventually successful in counterattacking in a campaign starting from 1811.[112] In 1818 they defeated Al-Saud, leveling the capital Diriyah, executing the Al-Saud emir, exiling the emirate’s political and religious leadership,[98][113] and otherwise unsuccessfully attempted to stamp out not just the House of Saud but the Wahhabi mission as well.[114] A second, smaller Saudi state (Emirate of Nejd) lasted from 1819–1891. Its borders being within Najd, Wahhabism was protected from further Ottoman or Egyptian campaigns by the Najd’s isolation, lack of valuable resources, and that era’s limited communication and transportation.[115]

By the 1880s, at least among townsmen if not Bedouin, Wahhabi strict monotheistic doctrine had become the native religious culture of the Najd.[116]

Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud

Ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia

Further information: History of Saudi Arabia

In 1901, Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, a fifth generation descendent of Muhammad ibn Saud,[117] began a military campaign that led to the conquest of much of the Arabian peninsula and the founding of present-day Saudi Arabia, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.[118] The result that safeguarded the vision of Islam-based on the tenets of Islam as preached by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhabwas not bloodless, as 40,000 public executions and 350,000 amputations were carried out during its course, according to some estimates.[119][120][121][122]

Under the reign of Abdul-Aziz, “political considerations trumped religious idealism” favored by pious Wahhabis. His political and military success gave the Wahhabi ulama control over religious institutions with jurisdiction over considerable territory, and in later years Wahhabi ideas formed the basis of the rules and laws concerning social affairs, and shaped the kingdom’s judicial and educational policies.[123] But protests from Wahhabi ulama were overridden when it came to consolidating power in Hijaz and al-Hasa, avoiding clashes with the great power of the region (Britain), adopting modern technology, establishing a simple governmental administrative framework, or signing an oil concession with the U.S. [124] The Wahhabi ulama also issued a fatwa affirming that “only the ruler could declare a jihad”[125] (a violation of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching according to DeLong-Bas.[102])

As the realm of Wahhabism expanded under Ibn Saud into areas of Shiite (Al-Hasa, conquered in 1913) and pluralistic Muslim tradition (Hejaz, conquered in 1924–25), Wahhabis pressed for forced conversion of Shia and an eradication of (what they saw as) idolatry. Ibn Saud sought “a more relaxed approach”.[126]

In al-Hasa, efforts to stop the observance of Shia religious holidays and replace teaching and preaching duties of Shia clerics with Wahhabi, lasted only a year.[127]

In Mecca and Jeddah (in Hejaz) prohibition of tobacco, alcohol, playing cards and listening to music on the phonograph was looser than in Najd. Over the objections of Wahhabi ulama, Ibn Saud permitted both the driving of automobiles and the attendance of Shia at hajj.[128]

Enforcement of the commanding right and forbidding wrong, such as enforcing prayer observance and separation of the sexes, developed a prominent place during the second Saudi emirate, and in 1926 a formal committee for enforcement was founded in Mecca.[21][129] [130]

While Wahhabi warriors swore loyalty to monarchs of Al Saud, there was one major rebellion. King Abdul-Aziz put down rebelling Ikhwan – nomadic tribesmen turned Wahhabi warriors who opposed his “introducing such innovations as telephones, automobiles, and the telegraph” and his “sending his son to a country of unbelievers (Egypt)”. [131] Britain had aided Abdul-Aziz, and when the Ikhwan attacked the British protectorates of Transjordan,Iraq and Kuwait, as a continuation of jihad to expand the Wahhabist realm, Abdul-Aziz struck, killing hundreds before the rebels surrendered in 1929.[132]

Connection with the outside

Before Abdul-Aziz, during most of the second half of the 19th century, there was a strong aversion in Wahhabi lands to mixing with “idolaters” (which included most of the Muslim world). Voluntary contact was considered by Wahhabi clerics to be at least a sin, and if one enjoyed the company of idolaters, and “approved of their religion”, an act of unbelief.[133] Travel outside the pale of Najd to the Ottoman lands “was tightly controlled, if not prohibited altogether”.[134]

Over the course of its history, however, Wahhabism has become more accommodating towards the outside world.[135] In the late 1800s, Wahhabis found Muslims with at least similar beliefs – first with Ahl-i Hadith in India,[136]and later with Islamic revivalists in Arab states (one being Mahmud Sahiri al-Alusi in Baghdad).[137] The revivalists and Wahhabis shared a common interest in Ibn Taymiyya‘s thought, the permissibility of ijtihad, and the need to purify worship practices of innovation.[138] In the 1920s, Rashid Rida, a pioneer Salafist whose periodical al-Manar was widely read in the Muslim world, published an “anthology of Wahhabi treatises,” and a work praising the Ibn Saud as “the savior of the Haramayn [the two holy cities] and a practitioner of authentic Islamic rule”.[139][140]

In a bid “to join the Muslim mainstream and to erase the reputation of extreme sectarianism associated with the Ikhwan,” in 1926 Ibn Saud convened a Muslim congress of representatives of Muslim governments and popular associations.[141] By the early 1950s, the “pressures” on Ibn Saud of controlling the regions of Hejaz and al-Hasa – “outside the Wahhabi heartland” – and of “navigating the currents of regional politics” “punctured the seal” between the Wahhabi heartland and the “land of idolatry” outside.[142][143]

A major current in regional politics at that time was secular nationalism, which, with Gamal Abdul Nasser, was sweeping the Arab world. To combat it, Wahhabi missionary outreach worked closely with Saudi foreign policy initiatives. In May 1962, a conference in Mecca organized by Saudis discussed ways to combat secularism and socialism. In its wake, the World Muslim League was established.[144] To propagate Islam and “repel inimical trends and dogmas”, the League opened branch offices around the globe.[145] It developed closer association between Wahhabis and leading Salafis, and made common cause with the Islamic revivalist Muslim Brotherhood, Ahl-i Hadith and the Jamaat-i Islami, combating Sufism and “innovative” popular religious practices[144] and rejecting the West and Western “ways which were so deleterious of Muslim piety and values.”[146] Missionaries were sent to West Africa, where the League funded schools, distributed religious literature, and gave scholarships to attend Saudi religious universities. One result was the Izala Society which fought Sufism in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.[147]

An event that had a great effect on Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia[148] was the “infiltration of the transnationalist revival movement” in the form of thousands of pious, Islamist Arab Muslim Brotherhood refugees from Egypt following Nasser’s clampdown on the brotherhood[149] (and also from similar nationalist clampdowns in Iraq[150] and Syria[151]), to help staff the new school system of (the largely illiterate) Kingdom.[152]

The Brotherhood’s Islamist ideology differed from the more conservative Wahhabism which preached loyal obedience to the king. The Brotherhood dealt in what one author (Robert Lacey) called “change-promoting concepts” like social justice, and anticolonialism, and gave “a radical, but still apparently safe, religious twist” to the Wahhabi values Saudi students “had absorbed in childhood”. With the Brotherhood’s “hands-on, radical Islam”, jihad became a “practical possibility today”, not just part of history.[153]

The Brethren were ordered by the Saudi clergy and government not to attempt to proselytize or otherwise get involved in religious doctrinal matters within the Kingdom, but nonetheless “took control” of Saudi Arabia’s intellectual life” by publishing books and participating in discussion circles and salons held by princes.[154] In time they took leading roles in key governmental ministries,[155] and had influence on education curriculum.[156] An Islamic university in Medina created in 1961 to train – mostly non-Saudi – proselytizers to Wahhabism,[157] became “a haven” for Muslim Brother refugees from Egypt.[158] The Brothers’ ideas eventually spread throughout the kingdom and had great effect on Wahhabism – although observers differ as to whether this was by “undermining” it[148][159] or “blending” with it.[160][161]

Growth

In the 1950s and 60s within Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi ulama maintained their hold on religious law courts, and presided over the creation of Islamic universities and a public school system which gave students “a heavy dose of religious instruction”.[162] Outside of Saudi the Wahhabi ulama became “less combative” toward the rest of the Muslim world. In confronting the challenge of the West, Wahhabi doctrine “served well” for many Muslims as a “platform” and “gained converts beyond the peninsula.”[162][163]

A number of reasons have been given for this success. The growth in popularity and strength of both Arab nationalism (although Wahhabis opposed any form of nationalism as an ideology, Saudis were Arabs, and their enemy the Ottoman caliphate was ethnically Turkish),[32] and Islamic reform (specifically reform by following the example of those first three generations of Muslims known as the Salaf);[32] the destruction of the Ottoman Empire which sponsored their most effective critics;[164] the destruction of another rival, the Khilafa in Hejaz, in 1925.[32]

Not least in importance was the money Saudi Arabia earned from exporting oil.[84]

Petroleum export era

See also: Petro-Islam

The pumping and export of oil from Saudi Arabia started during World War II, and its earnings helped fund religious activities in the 1950s and 60s. But it was the 1973 oil crisis and quadrupling in the price of oil that both increased the kingdom’s wealth astronomically and enhanced its prestige by demonstrating its international power as a leader of OPEC. By 1980, Saudi Arabia was earning every three days the income from oil it had taken a year to earn before the embargo.[165] Tens of billions of US dollars of this money were spent on books, media, schools, scholarships for students (from primary to post-graduate), fellowships and subsidies to reward journalists, academics and Islamic scholars, the building of hundreds of Islamic centers and universities, and over one thousand schools and one thousand mosques.[166][167] [168] During this time, Wahhabism attained what Gilles Kepel called a “preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam.”[84]

Afghanistan jihad

The “apex of cooperation” between Wahhabis and Muslim revivalist groups was the Afghan jihad.[169]

In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Shortly thereafter, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, a Muslim Brother cleric with ties to Saudi religious institutions,[170] issued a fatwa[171] declaring defensive jihad in Afghanistan against the atheist Soviet Union, “fard ayn”, a personal (or individual) obligation for all Muslims. The edict was supported by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti (highest religious scholar), Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, among others.[172][173]

Between 1982 and 1992 an estimated 35,000 individual Muslim volunteers went to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets and their Afghan regime. Thousands more attended frontier schools teeming with former and future fighters. Somewhere between 12,000 and 25,000 of these volunteers came from Saudi Arabia.[174] Saudi Arabia and the other conservative Gulf monarchies also provided considerable financial support to the jihad — $600 million a year by 1982.[175]

By 1989, Soviet troops had withdrawn and within a few years the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul had collapsed.[citation needed]

This Saudi/Wahhabi religious triumph further stood out in the Muslim world because many Muslim-majority states (and the PLO) were allied with the Soviet Union and did not support the Afghan jihad.[176] But many jihad volunteers (most famously Osama bin Laden) returning home to Saudi and elsewhere were often radicalized by Islamic militants who were “much more extreme than their Saudi sponsors.”[176]

“Erosion” of Wahhabism

Grand Mosque seizure

Main article: Grand Mosque Seizure

In 1979, 400–500 Islamist insurgents, using smuggled weapons and supplies, took over the Grand mosque in Mecca, called for an overthrow of the monarchy, denounced the Wahhabi ulama as royal puppets, and announced the arrival of the Mahdi of “end time“. The insurgents deviated from Wahhabi doctrine in significant details,[177] but were also associated with leading Wahhabi ulama (Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz knew the insurgent’s leader, Juhayman al-Otaybi).[178] Their seizure of Islam‘s holiest site, the taking hostage of hundreds of hajj pilgrims, and the deaths of hundreds of militants, security forces and hostages caught in crossfire during the two-week-long retaking of the mosque, all shocked the Islamic world[179] and did not enhance the prestige of Al Saud as “custodians” of the mosque.

The incident also damaged all the prestige of the Wahhabi establishment. Saudi leadership sought and received Wahhabi fatawa to approve the military removal of the insurgents and after that to execute them.[180] But Wahhabi clerics also fell under suspicion for involvement with the insurgents.[181] In part as a consequence, Sahwa clerics influenced by Brethren’s ideas were given freer rein. Their ideology was also thought more likely to compete with the recent Islamic revolutionism/third-worldism of the Iranian Revolution.[181]

Although the insurgents were motivated by religious puritanism, the incident was not followed by a crackdown on other religious purists, but by giving greater power to the ulama and religious conservatives to more strictly enforce Islamic codes in myriad ways[182] – from the banning of women’s images in the media to adding even more hours of Islamic studies in school and giving more power and money to the religious police to enforce conservative rules of behaviour.[183][184][185]

1990 Gulf War

In August 1990 Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait. Concerned that Saddam Hussein might push south and seize its own oil fields, Saudis requested military support from the US and allowed tens of thousands of US troops to be based in the Kingdom to fight Iraq.[186]

But what “amounted to seeking infidels’ assistance against a Muslim power” was difficult to justify in terms of Wahhabi doctrine.[187][188]

Again Saudi authorities sought and received a fatwa from leading Wahhabi ulama supporting their action. The fatwa failed to persuade many conservative Muslims and ulama who strongly opposed US presence, including the Muslim Brotherhood-supported the Sahwah “Awakening” movement that began pushing for political change in the Kingdom.[189] Outside the kingdom, Islamist/Islamic revival groups that had long received aid from Saudi and had ties with Wahhabis (Arab jihadists, Pakistani and Afghan Islamists) supported Iraq, not Saudi.[190]

During this time and later, many in the Wahhabi/Salafi movement (such as Osama bin Laden) not only no longer looked to the Saudi monarch as an emir of Islam, but supported his overthrow, focusing on jihad (Salafist jihadists) against the US and (what they believe are) other enemies of Islam.[191][192] (This movement is sometimes called neo-Wahhabi or neo-salafi.[57][193])

After 9/11

The 2001 9/11 attacks on Saudi’s putative ally, the US, that killed almost 3,000 people and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage[194] were assumed by many, at least outside the kingdom, to be “an expression of Wahhabism”, since the Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.[195] A backlash in the formerly hospitable US against the kingdom focused on its official religion that came to be considered by “some … a doctrine of terrorism and hate.”[89]

Inside the kingdom, Crown Prince Abdullah addressed the country’s religious, tribal, business and media leadership following the attacks in a series of televised gatherings calling for a strategy to correct what has gone wrong. According to author Robert Lacey, the gatherings and later articles and replies by a top cleric, Abdullah Turki, and two top Al Saud princes, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, served as an occasion to sort out who had the ultimate power in the kingdom – the Al Saud dynasty and not the ulema. It was declared that it has always been the role of executive rulers in Islamic history to exercise power and the job of the religious scholars to advise, never to govern.[196]

In 2003–04, Saudi Arabia saw a wave of Al-Qaeda-related suicide bombings, attacks on Non-Muslim foreigners (about 80% of those employed in the Saudi private sector are foreign workers[197] and constitute about 30% of the country’s population[198]) and gun battles between Saudi security forces and militants. One reaction to the attacks was a trimming back of the Wahhabi establishment’s domination of religion and society. “National Dialogues” were held that “included Shiites, Sufis, liberal reformers, and professional women.”[199] In 2009, as part of what some called an effort to “take on the ulema and reform the clerical establishment”, King Abdullah issued a decree that only “officially approved” religious scholars would be allowed to issue fatwas in Saudi Arabia. The king also expanded the Council of Senior Scholars (containing officially approved religious scholars) to include scholars fromSunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence other than the Hanbali madhabShafi’i, Hanafi and Maliki schools.[200]

Relations with the Muslim Brotherhood have deteriorated steadily. After 9/11, the then interior minister Prince Nayef, blamed the Brotherhood for extremism in the kingdom,[201] and he declared it guilty of “betrayal of pledges and ingratitude” and “the source of all problems in the Islamic world”, after it was elected to power in Egypt.[202] In March 2014 the Saudi government declared the Brotherhood a “terrorist organization”.[186]

In April 2016, Saudi Arabia has stripped its religious police, who enforce Islamic law on the society and known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice), from their power to follow, chase, stop, question, verify identification, or arrest any suspected persons when carrying out duties. They are asked to only report suspicious behaviour to regular police and anti-drug units, who will decide whether to take the matter further.[203][204]

Memoirs of Mr. Hempher

A widely circulated but discredited apocryphal description of the founding of Wahhabism[205][206] known as Memoirs of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy to the Middle East (other titles have been used),[207] alleges that a British agent named Hempher was responsible for creation of Wahhabism. In the “memoir”, Hempher corrupts Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, manipulating him[208] to preach his new interpretation of Islam for the purpose of sowing dissension and disunity among Muslims so that “We, the English people, … may live in welfare and luxury.”[207]

Practices

As a religious revivalist movement that works to bring Muslims back from what it believes are foreign accretions that have corrupted Islam,[209] and believes that Islam is a complete way of life and so has prescriptions for all aspects of life, Wahhabism is quite strict in what it considers Islamic behavior. As a result, it has been described as the “strictest form of Sunni Islam”.[210]

This does not mean however, that all adherents agree on what is required or forbidden, or that rules have not varied by area or changed over time. In Saudi Arabia the strict religious atmosphere of Wahhabi doctrine is visible in the conformity in dress, public deportment, and public prayer,[211] and makes its presence felt by the wide freedom of action of the “religious police“, clerics in mosques, teachers in schools, and judges (who are religious legal scholars) in Saudi courts.[212]

Commanding right and forbidding wrong

Wahhabism is noted for its policy of “compelling its own followers and other Muslims strictly to observe the religious duties of Islam, such as the five prayers”, and for “enforcement of public morals to a degree not found elsewhere”.[213]

While other Muslims might urge abstention from alcohol, modest dress, and salat prayer, for Wahhabis prayer “that is punctual, ritually correct, and communally performed not only is urged but publicly required of men.” Not only is wine forbidden, but so are “all intoxicating drinks and other stimulants, including tobacco.” Not only is modest dress prescribed, but the type of clothing that should be worn, especially by women (a black abaya, covering all but the eyes and hands) is specified.[75]

Following the preaching and practice of Abdul Wahhab that coercion should be used to enforce following of sharia, an official committee has been empowered to “Command the Good and Forbid the Evil” (the so-called “religious police”)[213][214] in Saudi Arabia – the one country founded with the help of Wahhabi warriors and whose scholars and pious[citation needed] dominate many aspects of the Kingdom’s life. Committee “field officers” enforce strict closing of shops at prayer time, segregation of the sexes, prohibition of the sale and consumption of alcohol, driving of motor vehicles by women, and other social restrictions.[215]

A large number of practices have been reported forbidden by Saudi Wahhabi officials, preachers or religious police. Practices that have been forbidden as Bida’a (innovation) or shirk and sometimes “punished by flogging” during Wahhabi history include performing or listening to music, dancing, fortune telling, amulets, television programs (unless religious), smoking, playing backgammon, chess, or cards, drawing human or animal figures, acting in a play or writing fiction (both are considered forms of lying), dissecting cadavers (even in criminal investigations and for the purposes of medical research), recorded music played over telephones on hold or the sending of flowers to friends or relatives who are in the hospital.[121][216][217][218][219][220] Common Muslim practices Wahhabis believe are contrary to Islam include listening to music in praise of Muhammad, praying to God while visiting tombs (including the tomb of Muhammad), celebrating mawlid (birthday of the Prophet),[221] the use of ornamentation on or in mosques.[222] The driving of motor vehicles by women is allowed in every country but Wahhabi-dominated Saudi Arabia[223] and the famously strict Taliban practiced dream interpretation is discouraged by Wahhabis.[224]

Wahhabism emphasizes “Thaqafah Islamiyyah” or Islamic culture and the importance of avoiding non-Islamic cultural practices and non-Muslim friendship no matter how innocent these may appear,[225][226] on the grounds that the Sunna forbids imitating non-Muslims.[227] Foreign practices sometimes punished and sometimes simply condemned by Wahhabi preachers as unIslamic, include celebrating foreign days (such as Valentine’s Day[228] orMothers Day[225][227]) shaving, cutting or trimming of beards,[229] giving of flowers,[230] standing up in honor of someone, celebrating birthdays (including the Prophet’s), keeping or petting dogs.[219] Wahhabi scholars have warned against taking non-Muslims as friends, smiling at or wishing them well on their holidays.[71]

Wahhabis are not in unanimous agreement on what is forbidden as sin. Some Wahhabi preachers or activists go further than the official Saudi Arabian Council of Senior Scholars in forbidding (what they believe to be) sin. Several wahhabis have declared football forbidden for a variety of reasons including it is a non-Muslim, foreign practice, because of the revealing uniforms and because of the foreign non-Muslim language used in matches.[231][232] The Saudi Grand Mufti, on the other hand has declared football permissible (halal). [233]

Senior Wahhabi leaders in Saudi Arabia have determined that Islam forbids the traveling or working outside the home by a woman without their husband’s permission – permission which may be revoked at any time – on the grounds that the different physiological structures and biological functions of the different genders mean that each sex is assigned a different role to play in the family.[234] As mentioned before, Wahhabism also forbids the driving of motor vehicles by women. Sexual intercourse out of wedlock may be punished with beheading[235] although sex out of wedlock is permissible with a slave women (Prince Bandar bin Sultan was the product of “a brief encounter” between his father Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz – the Saudi defense minister for many years – and “his slave, a black servingwoman”),[236] or was before slavery was banned in Saudi Arabia in 1962.[237]

Despite this strictness, senior Wahhabi scholars of Islam in the Saudi kingdom have made exceptions in ruling on what is haram. Foreign non-Muslim troops are forbidden in Arabia, except when the king needed them to confront Saddam Hussein in 1990; gender mixing of men and women is forbidden, and fraternization with non-Muslims is discouraged, but not at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Movie theaters and driving by women are forbidden, except at the ARAMCO compound in eastern Saudi, populated by workers for the company that provides almost all the government’s revenue. The exceptions made at KAUST are also in effect at ARAMCO.[238]

More general rules of what is permissible have changed over time. Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud imposed Wahhabi doctrines and practices “in a progressively gentler form” as his early 20th-century conquests expanded his state into urban areas, especially the Hejab.[239] After vigorous debate Wahhabi religious authorities in Saudi Arabia allowed the use of paper money (in 1951), the abolition of slavery (in 1962), education of females (1964), and use of television (1965).[237] Music, the sound of which once might have led to summary execution, is now commonly heard on Saudi radios. [239] Minarets for mosques and use of funeral markers, which were once forbidden, are now allowed. Prayer attendance which was once enforced by flogging, is no longer.[240]

Appearance

The uniformity of dress among men and women in Saudi Arabia (compared to other Muslim countries in the Middle East) has been called a “striking example of Wahhabism’s outward influence on Saudi society”, and an example of the Wahhabi belief that “outward appearances and expressions are directly connected to one’s inward state.”[222] The “long, white flowing thobe” worn by men of Saudi Arabia has been called the “Wahhabi national dress”.[241]Red-and-white checkered or white head scarves known as Ghutrah are worn. In public women are required to wear a black abaya or other black clothing that covers every part of their body other than hands and eyes.

A “badge” of a particularly pious Salafi or Wahhabi man is a robe too short to cover the ankle, an untrimmed beard,[242] and no cord (Agal) to hold the head scarf in place.[243] The warriors of the Ikhwan Wahhabi religious militia wore a white turban in place of an agal.[244]

Wahhabiyya mission

Wahhabi mission, or Dawah Wahhabiyya, is to spread purified Islam through the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim. [245] Tens of billions of dollars have been spent by the Saudi government and charities on mosques, schools, education materials, scholarships, throughout the world to promote Islam and the Wahhabi interpretation of it. Tens of thousands of volunteers[174] and several billion dollars also went in support of the jihad against the atheist communist regime governing Muslim Afghanistan.[175]

Regions

Wahhabism originated in the Najd region, and its conservative practices have stronger support there than in regions in the kingdom to the east or west of it.[246][247][248] Glasse credits the softening of some Wahhabi doctrines and practices on the conquest of the Hejaz region “with its more cosmopolitan traditions and the traffic of pilgrims which the new rulers could not afford to alienate”.[239]

The only other country “whose native population is Wahhabi and that adheres to the Wahhabi creed”, is the small gulf monarchy of Qatar,[249][250] whose version of Wahhabism is notably less strict. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Qatar made significant changes in the 1990s. Women are now allowed to drive and travel independently; non-Muslims are permitted to consume alcohol and pork. The country sponsors a film festival, has “world-class art museums”, hosts Al Jazeera news service, will hold the 2022 football World Cup, and has no religious force that polices public morality. Qatari’s attribute its different interpretation of Islam to the absence of an indigenous clerical class and autonomous bureaucracy (religious affairs authority, endowments, Grand Mufti), the fact that Qatari rulers do not derive their legitimacy from such a class.[250][251]

Views

Adherents to the Wahhabi movement identify as Sunni Muslims.[252] The primary Wahhabi doctrine is affirmation of the uniqueness and unity of God (Tawhid),[22][253] and opposition toshirk (violation of tawhid – “the one unforgivable sin”, according to Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab).[254] They call for adherence to the beliefs and practices of the salaf (exemplary early Muslims). They strongly oppose what they consider to be heteredox doctrines, particularly those held by the vast majority of Sunnis and Shiites,[255] and practices such as the veneration of Prophets and saints in the Islamic tradition. They emphasize reliance on the literal meaning of the Quran and hadith, rejecting rationalistic theology (kalam). Wahhabism has been associated with the practice of takfir (labeling Muslims who disagree with their doctrines as apostates). Adherents of Wahhabism are favourable to derivation of new legal rulings (ijtihad) so long as it is true to the essence of the Quran, Sunnah and understanding of the salaf.[256]

Theology

In theology Wahhabism is closely aligned with the Athari (traditionalist) school, which represents the prevalent theological position of the Hanbali school of law.[257][258] Athari theology is characterized by reliance on the zahir (apparent or literal) meaning of the Quran and hadith, and opposition to the rational argumentation in matters of belief favored by Ash’ari andMaturidi theology.[259][260] However, Wahhabism diverges in some points of theology from other Athari movements.[261] These include a zealous tendency toward takfir, which bears a resemblance to the Kharijites.[261][262] Another distinctive feature is a strong opposition to mysticism.[261] Although it is typically attributed to the influence of Ibn Taymiyyah, Jeffry Halverson argues that Ibn Taymiyyah only opposed what he saw as Sufi excesses and never mysticism in itself, being himself a member of the Qadiriyyah Sufi order.[261] DeLong-Bas writes that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not denounce Sufism or Sufis as a group, but rather attacked specific practices which he saw as inconsistent with the Quran and hadith.[263]

Ibn Abd al-Wahhab considered some beliefs and practices of the Shia to violate the doctrine of monotheism.[264] According to DeLong-Bas, in his polemic against the “extremistRafidah sect of Shiis”, he criticized them for assigning greater authority to their current leaders than to Muhammad in interpreting the Quran and sharia, and for denying the validity of the consensus of the early Muslim community.[264] He also believed that the Shia doctrine of infallibility of the imams constituted associationism with God.[264]

David Commins describes the “pivotal idea” in Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching as being that “Muslims who disagreed with his definition of monotheism were not … misguided Muslims, but outside the pale of Islam altogether.” This put Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s teaching at odds with that of most Muslims through history who believed that the “shahada” profession of faith (“There is no god but God, Muhammad is his messenger”) made one a Muslim, and that shortcomings in that person’s behavior and performance of other obligatory rituals rendered them “a sinner”, but “not an unbeliever.”

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab did not accept that view. He argued that the criterion for one’s standing as either a Muslim or an unbeliever was correct worship as an expression of belief in one God. … any act or statement that indicates devotion to a being other than God is to associate another creature with God’s power, and that is tantamount to idolatry (shirk). Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab included in the category of such acts popular religious practices that made holy men into intercessors with God. That was the core of the controversy between him and his adversaries, including his own brother.[265]

In Ibn Abd al-Wahhab‘s major work, a small book called Kitab al-Tawhid, he states that worship in Islam is limited to conventional acts of worship such as the five daily prayers (salat); fasting for Ramadan (Sawm); Dua(supplication); Istia’dha (seeking protection or refuge); Ist’ana (seeking help), and Istigatha to Allah (seeking benefits and calling upon Allah alone). Worship beyond this – making du’a or tawassul – are acts of shirk and in violation of the tenets of Tawhid (montheism).[266][page needed][267]

Ibn Abd al-Wahahb’s justification for considering majority of Muslims of Arabia to be unbelievers, and for waging war on them, can be summed up as his belief that the original pagans the prophet Muhammad fought “affirmed that God is the creator, the sustainer and the master of all affairs; they gave alms, they performed pilgrimage and they avoided forbidden things from fear of God”. What made them pagans whose blood could be shed and wealth plundered was that “they sacrificed animals to other beings; they sought the help of other beings; they swore vows by other beings.” Someone who does such things even if their lives are otherwise exemplary is not a Muslim but an unbeliever (as Ibn Abd al-Wahahb believed). Once such people have received the call to “true Islam”, understood it and then rejected it, their blood and treasure are forfeit.[268][269]

This disagreement between Wahhabis and non-Wahhabi Muslims over the definition of worship and monotheism has remained much the same since 1740, according to David Commins,[265] although, according to Saudi writer and religious television show host Abdul Aziz Qassim, as of 2014, “there are changes happening within the [Wahhabi] doctrine and among its followers.”[53]

According to another source, defining aspects of Wahhabism include a very literal interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah and a tendency to reinforce local practices of the Najd.[270]

Whether the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab included the need for social renewal and “plans for socio-religious reform of society” in the Arabian Peninsula, rather than simply a return to “ritual correctness and moral purity”, is disputed.[271][272]

Jurisprudence (fiqh)

Of the four major sources in Sunni fiqh – the Quran, the Sunna, consensus (ijma), and analogical reasoning (qiyas) – Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s writings emphasized the Quran and Sunna. He used ijma only “in conjunction with its corroboration of the Quran and hadith”[273] (and giving preference to the ijma of Muhammad’s companions rather than the ijma of legal specialists after his time), and qiyas only in cases of extreme necessity.[274] He rejected deference to past juridical opinion (taqlid) in favor of independent reasoning (ijtihad), and opposed using local customs.[275] He urged his followers to “return to the primary sources” of Islam in order “to determine how the Quran and Muhammad dealt with specific situations”,[276] when using ijtihad. According to Edward Mortimer, it was imitation of past juridical opinion in the face of clear contradictory evidence from hadith or Qur’anic text that Ibn Abd al-Wahhab condemned.[277] Natana DeLong-Bas writes that the Wahhabi tendency to consider failure to abide by Islamic law as equivalent to apostasy was based on the ideology of Ibn Taymiyya rather than Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s preaching and emerged after the latter’s death.[278]

According to an expert on law in Saudi Arabia (Frank Vogel), Ibn Abd al-Wahhab himself “produced no unprecedented opinions”. The “Wahhabis’ bitter differences with other Muslims were not over fiqh rules at all, but over aqida, or theological positions”.[279] Scholar David Cummings also states that early disputes with other Muslims did not center on fiqh, and that the belief that the distinctive character of Wahhabism stems from Hanbali legal thought is a “myth”.[280]

Some scholars are ambivalent as to whether Wahhabis belong to the Hanbali legal school. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World maintains Wahhabis “rejected all jurisprudence that in their opinion did not adhere strictly to the letter of the Qur’an and the hadith”.[281] Cyril Glasse’s New Encyclopedia of Islam states that “strictly speaking”, Wahhabis “do not see themselves as belonging to any school,”[282] and that in doing so they correspond to the ideal aimed at by Ibn Hanbal, and thus they can be said to be of his ‘school’.[283] [284] According to DeLong-Bas, Ibn Abd al-Wahhab never directly claimed to be a Hanbali jurist, warned his followers about the dangers of adhering unquestionably to fiqh, and did not consider “the opinion of any law school to be binding.”[285] He did, however, follow the Hanbali methodology of judging everything not explicitly forbidden to be permissible, avoiding the use of analogical reasoning, and taking public interest and justice into consideration.[285]

Loyalty and disassociation

According to various sources—scholars,[47][286][287] [288] [289][290] former Saudi students, [291] Arabic-speaking/reading teachers who have had access to Saudi text books, [292] and journalists[293] – Ibn `Abd al Wahhab and his successors preach that theirs is the one true form of Islam. According to a doctrine known as al-wala` wa al-bara` (literally, “loyalty and disassociation”), Abd al-Wahhab argued that it was “imperative for Muslims not to befriend, ally themselves with, or imitate non-Muslims or heretical Muslims”, and that this “enmity and hostility of Muslims toward non-Muslims and heretical had to be visible and unequivocal”.[294][295] Even as late as 2003, entire pages in Saudi textbooks were devoted to explaining to undergraduates that all forms of Islam except Wahhabism were deviation,[292] although, according to one source (Hamid Algar) Wahhabis have “discreetly concealed” this view from other Muslims outside Saudi Arabia “over the years”.[287][296]

In reply, the Saudi Arabian government “has strenuously denied the above allegations”, including that “their government exports religious or cultural extremism or supports extremist religious education.”[297]

Politics

According to ibn Abdal-Wahhab there are three objectives for Islamic government and society: “to believe in Allah, enjoin good behavior, and forbid wrongdoing.” This doctrine has been sustained in missionary literature, sermons, fatwa rulings, and explications of religious doctrine by Wahhabis since the death of ibn Abdal-Wahhab.[75] Ibn Abd al-Wahhab saw a role for the imam, “responsible for religious matters”, and the amir, “in charge of political and military issues”.[298] (In Saudi history the imam has not been a religious preacher or scholar, but Muhammad ibn Saud[299] and subsequent Saudi rulers.[64][300])

He also taught that the Muslim ruler is owed unquestioned allegiance as a religious obligation from his people so long as he leads the community according to the laws of God. A Muslim must present a bayah, or oath of allegiance, to a Muslim ruler during his lifetime to ensure his redemption after death.[75][301] Any counsel given to a ruler from community leaders or ulama should be private, not through public acts such as petitions, demonstrations, etc. [302] [303] (This strict obedience can become problematic if a dynastic dispute arises and someone rebelling against the ruler succeeds and becomes the ruler, as happened in the late 19th century at the end of the second al-Saud state.[304] Is the successful rebel a ruler to be obeyed, or a usurper?[305])

While this gives the king wide power, respecting shari’a does impose limits, such as giving qadi (Islamic judges) independence. This means not interfering in their deliberations, but also not codifying laws, following precedents or establishing a uniform system of law courts – both of which violate the qadi’s independence.[306]

Wahhabis have traditionally given their allegiance to the House of Saud, but a movement of “Salafi jihadis” has developed among those who believe Al Saud has abandoned the laws of God.[191][192] According to Zubair Qamar, while the “standard view” is that “Wahhabis are apolitical and do not oppose the State”, there is/was another “strain” of Wahhabism that “found prominence among a group of Wahhabis after the fall of the second Saudi State in the 1800s”, and post 9/11 is associated with Jordanian/Palestinian scholar Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi and “Wahhabi scholars of the ‘Shu’aybi‘ school”.[307]

Wahhabis share the belief of Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Islamic dominion over politics and government and the importance of dawah (proselytizing or preaching of Islam) not just towards non-Muslims but towards erroring Muslims. However Wahhabi preachers are conservative and do not deal with concepts such as social justice, anticolonialism, or economic equality, expounded upon by Islamist Muslims.[308] Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s original pact promised whoever championed his message, ‘will, by means of it, rule and lands and men.'”[28]

Population

One of the more detailed estimates of religious population in the Arabic Gulf is by Mehrdad Izady who estimates, “using cultural and not confessional criteria”, only 4.56 million Wahhabis in the Persian Gulf region, about 4 million from Saudi Arabia, (mostly the Najd), and the rest coming overwhelmingly from the Emirates and Qatar.[30] Most Sunni Qataris are Wahhabis (46.9% of all Qataris)[30] and 44.8% of Emiratis are Wahhabis,[30] 5.7% of Bahrainisare Wahhabis, and 2.2% of Kuwaitis are Wahhabis.[30] They account for roughly 0.5% of the world’s Muslim population.[309]

Notable leaders

There has traditionally been a recognized head of the Wahhabi “religious estate”, often a member of Al ash-Sheikh (a descendant of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab) or related to another religious head. For example, Abd al-Latif was the son of Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan.

  • Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792) was the founder of the Wahhabi movement.[310][311]
  • Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1752–1826) was the head of Wahhabism after his father retired from public life in 1773. After the fall of the first Saudi emirate, Abd Allah went into exile in Cairo where he died.[310]
  • Sulayman ibn Abd Allah (1780–1818) was a grandson of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and author of an influential treatise that restricted travel to and residing in land of idolaters (i.e. land outside of the Wahhabi area).[310]
  • Abd al-Rahman ibn Hasan (1780–1869) was head of the religious estate in the second Saudi emirate.[310]
  • Abd al-Latif ibn Abd al-Rahman (1810–1876) Head of religious estate in 1860 and early 1870s.[310]
  • Abd Allah ibn Abd al-Latif Al ash-Sheikh (1848–1921) was the head of religious estate during period of Rashidi rule and the early years of King Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud.[310]
  • Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Al ash-Sheikh (1893–1969) was the head of Wahhabism in mid twentieth century. He has been said to have “dominated the Wahhabi religious estate and enjoyed unrivaled religious authority.”[312]
  • Ghaliyya al-Wahhabiyya was a female military leader who defended Mecca against recapture by Ottoman forces.

In more recent times, a couple of Wahhabi clerics have risen to prominence that have no relation to ibn Abd al-Wahhab.

  • Abdul Aziz Bin Baz (1910–1999), has been called “the most prominent proponent” of Wahhabism during his time.[313]
  • Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen (1925–2001), another “giant”. According to David Dean Commins, no one “has emerged” with the same “degree of authority in the Saudi religious establishment” since their deaths.[313]

International influence and propagation

Explanation for influence

Khaled Abou El Fadl attributed the appeal of Wahhabism to some Muslims as stemming from

  • Arab nationalism, which followed the Wahhabi attack on the Ottoman Empire
  • Reformism, which followed a return to Salaf (as-Salaf aṣ-Ṣāliḥ);
  • Destruction of the Hejaz Khilafa in 1925;
  • Control of Mecca and Medina, which gave Wahhabis great influence on Muslim culture and thinking;
  • Oil, which after 1975 allowed Wahhabis to promote their interpretations of Islam using billions from oil export revenue.[314]

Scholar Gilles Kepel, agrees that the tripling in the price of oil in the mid-1970s and the progressive takeover of Saudi Aramco in the 1974–1980 period, provided the source of much influence of Wahhabism in the Islamic World.

… the financial clout of Saudi Arabia had been amply demonstrated during the oil embargo against the United States, following the Arab-Israeli war of 1973. This show of international power, along with the nation’s astronomical increase in wealth, allowed Saudi Arabia’s puritanical, conservative Wahhabite faction to attain a preeminent position of strength in the global expression of Islam. Saudi Arabia’s impact on Muslims throughout the world was less visible than that of Khomeini]s Iran, but the effect was deeper and more enduring. …. it reorganized the religious landscape by promoting those associations and ulemas who followed its lead, and then, by injecting substantial amounts of money into Islamic interests of all sorts, it won over many more converts. Above all, the Saudis raised a new standard – the virtuous Islamic civilization – as foil for the corrupting influence of the West.[84]

Funding factor

Estimates of Saudi spending on religious causes abroad include “upward of $100 billion”;[315] between $2 and 3 billion per year since 1975 (compared to the annual Soviet propaganda budget of $1 billion/year);[316] and “at least $87 billion” from 1987–2007.[317]

Its largesse funded an estimated “90% of the expenses of the entire faith”, throughout the Muslim World, according to journalist Dawood al-Shirian.[318] It extended to young and old, from children’s madrasas to high-level scholarship.[319] “Books, scholarships, fellowships, mosques” (for example, “more than 1,500 mosques were built from Saudi public funds over the last 50 years”) were paid for.[320] It rewarded journalists and academics, who followed it and built satellite campuses around Egypt for Al Azhar, the oldest and most influential Islamic university.[167] Yahya Birt counts spending on “1,500 mosques, 210 Islamic centres and dozens of Muslim academies and schools”.[316][321]

This financial aid has done much to overwhelm less strict local interpretations of Islam, according to observers like Dawood al-Shirian and Lee Kuan Yew,[318] and has caused the Saudi interpretation (sometimes called “petro-Islam”[322]) to be perceived as the correct interpretation—or the “gold standard” of Islam—in many Muslims’ minds.[323][324]

Militant and political Islam

According to counter-terrorism scholar Thomas F. Lynch III, Sunni extremists perpetrated about 700 terror attacks killing roughly 7,000 people from 1981–2006.[325] What connection, if any, there is between Wahhabism and theJihadi Salafis such as Al-Qaeda who carried out these attacks, is disputed.

Natana De Long-Bas, senior research assistant at the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, argues:

The militant Islam of Osama bin Laden did not have its origins in the teachings of Ibn Abd-al-Wahhab and was not representative of Wahhabi Islam as it is practiced in contemporary Saudi Arabia, yet for the media it came to define Wahhabi Islam during the later years of bin Laden’s lifetime. However “unrepresentative” bin Laden’s global jihad was of Islam in general and Wahhabi Islam in particular, its prominence in headline news took Wahhabi Islam across the spectrum from revival and reform to global jihad.[326]

Noah Feldman distinguishes between what he calls the “deeply conservative” Wahhabis and what he calls the “followers of political Islam in the 1980s and 1990s,” such as Egyptian Islamic Jihad and later Al-Qaeda leaderAyman al-Zawahiri. While Saudi Wahhabis were “the largest funders of local Muslim Brotherhood chapters and other hard-line Islamists” during this time, they opposed jihadi resistance to Muslim governments and assassination of Muslim leaders because of their belief that “the decision to wage jihad lay with the ruler, not the individual believer”.[327]

Karen Armstrong states that Osama bin Laden, like most extremists, followed the ideology of Sayyid Qutb, not “Wahhabism”.[328]

More recently the self-declared “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been described as both more violent than al-Qaeda and more closely aligned with Wahhabism.

For their guiding principles, the leaders of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, are open and clear about their almost exclusive commitment to the Wahhabi movement of Sunni Islam. The group circulates images of Wahhabi religious textbooks from Saudi Arabia in the schools it controls. Videos from the group’s territory have shown Wahhabi texts plastered on the sides of an official missionary van.[329]

According to scholar Bernard Haykel, “for Al Qaeda, violence is a means to an ends; for ISIS, it is an end in itself.” Wahhabism is the Islamic State’s “closest religious cognate.”[329]

The Sunni militant groups worldwide that are associated with the Wahhabi ideology include: Al-Shabaab, Ansar Dine, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and ISIS.[citation needed]

Criticism and controversy

Criticism by other Muslims

Among the criticism, or comments made by critics, of the Wahhabi movement are:

  • That it is not so much strict and uncompromising as aberrant,[330] going beyond the bounds of Islam in its restricted definition of tawhid (monotheism), and much too willing to commit takfir (declare non-Muslim and subject to execution) Muslims it found in violation of Islam[331] (in the second Wahhabi-Saudi jihad/conquest of the Arabian peninsula, an estimated 400,000 were killed or wounded according to some estimates[119][120][121][122]);
  • That bin Saud’s agreement to wage jihad to spread Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s teachings had more to do with traditional Najd practice of raiding – “instinctive fight for survival and appetite for lucre” – than with religion;[332]
  • That it has no connection to other Islamic revival movements;[333]
  • That unlike other revivalists, its founder Abd ul-Wahhab showed little scholarship – writing little and making even less commentary;[334]
  • That its rejection of the “orthodox” belief in saints, which had become a cardinal doctrine in Sunni Islam very early on,[335][336][337] represents a departure from something which has been an “integral part of Islam … for over a millennium.”[338][339] In this connection, mainstream Sunni scholars also critique the Wahhabi citing of Ibn Taymiyyah as an authority when Ibn Taymiyyah himself adhered to the belief in the existence of saints;[340]
  • That its contention towards visiting the tombs and shrines of prophets and saints and the seeking of their intercession, violate tauhid al-‘ibada (directing all worship to God alone) has no basis in tradition, in consensus or inhadith, and that even if it did, it would not be grounds for excluding practitioners of ziyara and tawassul from Islam;[331]
  • That its use of Ibn Hanbal, Ibn al-Qayyim, and even Ibn Taymiyyah‘s name to support its stance is inappropriate, as it is historically known that all three of these men revered many aspects of Sufism, save that the latter two critiqued certain practices among the Sufis of their time. Those who criticize this aspect of Wahhabism often refer to the group’s use of Ibn Hanbal’s name to be a particularly egregious error, arguing that the jurist’s love for the relics of Muhammad, for the intercession of the Prophet, and for the Sufis of his time is well established in Islamic tradition;[341]
  • That historically Wahhabis have had a suspicious willingness to ally itself with non-Muslim powers (specifically America and Britain), and in particular to ignore the encroachments into Muslim territory of a non-Muslim imperial power (the British) while waging jihad and weakening the Muslim Caliphate of the Ottomans;[342][343] and
  • That Wahhabi strictness in matters of hijab and separation of the sexes has led not to a more pious and virtuous Saudi Arabia, but to a society showing a very un-Islamic lack of respect towards women.

Initial opposition

The first people to oppose Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahhab were his father Abd al-Wahhab and his brother Salman Ibn Abd al-Wahhab who was an Islamic scholar and qadi. Ibn Abd al-Wahhab’s brother wrote a book in refutation of his brother’s new teachings, called: “The Final Word from the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Sayings of the Scholars Concerning the School of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab”, also known as: “Al-Sawa`iq al-Ilahiyya fi Madhhab al-Wahhabiyya” (“The Divine Thunderbolts Concerning the Wahhabi School”).[344]

In “The Refutation of Wahhabism in Arabic Sources, 1745–1932”,[344] Hamadi Redissi provides original references to the description of Wahhabis as a divisive sect (firqa) and outliers (Kharijites) in communications between Ottomans and Egyptian Khedive Muhammad Ali. Redissi details refutations of Wahhabis by scholars (muftis); among them Ahmed Barakat Tandatawin, who in 1743 describes Wahhabism as ignorance (Jahala).

Shi’a opposition

Al-Baqi’ mausoleum reportedly contained the bodies of Hasan ibn Ali (a grandson ofMuhammad) and Fatimah (the daughter of Muhammad).

In 1801 and 1802, the Saudi Wahhabis under Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud attacked and captured the holy Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf in Iraq and destroyed the tombs ofHusayn ibn Ali who is the grandson of Muhammad, and Ali (Ali bin Abu Talib), the son-in-law of Muhammad (see: Saudi sponsorship mentioned previously). In 1803 and 1804 the Saudis captured Mecca and Madinah and demolished various tombs of Ahl al-Bayt and Sahabah, ancient monuments, ruins according to Wahhabis, they “removed a number of what were seen as sources or possible gateways to polytheism or shirk” – such as the tomb of Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad. In 1998 the Saudis bulldozed and poured gasoline over the grave of Aminah bint Wahb, the mother of Muhammad, causing resentment throughout the Muslim World.[345][346][347]

Shi’a Muslims complain that Wahhabis and their teachings are a driving force behind sectarian violence and anti-Shia targeted killings in many countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Yemen. Worldwide Saudi run, sponsored mosques and Islamic schools teach Wahhabi version of the Sunni Islam that labels Shia Muslims, Sufis, Christians, Jews and others as either apostates or infidels, thus paving a way for armed jihad against them by any means necessary till their death or submission to the Wahhabi doctrine. Wahhabis consider Shi’ites to be the archenemies of Islam.[348][349]

Wahhabism is a major factor behind the rise of such groups as al-Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram, while also inspiring movements such as the Taliban.[350][351][352]

Sunni opposition

The historical Ajyad Fortress of the Ottoman Empire above was razed in 2002 to in order to permit the construction of the Abraj Al Bait hotel complex in Mecca below.

One early rebuttal of Wahhabism, (by Sunni jurist Ibn Jirjis) argued that “Whoever declares that there is no god but God and prays toward Mecca is a believer”, supplicating the dead is permitted because it is not a form of worship but merely calling out to them, and that worship at graves is not idolatry unless the supplicant believes that buried saints have the power to determine the course of events. These arguments were specifically rejected as heretical by the Wahhabi leader at the time. [353]

The Syrian professor and scholar Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti criticises the Salafi movement in a few of his works.[354]

Malaysia’s largest Islamic body, the National Fatwa Council, has described Wahhabism as being against Sunni teachings, Dr Abdul Shukor Husin, chairman of the National Fatwa Council, said Wahhabi followers were fond of declaring Muslims of other schools as apostates merely on the grounds that they did not conform to Wahhabi teachings.[355]

Among Sunni Muslims, the groups and organizations worldwide that oppose the Wahhabi ideology include: Al Ahbash, Al-Azhar, Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a, Barelvi, Nahdlatul Ulama,Gülen movement, and Ansar dine.[citation needed]

The Sufi Islamic Supreme Council of America founded by the Naqshbandi Sufi Shaykh Hisham Kabbani classify Wahhabism as being extremist and heretical based on Wahhabism’s role as a terrorist ideology and labelling of other Muslims, especially Sufis as polytheists, a practice known as Takfir.[356][357][358][359]

Non-religious motivations

According to at least one critic, the 1744–1745 alliance between Ibn Abdul Wahhab and the tribal chief Muhammad bin Saud to wage jihad on neighboring allegedly false-Muslims, was a “consecration” by Ibn Abdul Wahhab of bin Saud tribe’s long standing raids on neighboring oases by “renaming those raids jihad.” Part of the Najd’s “Hobbesian state of perpetual war pitted Bedouin tribes against one another for control of the scarce resources that could stave off starvation.” And a case of substituting fath, “the ‘opening’ or conquest of a vast territory through religious zeal”, for the “instinctive fight for survival and appetite for lucre.” [332]

Wahhabism in the United States

A study conducted by the NGO Freedom House found Wahhabi publications in mosques in the United States. These publications included statements that Muslims should not only “always oppose” infidels “in every way”, but “hate them for their religion … for Allah’s sake”, that democracy “is responsible for all the horrible wars… the number of wars it started in the 20th century alone is more than 130 wars,” and that Shia and certain Sunni Muslims were infidels.[360][361] In a response to the report, the Saudi government stated, “[It has] worked diligently during the last five years to overhaul its education system” but “[o]verhauling an educational system is a massive undertaking.”[362]

A review of the study by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated[363] Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) complained the study cited documents from only a few mosques, arguing most mosques in the U.S. are not under Wahhabi influence.[364] ISPU comments on the study were not entirely negative however, and concluded:

American-Muslim leaders must thoroughly scrutinize this study. Despite its limitations, the study highlights an ugly undercurrent in modern Islamic discourse that American-Muslims must openly confront. However, in the vigor to expose strains of extremism, we must not forget that open discussion is the best tool to debunk the extremist literature rather than a suppression of First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.[364]

Concern has been expressed over the fact that U.S. university branches, like the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and the Northwestern school of Journalism, housed in the wahabbi country of Qatar, are exposed to the extremist propaganda espoused by wahabist imams who preach at the Qatar Foundation mosque in Education City. Education City, a large campus where U.S. and European universities reside, hosted a series of religious prayers and lectures as part of a month-long annual Ramadan program in 2015. The prayers and lectures were held at the new lavish mosque in Doha’s Education City, which shares the same campus as prestigious schools in the U.S. like Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon. Among those who attended the lectures was a Saudi preacher who has described the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris as “the sequel to the comedy film of 9/11 “and another cleric who says, “Jews and their helpers must be destroyed.”[365] The mosque in education city has also been known to host extremist anti-semetic wahabbi preachers who speak against “Zionist aggressors” in their sermons and called upon Allah “to count them in number and kill them completely, do not spare a [single] one of them.”[365] There are further allegations which suggest that Qatar sent professors back to America for being Jewish[366] and that students attending American Universities in Qatar are required to dress in a manner that is respectful to Wahhabism.[367]

European expansion

There has been much concern, expressed in both American and European media and scholarship, over the fact that Wahhabi countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been financing mosques and buying up land all over Europe. Belgium, Ireland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy have all noted the growing influence that these Wahhabi countries have over territory and religion in Europe.[368]

The concern resonates at a local level in Europe as well. In 2016, the citizens of Brussels, Belgium overturned a 2015 decision to build a 600-person mosque next to the Qatari embassy. Fear largely emanates from the fact that Belgian citizens see the mosque as an opportunity for a Wahhabi country to exert control over Muslims in Europe, thus spreading the more extreme sect of Islam.[368]

Several articles have been written that list the Cork Islamic Cultural Center as an example of one of many properties throughout Europe, paid for by the Qatari government, in an effort to spread an extreme and intolerant form of Islam known as Wahhabism.[369][370]

The Assalam Mosque is located in Nantes, France was also a source on some controversy. Construction on the mosque began in 2009 and was completed in 2012. It is the largest mosque in its region in France. The mosque is frequently listed among examples of Qatar’s efforts to export Wahhabism, their extreme and often intolerant version of Islam, throughout Europe.[368][369]

Some of the initiatives of the Cultural Islamic Center Sesto San Giovanni in Italy, funded by Qatar Charity, have also raised concerns due to its ties to Wahhabbism. The Consortium Against Terrorist Finance (CATF) said that the mosque has a history of affiliation and cooperation with extremists and terrorists.[371] CATF notes that Qatar Charity “was named as a major financial conduit for al-Qaeda in judicial proceedings following the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania”, supported al-Qaeda operatives in Northern Mali, and was “heavily involved in Syria.”[371]

Munich Forum for Islam (MFI), also known as the Center for Islam in Europe-Munich (ZIEM), was another controversial initiative largely financed by the Wahhabi Gulf country of Qatar.[368] In 2013 German activists filed a lawsuit in opposition to the construction of the mosque. These activists expressed fear that the Qatari government aimed to build Mosques all over Europe to spread Wahhabism. But the government squashed the lawsuit. In addition to this 2014 ruling, another court ordered an anti-mosque protester to pay a fine for defaming Islam when the protester claimed that Wahhabi Islam is incompatible with democracy.[372]

The Islamic Cultural Center in Luxembourg was also funded by Qatar in what some note is an attempt by Qatar to spread Wahhabism in Europe.[373]

Destruction of Islam’s early historical sites

The Wahhabi teachings disapprove of “veneration of the historical sites associated with early Islam”, on the grounds that “only God should be worshiped” and “that veneration of sites associated with mortals leads to idolatry“.[374]However, critics point out that no Muslims venerate buildings or tombs as it is a shirk. Muslims visiting the resting places of Ahl al-Bayt or Sahabah still pray to Allah alone while remembering the Prophet’s companions and family members. Many buildings associated with early Islam, including mazaar, mausoleums and other artifacts have been destroyed in Saudi Arabia by Wahhabis from the early 19th century through the present day.[49][50] This practice has proved controversial and has received considerable criticism from Sufi and Shia Muslims and in the non-Muslim world.

Ironically, despite Wahhabi destruction of many Islamic, non-Islamic, and historical sites associated with the first Muslims, Prophet’s family, his companions and a strict prohibition of visiting such (including mosques), Saudis renovated the tomb of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, turning his birthplace into a major tourist attraction and an important place of visitation within the kingdom’s modern borders.[375]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabism

Dore Gold

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dore Gold
דורי גולד
Dgold-05-master.jpg
11th Israel Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
1997–1999
Preceded by Gad Yaacobi
Succeeded by Yehuda Lancry
Personal details
Born 1953 (age 63–64)
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.

Dore Gold (Hebrew: דורי גולד‎‎, born 1953) is an Israeli diplomat who has served in various positions under several Israeli governments. He is the current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was also an advisor to the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term in office. In May 2015, Netanyahu named him Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Early life

Dore Gold was born in 1953 in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, and was raised in a Conservative Jewish home. His primary education was spent at the Orthodox Yeshiva of Hartford.[1] In the 1970s, Gold attended Northfield Mount Hermon School (Class of 1971) and then enrolled in Columbia University. There Gold earned BA and MA in Political Science, and then a PhD in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies.[2]

He studied literary Arabic and specialized in International Law, and his doctoral dissertation was about Saudi Arabia. This research later formed the foundation for his 2003 New York Times bestseller, Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism. In the book, Gold argues that Saudi Arabia actively funds terrorism by supporting the enemies of the U.S. and attacking its allies.[3][4] Today, Gold lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Ofra, and his two children, Yael and Ariel.

Career

Dore Gold’s political career began in 1985 when Gold served as senior research associate at Tel Aviv University‘s Moshe Dayan Centre for Near East Studies. Later, he was appointed Director of the U.S. Foreign and Defense Policy Project at the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University and held this position from 1985 to 1996.[5]

Peace Negotiations

In 1991 Gold was an advisor to the Israeli delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference. From June 1996 to June 1997 he served as Foreign Policy Adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[6] During the period in which Benjamin Netanyahu served as the head of the Israeli opposition, Gold was instrumental in forging the relationship between the Likud Party leadership and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in response to the strategic ties that were growing between Israel’s Labor government and the PLO under Yasser Arafat. Gold accompanied Netanyahu to meetings with the Jordanian leadership in 1994 and 1995 in London, Amman and in Aqaba. As the Foreign Policy Adviser under Netanyahu after the 1996 elections, Gold worked with the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan and others in the Arab world. He was also involved in negotiations leading up to the Hebron Agreementand the Note for the Record.

East Jerusalem and the Oslo Accords

Gold himself has not written about the period in which he served as an envoy to the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world; nonetheless, a number of revelations have been disclosed by other authors. According to Barry Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin, Gold and Netanyahu advisor Yitzhak Molcho were the first envoys of the newly elected Likud government to meet with Yasser Arafat in the Gaza Strip on June 27, 1996.[7] Dennis Ross relates to the “Abu-Mazen-Dore Gold” talks that ensued afterwards as a result of which the Palestinians closed down offices in East Jerusalem that Israel had argued were a violation of the Oslo Accords.[8] This was the price that Arafat had to pay for his first meeting with Netanyahu. It was a hard concession for the Palestinians, according to Ross, for it was viewed by them as a “symbolic retreat on East Jerusalem.”

Syria and the Golan Heights

On the Syrian negotiating track, former Israeli ambassador to the US, Itamar Rabinovich, describes how he concluded with Gold an understanding over the Monitoring Group for Southern Lebanon, which was followed by a direct discussion between Gold and the Syrian ambassador to the US, Walid Muallam.[9] According to the French journalist, Charles Enderline, Gold secured a commitment from Secretary of State Warren Christopher that the Rabin“deposit” on the future of the Golan Heights did not bind the State of Israel. This effort also included obtaining a new US commitment from the Clinton administration to the September 1975 Ford letter, in which it was stated that the US would give great weight to Israel remaining on the Golan Heights.[10] According to the Israeli Hebrew daily, Maariv, Christopher wrote this renewed commitment in a formal letter of assurances to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on September 19, 1996.[11]

Ambassador to the United Nations

From 1997 to 1999 Gold was the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations. In 1998 Gold served as a member of the Israeli delegation at the Wye River negotiations between Israel, the PLO, and then U.S. President Bill Clintonat the Wye River Plantation in Maryland.

President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

From 2000 to the present, Gold has been the president of the JCPA. Gold has much experience in US–Israel policy. His articles and books cover a wide variety of Israeli diplomacy such as: Jerusalem, the United Nations and its implications for Israel, nuclear Iran, and the United States’ relationship with Israel. One of the projects Gold has led at the JCPA is the concept of Defensible Borders for Israel.

Later life

Since 2000 Gold has served as president of the non-profit institute, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. From 2001 to 2003, Gold served as an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, most notably at the Aqaba Summit with President George W. Bush. During this period, Gold regularly appeared on US network television programs on behalf of the Sharon government, including Meet the Press, The Today Show, CNN’s Late Edition, as well as onFox and Friends. In July 2003, Gold testified as an expert before the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs on Saudi Arabia‘s alleged role in providing ideological and financial support for international terrorism.

Measures against Ahmadinejad

Since 2006 Gold led an international effort by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs to advocate that UN member states take legal measures against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on grounds that he violated the anti-incitement clauses of the 1948 Genocide Convention, with his repeated statements about “wiping Israel off the map.” Gold led a delegation to a conference held jointly with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the New York County Bar Association on December 14, 2006. Speakers included former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School, and the US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. Senator Hillary Clinton sent a letter of support to the conference.

Gold led an Israeli delegation to a second conference at the British House of Commons on January 25, 2007 which was chaired by Lord David Trimble and supported by members of the British Labour Party and the Conservative Party. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Israeli team. As a result of this effort, over 60 members of the House of Commons called for the indictment of Ahmadinejad. A third event organized by Gold and the International Association of Genocide Scholars was held on September 23, 2008 in Washington D.C. Speaking at the third conference was Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former US ambassador to the UN, as well asSalih Mahmoud Osman, a member of the Sudanese Parliament and advocate for human rights in Darfur.[12]

The Doha Debates

In April 2009 Gold participated in the Doha Debates at Georgetown University in Washington DC, where he debated against the motion “this house believes that it is time for the USA to get tough on Israel” with fellow speakerHarvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. Speakers for the motion were Avraham Burg, former Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and former Speaker of the Knesset and Michael Scheuer, former Chief of the CIA Bin Laden Issue Station. Gold and Dershowitz lost the debate, with 63% of the audience voting for the motion.[13]

Debate with Justice Richard Goldstone

Brandeis University invited Gold to debate Justice Richard Goldstone on November 5, 2009. The subject was the U.N. Gaza Report. Jeff Jacoby wrote in an opinion piece in the Boston Globe on November 7: “Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.N. brought facts and figures, maps and photographs, audio and video in English, Arabic, and Hebrew. Last night’s encounter marked the first time Goldstone publicly debated the report’s merits with a leading Israeli figure. It would not surprise me that he is in no hurry for a second.”[14]

Appearing at the International Criminal Court in the Hague

Ambassador Gold was invited to attend a roundtable meeting at the office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, held on October 20, 2010. A total of eight specialists appeared and submitted papers. They discussed the Palestinian Authority’s declaration on January 22, 2009 recognizing the jurisdiction of the ICC, in accordance with an article in the Rome Statute, normally reserved for states. The PA was seeking the implicit recognition of the ICC Prosecutor that it already was a state.

Re-joining Netanyahu

It was announced in December 2013 that Gold would once again advise Benjamin Netanyahu. His purview will not include negotiations with the Palestinians, but will cover Israel’s relations with the U.S. and United Nations, as well as Iran policy.[15]

Director-General of the Foreign Ministry

On May 25, 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Gold’s appointment as Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, subject to the cabinet’s approval. On October 13, 2016, Gold resigned from the Director-General’s position for personal reasons.[16]

Positions held

  • 1985–1996 – Senior research associate, Dayan Centre for Near East Studies. Director, US Foreign and Defense Policy Project at the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.
  • 1991 – Advisor, Madrid Peace Conference.
  • 1996–1997 – Foreign policy advisor, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • 1997–1999 – Israeli ambassador, United Nations
  • 1998 – Israeli delegation, Wye River negotiations
  • 2000–Present – President, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • 2002–2004 – Advisor, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon

Publications

Books

  • The Rise of Nuclear Iran: How Tehran Defies the West (Regnery, 2009). ISBN 1-59698-571-2
  • The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City (ISBN 0786147849 / Publisher: Regnery, Blackstone Audiobooks / Date: Jan 2007)
  • Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos (Crown Forum, November, 2004). ISBN 1-4000-5475-3
  • Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism (Regnery, 2003). ISBN 0-89526-135-9
  • American Military Strategy in the Middle East: The Implications of the US Regional Command Structure (CENTCOM) For Israel (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense Publications), 1993.
  • Israel as an American Non-NATO Ally: Parameters of Defense and Industrial Cooperation (Boulder: Westview Press), 1992.

Selected articles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dore_Gold

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Patrick J. Buchhanan — The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of The Global Economy — Videos

Posted on February 21, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Catholic Church, Communications, Culture, Employment, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, media, Non-Fiction, Patrick J. Buchanan, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Trade, Trade Policiy, Unemployment, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , |

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Before Trump, there was Pat Buchanan

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Suicide of a Superpower: Pat Buchanan on the Death of Western Civilization

Published on Apr 25, 2012

Peter Robinson sits with author, journalist and former presidential candidate, Patrick J Buchanan. From declining birth rates, to shifting values, to the decline of Christianity, Buchanan thinks Western civilization is falling apart. Buchanan is worried that the American melting pot has stopped assimilating immigrants the way it once did. Is America dying? Are you a racist if you think America is breaking apart? Find out.

Pat Buchanan: Biography, Apartheid, Culture War, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Interview (1988)

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Chris Heffelfinger — Radical Islam in America: Salafism’s Journey from Arabia to the West — Videos

Posted on February 7, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Catholic Church, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Documentary, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Foreign Policy, Freedom, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Middle East, National Security Agency (NSA_, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Rants, Raves, Religion, Religious, Shite, Speech, Sunni, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The True Origins of Isis Ideology (Wahhabism/Salafism)

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Wahhabism Explained

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100% Video Proof of Radical Muslim Terrorist Training Camps in America – Bill O’Reilly

Seymour Hersh’s Latest Bombshell: U.S. Military Undermined Obama on Syria with Tacit Help to Assad

Published on Dec 22, 2015

A new report by the Pulitzer-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh says the Joints Chiefs of Staff has indirectly supported Bashar al-Assad in an effort to help him defeat jihadist groups. Hersh reports the Joint Chiefs sent intelligence via Russia, Germany and Israel on the understanding it would be transmitted to help Assad push back Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Hersh also claims the military even undermined a U.S. effort to arm Syrian rebels in a bid to prove it was serious about helping Assad fight their common enemies. Hersh says the Joints Chiefs’ maneuvering was rooted in several concerns, including the U.S. arming of unvetted Syrian rebels with jihadist ties, a belief the administration was overly focused on confronting Assad’s ally in Moscow, and anger the White House was unwilling to challenge Turkey and Saudi Arabia over their support of extremist groups in Syria. Hersh joins us to detail his claims and respond to his critics.

British Empire Created Radical Islam

Published on Mar 29, 2016

The Salafist and jihadist ideology behind terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and San Bernardino is a product of Wahhabism, an offshoot of Sunni Islam and the official religion of Saudi Arabia.

Prior to the 9/11 attacks Wahhabism had at best a marginal footprint in the United States. “80 percent of the 1,200 mosques operating in the US were constructed after 2001, more often than not with Saudi financing,” notes World Affairs. “As a result, Wahhabi influence over Islamic institutions in the US was considerable by 2003, according to testimony before the US Senate. Hundreds of publications, published by the Saudi government and its affiliates, and filled with intolerance toward Christians, Jews, and other Americans, had been disseminated across the country by 2006.”

The Saudis have spent billions to propagate the intolerant and hateful ideology of Wahhabism. “Between 1975 and 1987, the Saudis admit to having spent $48 billion or $4 billion per year on ‘overseas development aid,’ a figure which by the end of 2002 grew to over $70 billion (281 billion Saudi rials). These sums are reported to be Saudi state aid and almost certainly do not include private donations which are also distributed by state-controlled charities. Such staggering amounts contrast starkly with the $5 million in terrorist accounts the Saudis claim to have frozen since 9/11,” writes Alex Alexiev.

The US government has encouraged the spread of radical Wahhabism by coddling the Saudi Arabian government and insisting America shares a “special relationship” with the kingdom. The blind eye turned toward Saudi Arabia and its deplorable record in human rights was demonstrated when it was elected to the UN Human Rights Council (in fairness, the vote is primarily the fault of the UK—the British government also shares a “special relationship” with the medieval kings of Saudi Arabia and has allowed the virus of Wahhabism to spread in Britain, hence the term “Londonistan”).
http://www.infowars.com/ted-cruz-igno…

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My Jihad blah, blah, blah. what`s yours?

The Leftist / Islamic Alliance

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Sharia Law in TEXAS | State votes to secure American Law

Shariah Law? Not in Texas, says Irving Mayor

‘Hannity’ Investigation: Do Muslims Believe Sharia Law Supersedes the U.S. Constitution?

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Scott Sigler — Infected — Videos

Posted on February 4, 2017. Filed under: American History, Art, Art, Articles, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Chemistry, Communications, Congress, Culture, Entertainment, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Medical, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Radio, Raves, Science, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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INFECTED Trailer from the novel by Scott Sigler (Book I of the INFECTED Trilogy)

Scott Sigler: “Rewriting Publishing with Podcasts” | Talks At Google

Scott Sigler Interview

PANDEMIC Trailer (Book III in the INFECTED Trilogy)

NOCTURNAL book trailer, novel by Scott Sigler

Scott Sigler Extended Bonus Interview from Sword & Laser Ep 1

Interview with Scott Sigler at San Diego Comic Con 2012

“The Writing Process” with Scott Sigler (from Joe Rogan Experience #437)

How To Write Your First Novel (So You Wanna Be A Writer #1)

The Big-Ass Binder (So You Wanna Be A Writer #2)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #3)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #4)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #5)

Should You Outline? (So You Wanna Be A Writer #6)

So You Want to Write a Novel

Scott Sigler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scott Sigler
Scott Sigler (4772655043).jpg
Born Scott Carl Sigler
Cheboygan, Michigan, USA
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Genre Science fiction/Horror
Literary movement The Podiobook (Podcast Novel)
Website
scottsigler.com

Scott Carl Sigler is a contemporary American author of science fiction and horror as well as an avid podcaster. Scott is the New York Times #1 bestselling author of sixteen novels, six novellas, and dozens of short stories. He is the co-founder of Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his young adult Galactic Football League series. He lives in San Diego.

Life and work

Raised in Cheboygan, Michigan Sigler’s father passed his love of classic monster films along to his son. His mother, a school teacher, encouraged his reading offering him any book he wanted.[1] Sigler wrote his first monster story, “Tentacles”, at the age of eight.[2] Sigler didn’t travel far for college having attended Olivet College (Olivet, MI) and Cleary College (Ann Arbor, MI) where he earned a BA in Journalism and a BS in Marketing. Scott has had a varied career path having worked fast food, picking fruit, shoveling horse manure, a sports reporter, director of marketing for a software company, software startup founder, marketing consultant, guitar salesman, bum in a rock band,[3] and currently as a social media strategist. He now resides in San Diego, California with his dog, Reesie.

EarthCore was originally published in 2001 by iPublish, an AOL/Time Warner imprint.[4] With the novel doing well as a promotional ebook, Time Warner was planning on publishing the novel. With the economic slump following September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Time Warner did away with the imprint in 2004. Scott then decided to start podcasting his novel in March, 2005 as the world’s first podcast-only novel[5] to build hype and garner an audience for his work. Sigler considered it a “no brainer” to offer the book as a free audio download. Having searched for podcast novels and finding none, Sigler decided to be the first.[6][7] Sigler was able to get EarthCore offered as a paid download on iTunes in 2006.[8] After EarthCore’s success (EarthCore had over 10,000 subscribers[9]), Sigler released Ancestor, Infected, The Rookie, Nocturnal, and Contagious via podcast.[10]

Sigler released an Adobe PDF version of Ancestor in March 2007 through Sigler’s own podcast as well as others. Ancestor was released on April 1, 2007 to much internet hype and, despite having been released two weeks earlier as a free ebook, reached #7 on Amazon.com‘s best-seller list and #1 on Sci-Fi, Horror and Genre-Fiction on the day of release.[11] Sigler is leveraging new media to keep in-touch with his fans, regularly talking with them using social networking sites, via email, and IM. Scott Sigler was featured in a New York Times article on March 1, 2007 by Andrew Adam Newman, which was covering authors using podcasting innovations to garner a broader audience.[12]

In March 2014, Executive Editor Mark Tavani at Ballantine Bantam Dell bought World Rights to a science fiction trilogy by Sigler. In the first book, Alive, a young woman awakes trapped in a confined space with no idea who she is or how she got there. She soon frees other young adults in the room and together they find that they are surrounded by the horrifying remains of a war long past … and matched against an enemy too horrible to imagine. Further adventures will follow in two more books, Alight and Alone. The books will be published under the Del Rey imprint.[13] On Wednesday, July 15, 2016, it was announced that Alive made #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the Young Adult E-Book category.[14]

Sigler calls Stephen King a “‘master craftsman’, who writes from the ‘regular guy’ strata from which he hails. His older stuff had no pretense, no ‘higher message,’ no ‘I’m extremely important’ attitude, just rock-solid storytelling and character development. He also would whack any character at any time, and that’s what hooked you in – when characters got into trouble, you didn’t know if they’d live, unlike 99% of the books out there that are trying to develop franchise characters.” According to Sigler, Jack London‘s “The Sea Wolf totally changed my views on life”. Sigler saw King Kong (1976 version) when he was a little kid. He said it, “Scared the crap out of me. I hid behind my dad’s shoulder and begged to leave the theatre. As soon as we were out, I asked when we could see it again – that was the moment I knew I wanted to tell monster stories. I wanted to have that same impact on other people.”

Awards

Sigler has been a runner up in both the 2006 and 2007 Parsec Awards. In 2006 Sigler was a runner up for his short story Hero in the Best Fiction (Short) category and for Infected in the Best Fiction (Long) category. In 2007 Sigler was a runner up for The Rookie in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novel Form) category. In 2008 Sigler’s Contagious, the sequel to Infected was listed at 33 on the New York Times best sellers list.

In 2008 Sigler broke through and won the Parsec Award for Red Man in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form) category. He followed up with another win in 2009 for Eusocial Networking in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novella Form) category. 2010 saw him continue to win in the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Short Form) category with his podcast, The Tank, and in 2011 he again took out the Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novella Form) category with Kissyman & the Gentleman.

On July 31, 2015, Scott was inducted into the inaugural class of the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.[15]

Bibliography

Stand-alone novels

Infected Trilogy

Galactic Football League Series

Generations Trilogy

Other works

  • See the Scott Sigler bibliography page for more detailed information about the above novels and his many other works, including novellas related to the Galactic Football League series, short story collections, other short stories, upcoming projects, etc.

Adaptations

Film

In May, 2007 the novel Infected was optioned by Rogue Pictures and Random House Films;[17] however, the option lapsed in April 2010.[citation needed] The short story Sacred Cow was made into an online only mini-film by StrangerThings.tv and was Stranger Things debut episode.[18] “Cheating Bastard”, a short film about a couple in love with football and their obsession with it, was created by Brent Weichsel and released via Sigler’s RSS feed.

Graphic novel

In 2010 work began on a graphic novel adaptation of Sigler’s Infected.[19] The first issue was released August 1, 2012,[20]but the series was put on hold indefinitely due to delays with subsequent issues.[21]

Recordings

Albums

  • The Crucible (2016) by Separation Of Sanity. Scott’s original spoken word appears on four tracks: The Pact, Pandemic (inspired by his novel of the same name), Bag Of Blood (his major appearance on the album), and End Of Days.

Readings

  • Scott reads Union Dues – Off White Lies by Jeffrey R. DeRego on Escape Pod, Episode 49, on April 13, 2006.
  • Scott reads Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf by Matthew Wayne Selznick on Escape Pod, Episode 117, on August 2, 2007.

References

  1. Jump up^ Detrich, Allan (2007-04-01). “Podcasts are a novel idea for Scott Sigler”. Toledo Blade. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  2. Jump up^ Newman, Heather (2001-12-04). “Detroit Free Press Home Computing Column”. Detroit Free Press Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  3. Jump up^ “iPublish.com at Time Warner Books unveils third round of authors discovered through online writer community.”. Ingram Investment Ltd. 2001-11-07. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  4. Jump up^ Weinberg, Anna (2005-08-26). “A Novel Approach to Podcasting”. The Book Standard. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  5. Jump up^ Angell, LC (2005-03-24). “Fiction author releases ‘Podcast-only’ novel”. iLounge.com. Retrieved 2007-09-17.
  6. Jump up^ Kerley, Christina (2006-08-26). “Access to Supply Powers Demand–and First Sci-Fi Podcast Novel. (Q&A with Scott Sigler)”. CK’s Blog. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  7. Jump up^ “From Podcast to Paidcast”. PRNewswire. 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  8. Jump up^ “Earthcore Podcast Now Pay to Play”. Podcasting News. 2006-02-21. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  9. Jump up^ Mehta, Devanshu (2006-02-23). “From Podcast to Paidcast”. Apple Matters. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  10. Jump up^ Newman, Andrew Adam (2007-03-01). “Authors Find Their Voice, and Audience, in Podcasts”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
  11. Jump up^ “Scott Sigler’s Ancestor Skyrockets to Top 10 of Amazon Best-Seller List on First Day of Release”. PodShow.com. 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  12. Jump up^ Ploutz, Morgan (2010-10-22). “Scott Sigler Talks Ancestor and Hard Science Horror Writing”. Dread Central. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
  13. Jump up^ Sigler, Scott (March 19, 2014). “New print deal: Three books with Del Rey”. scottsigler.com. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  14. Jump up^ “Scott Sigler’s novel Alive (Del Rey) is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list in the Young Adult E-Book category.”. The New York Times. 2016-07-24.
  15. Jump up^ Academy of Podcasters Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony.
  16. Jump up^ “Pandemic (review)”. PW. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  17. Jump up^ Borys, Kit (2007-05-31). “Rogue, Random book ‘Infested'”. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  18. Jump up^ Newton, Earl (2007-03-02). “Episode 01: Sacred Cow”. StrangerThings.tv. Retrieved 2007-09-18.
  19. Jump up^ “IDW Get Infected With Scott Sigler”. Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  20. Jump up^ “PREVIEW: INFECTED #1”. CBR. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  21. Jump up^ Sigler, Scott. “INFECTED Graphic Novel”. Scott Sigler. Retrieved 13 September 2013.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Sigler

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The Case of Kermit Gosnell — Big Lie Media Did Not Really Cover The Kermit Gosnell Trial — Videos

Posted on January 30, 2017. Filed under: Babies, Blogroll, Books, College, Corruption, Crime, Drug Cartels, Education, Employment, Fraud, Homicide, Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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New book details Kermit Gosnell’s grisly crimes

Ann Mcaleer and Phelim Mcaleer discuss their movie about Kermit Gosnell.

Published on Mar 3, 2015

Mike talks with film makers Ann McElhinney & Phelim Mcakeer about their documentary concerning the abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell and the atrocities he committed at his clinic. They discuss Gosnell’s trial and why the media was so quiet about it.

PJTV: ZoNation: Left-Wing Media Ignore the Gosnell House of Horrors

“See No Evil” – the case of Kermit Gosnell (45 minutes)

Doctor Kermit Gosnell’s ‘House of Horrors’ (Warning Very Graphic) Casa de horror

Dr. Kermit Gosnell Verdict: Guilty on three counts of first-degree murder (May 13, 2013)

‘Gosnell’ The Movie: Is America Ready for a Pro-Life Film?

Megyn Kelly’s heated debate with Kermit Gosnell’s attorney

Gosnell Trial – House of Horrors: Why The Media Has Avoided The Story

!!!Disturbing!!! MARK LEVIN on Abortion Dr. Kermit GUILTY Gosnell PLOPPED PARENTHOOD PLANNED

Gosnell 2010 interview

“Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” Is A Disgusting, Disturbing Book. You Need To Read It.

Christine Rousselle

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Posted: Jan 30, 2017 12:01 AM
"Gosnell: The Untold Story of America's Most Prolific Serial Killer" Is A Disgusting, Disturbing Book. You Need To Read It.

Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer manage to both grip the reader and utterly horrify them in their retelling of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Officially, he was convicted of three counts of murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter, but his actual death toll is estimated to be in the hundreds, if not thousands. Through a technique described as “snipping,” Gosnell would sever the spinal cords of infants who survived his (illegal) late-term abortions to “ensure fetal demise.”

Imagine the most disgusting place possible–something straight out of an episode of Hoarders, or one of Stephen King’s more twisted works, perhaps. Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia was worse. Through interviews with police officers who initially busted the clinic for being a pill mill, former patients, and former clinic employees, McElhinney and McAleer manage to paint a vivid yet utterly disturbing picture of just how disgusting the conditions were at the office. Dirty, broken equipment. Disposable equipment being re-used. Bloodstains everywhere. Girls getting STDs from procedures. Unqualified staffers administering anesthesia. A pair of cats roaming around freely. Just when you think things can’t get any more disturbing, they somehow do. It’s a miracle more women weren’t killed.

Throughout the book, the major feeling conveyed is a sense of utter despair and confusion that this was allowed to happen for as long as it did. Thanks to regulations that were designed to ensure that women had easy access to safe abortion, the clinic was not inspected for a period of 17 years. Until the police raided the place in 2010 after a tip that Gosnell was supplying drug dealers with opiates, the clinic had last been inspected in 1993. To put things into comparison, nail salons in Pennsylvania are inspected at least every other year. Yet, nobody did anything about Gosnell’s clinic for nearly two decades–even after two women died after their abortions and another came very close to being a third. Nothing.

McElhinney and McAleer do an excellent job of describing the horrors of Gosnell’s crimes without being overly preachy. McElhinney has written about how she had previously been annoyed by pro-life activists, and her writing comes off as about as objective as a person can be when confronted with crimes of this magnitude. The authors do not shy away from graphic descriptions of both the scene and of Gosnell’s victims–even if the reader may prefer they do as such.

It’s important that the utter evil is confronted head on–which in the chapter Media Malpractice, the authors outline how this story was almost swept entirely under the rug. Their effort to correct this wrong culminated in this book, and in their upcoming film.

In short: This is the most disgusting, upsetting, and utterly disturbing book I’ve ever read. Yet, in order to prevent something like this from happening ever again, it’s one that absolutely needs to be read.

Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Kermit Gosnell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kermit Gosnell
Born Kermit Barron Gosnell
February 9, 1941 (age 75)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Criminal charge
  • State charges (Pennsylvania): First-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter (7 counts total)
  • Federal charges: Conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution and aiding and abetting the distribution of oxycodone, and maintaining a place for the illegal distribution of controlled substances (12 counts total)
Criminal penalty Life without parole plus 30 years
Criminal status In custody at SCI Huntingdon
Spouse(s) Pearl Gosnell[1]
Children 6
Conviction(s) Convicted on 3 counts of first-degree murder, 1 count involuntary manslaughter, pled guilty to federal charges
Killings
Victims Convicted on four state counts, hundreds of similar incidents reported
Country United States of America
State(s) Pennsylvania

Kermit Barron Gosnell (born February 9, 1941) is an American former abortion-provider[2] who was convicted of murdering three infants who were born alive during attempted abortion procedures.[3][4][5][6][7]

Gosnell owned and operated the Women’s Medical Society clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he was a prolific prescriber of OxyContin.[8] In 2011, Gosnell and various co-defendant employees were charged with eight counts of murder, 24 felony counts of performing illegal abortions beyond the state of Pennsylvania’s 24-week time limit, and 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. The murder charges related to an adult patient, Karnamaya Mongar, who died following an abortion procedure, and seven newborns said to have been killed by having their spinal cords severed with scissors after being born alive during attempted abortions. In May 2013, Gosnell was convicted of first degree murder in the deaths of three of the infants and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Karnamaya Mongar. Gosnell was also convicted of 21 felony counts of illegal late-term abortion, and 211 counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law. After his conviction, Gosnell waived his right to appeal in exchange for an agreement not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced instead to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[9][10]

Background and early career

Kermit Gosnell was born on February 9, 1941, in Philadelphia, the only child of a gas station operator and a government clerk[11] in an African-American family.[12] He was a top student at the city’s Central High School from which he graduated in 1959.[13] Gosnell graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a bachelor’s degree.[14] Gosnell received his Medical Degree at the Jefferson Medical School in 1966.[13] It has been reported that he spent four decades practising medicine among the poor, including opening the Mantua Halfway House, a rehab clinic for drug addicts in the impoverished Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia near where he grew up, and a teen aid program.[13] He became an early proponent of abortion rights in the 1960s and 1970s and, in 1972, he returned from a stint in New York City to open up an abortion clinic on Lancaster Avenue in Mantua.[11][15] Gosnell told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter in October 1972: “as a physician, I am very concerned about the sanctity of life. But it is for this precise reason that I provide abortions for women who want and need them”.[16]

In the same year, he also performed fifteen televised second-trimester abortions, using an experimental “Super Coil” method invented by Harvey Karman. The coils were inserted into the uterus, where they caused irritation leading to the expulsion of the fetus. However, complications from the procedure were reported by nine of the women, with three of these reporting severe complications.[17][18] The super coil experiment by Gosnell has been dubbed the “mother’s day massacre” by some.[19]

The 1972 Inquirer article also said that Gosnell was a “respected man” in his community, a finalist for the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Young Philadelphian of the Year” because of his work directing the Mantua Halfway House.[16] By the late 1980s, however, public records showed state tax liens were piling up against the halfway house, and the abortion clinic had a $41,000 federal tax lien.[16]

Gosnell has been married three times. His third and current wife, Pearl, had worked at the Women’s Medical Society as a full-time medical assistant from 1982 until their marriage in 1990.[1] They have two children; the younger, being a minor, is being cared for by friends[20] Gosnell has four other children from his two previous marriages.[20] In covering his background, media commentators drew attention to the “incredibly diverse” portrayals of Gosnell, touching on both his community works – the creation of a drugs halfway house and teen aid program – contrasted with portrayals of his practice as an alleged abortion mill in which viable fetuses and babies were routinely killed following illegal late-term procedures.[13]

Medical practice

In 2011, he was reported to be well known in Philadelphia for providing abortions to poor minority and immigrant women.[21] It was also claimed that Gosnell charged $1,600–$3,000 for each late-term abortion.[22] Dr. Gosnell was also associated with clinics in Delaware and Louisiana. Atlantic Women’s Services in Wilmington, Delaware, was Dr. Gosnell’s place of work one day a week. The owner of Atlantic Women’s Services, Leroy Brinkley, also owned Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and facilitated the hiring of staff from there for Gosnell’s operation in Philadelphia.[23]

Legal case

Known prior complaints

  • 1989 and 1993 – cited by Pennsylvania Department of Health for having no nurses in the recovery room.[24]
  • 1996 – censured and fined in both Pennsylvania and New York states, for employing unlicensed personnel.[24]
  • Around 1996 – Pediatrician Dr Schwartz – the former head of adolescent services at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and as of 2010, Philadelphia’s health commissioner – testified in the 2010 hearing that around 1996 or 1997, he had hand-delivered a letter of complaint about Gosnell’s practice to the Secretary of Health’s office and stopped referring patients to the clinic, but received no response.[25]
  • 2000 – Civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the children of Semika Shaw, who had called the clinic the day after an abortion to report heavy bleeding, and died 3 days later of a perforated uterus and a bloodstream infection. The case alleged that Gosnell had failed to tell her to return to the clinic or seek emergency medical care. It was settled out of court in 2002 for $900,000.[16][26]
  • Around 2001 – Gosnell claimed to be providing children’s vaccines under a program administered by the Health Department’s Division of Disease Control, but was repeatedly suspended for failing to maintain logs and for storing vaccines in unsanitary and inappropriate refrigerators, and at improper temperatures.[27]
  • December 2001 – ex-employee Marcella Choung gave what the Grand Jury would later call “a detailed written complaint” to the Pennsylvania Department of State, one which she followed up with an interview in March 2002.[28]
  • 2006 – Civil lawsuit filed by patient but dismissed as out of time. The complaint was that Gosnell had been unable to complete an abortion, but then apparently failed or refused to call paramedics or other clinical emergency personnel, after the patient had needed help. The patient reported, “I really felt like he was going to let me die.”[29]

In total during the course of his career, 46 known lawsuits had been filed against Gosnell over some 32 years.[30] Observers claimed that there was a complete failure by Pennsylvania regulators who had overlooked other repeated concerns brought to their attention, including lack of trained staff, “barbaric” conditions, and a high level of illegal late-term abortions.[31]

2010 raid

The Women’s Medical Society was raided on 18 February 2010 under a search warrant by investigators from the FBI and state police. The raid was the result of a months-long investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Philadelphia Police Department, and the State’s Dangerous Drug-Offender Unit into suspected illegal drug prescription use at the practice. The investigation had also revealed the suspicious death of patient Karnamaya Mongar in 2009, which had in turn brought to light further information about unsanitary operations, use of untrained staff, and use of powerful drugs without proper medical supervision and control. Thus, when the February 2010 raid took place, staff from the Pennsylvania Department of State and Pennsylvania Department of Health also attended, as these issues were under their remit:[32]

When the team members entered the clinic, they were appalled, describing it to the Grand Jury as ‘filthy,’ ‘deplorable,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘very unsanitary, very outdated, horrendous,’ and ‘by far, the worst’ that these experienced investigators had ever encountered. There was blood on the floor. A stench of urine filled the air. A flea-infested cat was wandering through the facility, and there were cat feces on the stairs. Semi-conscious women scheduled for abortions were moaning in the waiting room or the recovery room, where they sat on dirty recliners covered with blood-stained blankets. All the women had been sedated by unlicensed staff – long before Gosnell arrived at the clinic – and staff members could not accurately state what medications or dosages they had administered to the waiting patients. Many of the medications in inventory were past their expiration dates… surgical procedure rooms were filthy and unsanitary… resembling ‘a bad gas station restroom.’ Instruments were not sterile. Equipment was rusty and outdated. Oxygen equipment was covered with dust, and had not been inspected. The same corroded suction tubing used for abortions was the only tubing available for oral airways if assistance for breathing was needed…”[33]

[F]etal remains [were] haphazardly stored throughout the clinic– in bags, milk jugs, orange juice cartons, and even in cat-food containers… Gosnell admitted to Detective Wood that at least 10 to 20 percent… were probably older than 24 weeks [the legal limit]… In some instances, surgical incisions had been made at the base of the fetal skulls. The investigators found a row of jars containing just the severed feet of fetuses. In the basement, they discovered medical waste piled high. The intact 19-week fetus delivered by Mrs. Mongar three months earlier was in a freezer. In all, the remains of 45 fetuses were recovered … at least two of them, and probably three, had been viable.”[33]

Gosnell’s license to practice was suspended on 22 February 2010,[34] and these and other findings were presented to a Grand Jury on 4 May 2010. Public discussion focused on claims of unsanitary conditions and other unacceptable conditions at the practices. Media reports stated that furniture and blankets were stained with blood, freely roaming cats deposited their feces wherever they pleased, and that non-sterilized equipment was used and reused on patients.[35][36][37][38] According to the grand jury report, patients were given labor-inducing drugs by staff who had no medical training. Once labor began, the patient would be placed on a toilet. After the fetus fell into the toilet, it would be fished out, so as not to clog the plumbing. In the recovery room, patients were seated on dirty recliners covered in blood-stained blankets.[39] Prosecutors alleged that Gosnell had not been certified in either gynecology or obstetrics.[30] The Grand Jury estimated that Gosnell’s practice “took in $10,000 to $15,000 a night” additional to income from his exceedingly high level of prescriptions.[40]

2011 arrest

Gosnell was arrested on January 19, 2011, five days after the certification of the Grand Jury’s report. He was charged with eight counts of murder.[41] Prosecutors alleged that he killed seven babies born alive by severing their spinal cords with scissors, and that he was also responsible for the death in 2009 of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan,[42] who died in his care. Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, and eight other suspects were also arrested in connection with the case.[1][42][43] The Drug Enforcement Administration, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of the Inspector General also sought a 23-count indictment charging Gosnell and seven members of his former staff with drug conspiracy, relating to the practice’s illegally prescribing highly-addictive painkillers and sedatives outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

  • The third degree murder charge relates to Karnamaya Mongar; according to prosecutors, Gosnell’s staff gave the 90-pound woman a lethal dose of anesthesia and painkillers. Gosnell’s lawyer asserts that Karnamaya Mongar also had in her system other drugs that did not come from Gosnell’s clinic, and that none of the infants were born alive.[44] The claim was rejected by the Grand Jury, based upon expert testimony that “it was the overdose of Demerol, not some mystery pill, that killed Mrs. Mongar.”[45]
  • The seven other murder charges are all of first degree murder; they relate to babies, whom staff have testified they saw move or cry after complete birth, and whose deaths are alleged to have resulted from subsequent lethal action. They arise because of the “born alive rule“, a principle of common law which stipulates that by default, for legal purposes, personhood arises – and therefore unlawful killing constituting murder becomes possible – immediately upon the victim’s being born alive (several US states as well as Federal legislation have more specific laws to protect fetuses and newborn babies; see fetal rights and born alive laws in the United States). Steven Massof, a clinic employee who pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2011, testified that he (Massof) had snipped the spines of more than 100 infants after they had been born alive, and that this was considered “standard procedure” at the clinic; a number of other employees had also testified to the same point.[46] No physical evidence exists for five of the seven cases — charges are based on staff testimony and denied by Gosnell. A photograph exists of the sixth, who allegedly had a gestational age of 30 weeks, and the physical remains were obtained of the seventh.[44] The Grand Jury report states that “A medical expert with 43 years of experience in performing abortions was appalled. This expert told us, ‘I’ve never heard of it [cutting the spinal cord] being done during an abortion’.”[47]

The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania also alleges that Gosnell’s former office staff at Family and Women’s Medical Society (WMS) ran a prescription “pill mill.” From June 2008 through February 18, 2010, Gosnell allegedly engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise by writing and dispensing fraudulent prescriptions for thousands of pills of the frequently-abused tablets OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax, and the frequently-abused syrups Phenergan and Promethazine with Codeine. Authorities further allege that Gosnell and his staff allowed customers to purchase multiple prescriptions under multiple names. For the first office visit, Gosnell allegedly charged $115, but that increased around December 2009 when he allegedly increased the initial office visit fee to $150. Staff at the clinic went from writing several hundred prescriptions for controlled substances per month filled at pharmacies in 2008 to over 2,300 filled at pharmacies in January 2010. Gosnell, with the assistance of his staff, is said to have distributed and dispensed more than 500,000 pills containing oxycodone; more than 400,000 pills containing alprazolam; and more than 19,000 ounces of cough syrup containing codeine.[48]

Gosnell’s lawyer states that “Everybody’s made him the butcher, this, that and the other thing without any trial, without anything being exposed to the public and everybody’s found him guilty, that’s not right”.[49] He accused the government of a “lynching” and stated, “This is a targeted, elitist and racist prosecution of a doctor who’s done nothing but give (back) to the poor and the people of West Philadelphia.”[44]

Cases cited in the media

Examples of cases cited in the media include:

  • Girl age 15, accompanied by relative (1998): said to have told Gosnell she changed her mind about the abortion once inside the practice. Gosnell allegedly got upset, ripped off the patient’s clothing, and forcibly restrained her. The patient later stated that Gosnell told her “This is the same care that I would give to my own daughter.” She regained consciousness 12 hours later at her aunt’s home, the abortion having been completed against her will.[42][50]
  • Woman age 28, five months pregnant (2001): Patient described the pain four days after abortion as being so bad she could barely walk. The patient described that upon returning to the clinic because of the pain, ultrasound showed fetal remains left inside her uterus, and that Gosnell suctioned these out without anesthesia.[51] “I was just laying on the table and crying and I just asked the Lord to get me through it.”[42]
  • Fifteen-year-old (undated): damages awarded in court upon a finding that Gosnell performed an abortion on a fifteen-year-old without parental permission.[42]
  • Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old refugee from Bhutan (2009): according to prosecutors, Gosnell’s staff gave the 90-pound woman a lethal dose of anesthesia and painkillers during a 2009 abortion (this is the adult whose death is charged as third degree murder). During Gosnell’s trial, a toxicologist testified to unsafe levels of the drug, and the chair of Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School testified that the dose received by her was “outrageous” and “most” average adults would have stopped breathing if dosed in the manner described.[52] Gosnell’s lawyer asserts that Karnamaya Mongar also had other drugs in her system that did not come from Gosnell’s clinic, and that none of the infants were born alive.[44]

Lack of government oversight

Reports state that state officials had failed to visit or inspect Gosnell’s practices since 1993.[43] The grand jury report noted that the medical examiner of Delaware County alerted the Pennsylvania Department of Health that Gosnell had performed an illegal abortion on a 14-year-old who was thirty weeks pregnant;[53] it is also claimed the Pennsylvania Department of Health did not act when they became aware of Gosnell’s involvement in the death of Karnamaya Mongar.[53]

Brenda Green, executive director of CHOICE, a nonprofit that connects the underinsured and uninsured with health services, told Katha Pollitt of The Nation that “it tried to report complaints from clients, but the department wouldn’t accept them from a third party. Instead, the patients had to fill out a daunting five-page form, available only in English, that required them to reveal their identities upfront and be available to testify in Harrisburg. Even with CHOICE staffers there to help, only two women agreed to fill out the form, and both decided not to submit it. The Department of State and the Philadelphia Public Health Department also had ample warning of dire conditions and took no action.”[53]

In 2011, it was reported that none of Pennsylvania’s 22 abortion clinics had been inspected by the government for more than 15 years.[54] Inspections (other than those triggered by complaints) had ceased under Ridge’s governorship, as they were perceived to create a barrier to women seeking abortion services.[55]

Grand Jury report

The grand Jury published its 280-page report in January 2011. It stated that, while some might see the issue and case through the lens of pro- and anti-abortion politics, it was in reality:

not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants. We find common ground in exposing what happened here, and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.[56]

The grand jury concluded that the practice was a corrupt organization within the meaning of racketeering law, based upon what it considered evidence of deliberate “standard” use of “bogus” doctors, falsification of records, grossly unprofessional procedures with little or no regard for human life, and flagrant disregard for medical and abortion laws and their consequences. Key findings included:

Practice conditions and procedures

  • Extreme unsanitary conditions (resulting in cases of STDs and sepsis); pervasive non-sterile conditions; blood stained materials and instruments; contamination of the facilities by animal feces, urine, and other noxious fluids and waste; and months-old fetal remains stored in “jars, bags and jugs”[57] (in 2013 the trial heard that Gosnell had also been in dispute with his medical waste company, with the latter stopping their services);[58]
  • Surgical malpractice including perforation of bodily organs and “on at least two occasions” death;[56]
  • Improper equipment and usage, including repeated reuse (“over and over”) of disposable supplies, and “generally broken” life-saving and monitoring equipment (including blood pressure monitoring, oximeters, and defibrillators);[59]
  • Padlocked emergency access and exit routes;[59]
  • Lack of properly trained staff, “bogus doctors”[60] — unqualified, unlicensed and unsupervised staff who misrepresented themselves to patients as qualified licensed clinicians — and no qualified nurses.[61] The jury reported that “Most of Gosnell’s employees who worked with patients had little or no remotely relevant training or education”[62] (ex-employee Marcella Choung, who in 2001 and at interview in 2002 gave a detailed written complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of State, testified that her ‘training’ for anesthesia consisted of “a 15-minute description by Gosnell and reading a chart he had posted in a cabinet.”)[63]
  • Gosnell himself was largely absent and left the clinic to be operated by his unqualified employees, whom he sometimes “ordered” to perform medical actions even if they “protested” that they were unqualified. Employees testified they had to rely on themselves, as “Gosnell disliked it when workers disturbed him by calling for medication advice”;[64]
  • Operation of a “prescription treadmill” whereby blank signed prescriptions would be left for those seeking controlled medications, unsupervised and uncontrolled by a practitioner (which was the subject of a parallel and separate Federal investigation);[59]
  • Willful non-compliance with laws intended to safeguard vulnerable women, including non-compliance with requirements for mandatory counseling, consent (for minors), waiting periods (between visiting and surgery);[65]
  • Fraudulent temporary employment of a nurse for 4 days during an NAF inspection, with the aim of deceiving the inspectors into believing that his practice staff included a licensed registered nurse (which it did not); over the few days of their on-site review, the nurse resigned upon realizing the fraud, which also involved Gosnell taking her paycheck back afterwards and paying her in cash instead;[66]
  • Fraudulent recording of gestational age and training of staff to manipulate ultrasound in a way that would match the stated number of weeks;[67]
  • Dishonest statements by Gosnell and employees to investigators, including claims that Ms. Mongar’s death was due to her own action (discredited forensically), falsification and destruction of records, and lying about the manner of her death and Gosnell’s (lack of) presence for anesthesia;[68]
  • Patients given labor and delivery inducing drugs during the day, then left waiting until late evening for Gosnell to attend or for surgery.[69] Many gave birth during the day as a result, and employees testified “it was standard procedure for women to deliver fetuses – and viable babies – into toilets” while waiting for his arrival.[70]
  • Practice staff routinely delivered living babies in the third trimester, subsequently killing them (or ensuring their death).[56] As part of this, fetuses and babies had their demise “ensured” post-operatively by severing of the spinal cord with scissors, known by staff as “snipping”. Most of these were deemed infeasible to prosecute because files and other evidence were not held, although the report stipulates they numbered in the “hundreds”. Among the “few cases” where tangible evidence existed, the jury noted a boy aged 30 weeks at 6 pounds; a frozen body in a water container of “at least” 28 weeks; remains of at least one abortion of over 32 weeks for which an extra $1000 had been demanded; testimony of a baby heard to make noise; and a baby left “moving and breathing for at least 20 minutes” prior to “snipping”. The jury heard testimony about “special” Sunday sessions, at which only Gosnell and his wife were present, which the jury suspected (and in some cases was able to corroborate) would include cases that were more advanced in time, or more disturbing;[71]
  • Over time, Gosnell and his practice acquired a “bad reputation” and during the decade 2000–9, local community organizations ceased referring patients there. To compensate, the practice took on referrals from other in-state cities; it became understood that Gosnell’s center would perform abortions “at any stage, without regard for legal limits”;[72]
  • Where induced labor failed, Dr Gosnell would attempt to abort surgically, “often calamitous[ly]” for the woman involved. Example outcomes included:[73]
    • Woman “left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon“; relatives called police after entrance refused, remedial colon surgery required.
    • Woman sent home with fetal remains unremoved, “serious infection” led to near death.
    • Punctured uterus leading to shock from blood loss and hysterectomy; woman “held for hours” by the practice.
    • Patient suffered “convulsions” and fell off the operating table, sustaining a head injury, Gosnell “wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance”
    • Sedation used to mute sounds of pain; Gosnell specified pre-set amounts of drugs for non-physician staff to use on patients, but without reference to individual needs, and without records or monitoring of condition. On numerous occasions, the same patient was dosed multiple times in quick succession by different employees;[74]
    • Death of Karnamaya Mongar, who received “repeated unmonitored, unrecorded intravenous injections of Demerol” (meperidine hydrochloride, an opioid analgesic which the report describes practice staff using as a cheap but dangerous sedative), and ceased breathing. Staff were unable to revive her (emergency medications were not used and the defibrillator was not working), and paramedics were unable to revive her after gaining access, in part because they were deceived by staff as to what had happened and the drugs and dosages responsible.

Government and third-party handling

  • Gosnell’s practice was “caught by accident” during a raid for illegal drugs prescribing. State officials had been invited to attend the raid as well, since preparations for the drugs raid had revealed prior reports and information suggesting grossly substandard practise conditions at the clinic;[75]
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health failed to regulate properly and failed to ensure that the issues noticed were addressed on the few occasions around 1990 that Gosnell was inspected; and ceased inspections “for political reasons” (to reduce a perceived deterrent) at the time Tom Ridge took office as Governor of the State;[76]
  • Inspections were still to continue if complaints were received, yet repeated complaints did not trigger an investigation; the department’s response came after media exposure;[76]
  • The Department of State’s Board of Medicine, which licenses and oversees physicians, had “more damning information than anyone else”, including a description of the practice by an ex-employee (Choung) a decade previously (2001 and again 2002), as well as knowledge of at least one of the serious incidents cited of surgical malpractice, but took verbal assurances from Gosnell and no other effective or substantial investigative action was taken over these;[77]
  • Department of Public Health employees “regularly” visited the practice but had not adequately reported the issues present. One inspection confirmed “numerous violations of protocols for storage and disposal of infectious waste” but no follow-up occurred;[78]
  • A “health department representative” visiting for a vaccination program in 2009 “discovered that Gosnell was scamming the program” and “was able to file detailed reports identifying many of the most egregious elements of Gosnell’s practice.” Her attempts to raise concerns were ignored; the Grand Jury report states “her reports went into a black hole”;[79]
  • Other third parties had knowledge, but took no visible action. These included the pediatrician and subsequent head of the city’s health department, Dr Schwartz, who around 1996–97, reported concerns about the practice, concerns on which no action was taken, and who did not himself act after being promoted, University of Pennsylvania hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center who treated numerous surgical failures from Gosnell’s practice, including a “flagrantly illegal abortion”, but reported only one of them; the National Abortion Federation whose evaluator around 2009 noted “records were not properly kept, that risks were not explained, that patients were not monitored, that equipment was not available, that anesthesia was misused” and concluded “[i]t was the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected”, but no report was made of this to any official body;[80]

Culpability

The report divided offences by Gosnell and other practice employees into three categories: “charges arising from the baby murders and illegal abortions; charges in connection with the death of Karnamaya Mongar; and charges stemming generally from the ongoing operation of a criminal enterprise“. The charges recommended were:[81]

  • Gosnell, Williams, Moton, and Massof – charged with first degree murder for the post-operative killings where evidence existed that the baby was born alive
  • Gosnell, Williams, Moton, Massof, and West – charged with conspiracy to commit murder in relation to “hundreds of unidentifiable instances” of post-operative killings (called “snipping” by staff). The jury also recommended charges of solicitation to commit murder by Gosnell.[47]
  • Gosnell and (as co-conspirators) Williams, West, and Gosnell’s wife – charged with various violations of the Abortion Control Act, including infanticide and illegal late-term abortions;
  • Gosnell, Williams, and West – charged with third-degree murder (Pennsylvania’s equivalent to reckless or voluntary manslaughter), drug delivery resulting in death, violations of the Controlled Substances Act and conspiracy in regard to the death of Karnamaya Mongar. The report states: “Gosnell’s contempt for the law and his patients cost Karnamaya Mongar her life. Her death was the direct result of deliberate and dangerous conduct by Gosnell and his staff.”[82]
  • Gosnell, West, and Hampton – charged with hindering apprehension, and lying to the police, medical practitioners, and the grand jury about the circumstances of Mongar’s death (Hampton was also charged with perjury in the same matter);
  • Gosnell – recommended to be charged with abuse of corpses, in regards to the “mutilat[ion of] babies and fetuses by cutting off their feet” and the “bizarre” storage of parts of fetal bodies in around 30 jars and other containers at his practice; his explanation that this was done for possible paternity cases was “rejected out of hand”.[83]
  • The Grand Jury also concluded that “Illegality was so integral to the operation of the Women’s Medical Society that the business itself was a corrupt organization” (18 Pa.C.S. § 911, “based on a pattern of racketeering activity”):[84]
    • Gosnell, Williams, West, Moton, Joe, Baldwin, Gosnell’s wife, Massof, and O’Neill – charged with running that organization or conspiring to do so;
    • Massof and O’Neill – charged with theft by deception for pretending to be doctors, and billing for their services as if they were licensed physicians, and (with Gosnell) conspiracy to this effect;
    • Gosnell – charged with obstruction and tampering with evidence, for altering his patient files to hide illegality and for destroying or removing other files entirely;
    • Gosnell and Baldwin – charged with corrupting the morals of a minor, by hiring her 15-year-old daughter as a staff member, who was “required to work 50-hour weeks, starting after school until past midnight, during which she was exposed to the full horrors of Gosnell’s practice”.
  • Of Gosnell himself, the report concluded,

We believe, given the manner in which Gosnell operated, that he killed the vast majority of babies that he aborted after 24 weeks. We cannot, however, recommend murder charges for all of these cases. In order to constitute murder, the act must involve a baby who was born alive. Because files were falsified or removed from the facility and possibly destroyed, we cannot substantiate all of the individual cases in which charges might otherwise have resulted.”[85]

The report also examined the failings of official parties, and the key findings, analyzed in two categories:[86]

“Janice Staloski of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, who personally participated in the 1992 site visit, but decided to let Gosnell slide on the violations that were already evident then. She eventually rose to become director of the division that was supposed to regulate abortion providers, but never looked at Gosnell despite specific complaints from lawyers, a doctor, and a medical examiner. After she was nonetheless promoted, her successor as division director, Cynthia Boyne, failed to order an investigation of the clinic even when Karnamaya Mongar died there. Senior legal counsel Kenneth Brody insisted that the department had no legal obligation to monitor abortion clinics, even though it exercised such a duty until the Ridge administration, and exercised it again as soon as Gosnell became big news. The agency’s head lawyer, chief counsel Christine Dutton, defended the department’s indifference: ‘People die,’ she said.”

“Lawyers at the Pennsylvania Department of State behaved in the same fashion. Attorneys Mark Greenwald, Charles Hartwell, David Grubb, Andrew Kramer, William Newport, Juan Ruiz, and Kerry Maloney were confronted with a growing pile of disquieting facts about Gosnell, including a detailed, inside account from a former employee (Marcella Choung, 2001[87]), and a 22-year-old dead woman. Every time, though, they managed to dismiss the evidence as immaterial… until the facts hit the fan.”

Recommendations

  • The Department of Health should explicitly regulate and annually inspect abortion practices, and examine patient files, licenses, and equipment on-site;
  • Second-trimester abortions should be performed or supervised by doctors who are board-certified obstetrics and gynecology;
  • The Department of State “must repair its review process”, including easier reporting, confidentiality, post-investigation response, with cases automatically checked against past records, malpractice databases, and full past history;
  • Reports about individual doctors checked against reports of medical offices where they worked, and vice versa;
  • The Department of Public Health “should do at least as much to control infectious medical waste as it does to inspect swimming pools”;
  • The conclusions finished by examining the extent to which legislation had been inadequate, and the scope for legislative change, concluding that:[88]

Statutory changes are necessary as well. Infanticide and third-trimester abortion are serious crimes. The two-year statute of limitations currently applicable for these offenses is inadequate to their severity. The limitations period for late abortion should be extended to five years; infanticide, like homicide, should have none. Impersonating a physician is also a serious, and potentially very dangerous, act. Yet under current law it is not a crime at all. An appropriate criminal provision should be enacted. There may also be other statutory and regulatory revisions that we, as lay people, have not thought to consider. Legislative hearings may be appropriate to further examine these issues.[89]

Trial

In 2011, Gosnell, his wife Pearl, and eight other clinic employees were charged in the case.[90] Eight, including Gosnell’s wife, subsequently pleaded guilty, most of whom would testify against Gosnell,[91] and three of these pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, carrying a 20- to 40-year term.[91] A gag order was imposed on both defense and prosecution in April 2011, to bar them from talking to the media before the trial.[92] In December 2011 Pearl Gosnell pleaded guilty to performing illegal abortions, conspiracy, criminal conspiracy and corrupt organization;[93] due to spousal privilege, she will not have to testify against Gosnell, although she may still go to prison.[90] She had testified to the grand jury that she alone assisted on Sundays, and that her role was to “help do the instruments” in the procedure room and to monitor patients in the recovery room. Another employee testified that she assisted with late-term abortions “on Sundays or days we were closed [to] do special cases.”[94]

As a result, the only employee on trial with Gosnell is Eileen O’Neill, an employee who allegedly held herself out as a doctor at the clinic when she was not licensed. Her lawyer told jurors she never did so, and performed medical duties only under Gosnell’s orders.[44]

On March 18, 2013, opening statements were given in a Philadelphia court. On April 23, after the prosecution had rested its case, the judge dismissed three of the seven first-degree murder charges (the next day the judge reinstated charges related to one and dismissed another, explaining the wrong charge had been mistakenly dismissed[95][96]), the one count of infanticide, and all five charges of abusing a corpse Gosnell had been charged with, as well as six of the nine charges of theft by deception faced by O’Neill.[97] No formal ruling has yet been given for these dismissals. Media sources following the trial have suggested that there may have been insufficient evidence of post-procedure life to sustain charges in law. Although prosecutors had argued the movements were voluntary and therefore signs of life,[98][99] it was argued that the evidence offered by prosecutors were equally capable of being interpreted in some or all of these as single autonomous post-mortem motor movements or spasms instead of clinical signs of life, and additionally that none of the seven were capable of being alive as all had been previously killed clinically in utero by means of drugs as part of the procedure.[98][99] Also, although staff had used descriptions such as “jumping” and “screaming” in their testimony, Gosnell’s defense noted that testimony had shown only single movements or breaths, stating that the testimony was not evidence of “the movements of a live child”, and the medical examiner had also testified that tests could not determine whether or not any of the 47 fetuses found had been born alive due to tissue deterioration.[100][101][102]

The remaining four first-degree murder charges could still have led to the death penalty. The 3rd-degree murder charges in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, the racketeering charge, and over 200 charges related to multiple violations of abortion law were also left standing.[103][104] Gosnell’s defense attorney rested his case summarily without calling or questioning any witnesses, and without Gosnell taking the stand in his defense, leaving the defense case until final arguments (under US law, a defendant may choose not to take the stand; if so then the jury is instructed that no inference or assumption may be drawn from this).[105] O’Neill also did not testify in her defense.[95][105] The case went to jury deliberation on April 30, 2013.[106]

Defendants, related charges, verdicts and sentencing

Gosnell was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder (reduced to 4 counts at trial) and one count of third-degree murder, as well as infanticide (dismissed at trial), 5 counts of abusing a corpse (all dismissed at trial), multiple counts of conspiracy, criminal solicitation and violation of a state law that forbids abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy.[97][104][107] The non-murder charges included 24 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s Abortion Act by performing illegal third-trimester abortions, 227 counts of violating a 24-hour waiting-period requirement, failing to counsel patients, and racketeering.[104] His co-defendants were:

  • Steven Massof, a medical school graduate who lacked a license, pleaded guilty in November 2011 to two counts of 3rd-degree murder for the deaths of two babies who had been born alive.[108]
  • Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s wife, was charged with abortion at 24 or more weeks, conspiracy and participating in a corrupt organization. She pleaded guilty to these charged on Dec. 13, 2011.[109][110] Pearl Gosnell was sentenced to 7 to 23 months in prison.[111]
  • Steven Massof and Eileen O’Neill, both medical school graduates without proper licensing to be doctors in Pennsylvania. Gosnell presented these employees as physicians and billed insurance companies more on this allegation. All three are charged with theft by deception for these acts.[112]
  • Kareema Cross, who testified at the state trial she had seen at least ten babies breathe after being aborted who were then killed, pleaded guilty to federal drug charges over improper distribution of pain medicine from Gosnell’s clinic.[113]

On May 13, 2013, the jury reported that they were deadlocked on two counts.[114] After returning to deliberations, the jury convicted Gosnell of 3 counts of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter, and many lesser counts. He was found not guilty on one of the counts of murder.[115][116]

On May 14, 2013, Gosnell struck a deal with prosecutors in which he agreed to waive all his appeal rights regarding his conviction on the day earlier. In exchange, prosecutors allowed Gosnell to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[117]

On May 15, 2013, Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison for the third child’s murder.[118]

Impact and aftermath

Other bodies and persons claiming to have made reports

In April 2011 the University of Pennsylvania Health System claimed as early as 1999 that they had provided to authorities reports about botched procedures by Gosnell. The only case for which any reports were produced was that of Semika Shaw, a 22-year-old, who died at the University of Pennsylvania hospital as a result of bleeding and sepsis caused by a botched procedure by Gosnell. Gosnell’s insurers settled a lawsuit with family members of Shaw for $900,000. The health system also claims other undocumented reports were made orally, for which they did not have records.[119]

Regulatory and legislative impact

The Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee of the Pennsylvania State Senate, led by Robert M. Tomlinson, began a hearing in February 2011 to look into the failure of the Pennsylvania Department of State — which is responsible for licensing doctors — to provide any oversight of Gosnell’s activities. At the same time, the Public Health and Welfare Committee of the state Senate, chaired by Pat Vance, conducted hearings on the Pennsylvania State Health Department’s failure to put a stop to Gosnell’s activities.[120]

In part as a result of the grand jury report on Gosnell, in late 2011, Pennsylvania passed a law, SB 732, that places abortion clinics under the same health and safety regulations as other outpatient surgical centers. Among those who supported the bill was Democrat Margo L. Davidson, whose cousin Semika Shaw died as a result of procedures done by Gosnell.[121][122] Davidson specifically linked her support for the additional regulations to her cousin’s death, which she attributed to poor medical practices.[123]

In May 2013, as a result of the Kermit Gosnell case, Representative Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania), chair of the health-matters subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives‘ Energy and Commerce Committee, began an inquiry into states’ oversight of abortion clinics.[124]

In June 2013, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Speaker of the House John Boehner said the bill was in response to Gosnell’s convictions. The legislation was viewed as mostly symbolic, as it stood little chance of being approved by the Democratic-led U.S. Senate.[125][126][127]

Non-legislative actions resulting from the case

In February 2011 Pennsylvania Governor and former State Attorney General Tom Corbett fired six employees and commenced action to fire eight others where for legal or contractual reasons, more extensive dismissal procedures were required. These included Basil Merenda, the acting head of the Pennsylvania Department of State, Christine Dutton, the Department of Health’s chief counsel (who, in reaction to being questioned why the Department did not react to a death at Gosnell’s clinic, said “people die”), and Stacy Mitchell, a deputy secretary in the health department (whom the grand jury cited as a key figure in the Health Department’s indifference to, and non-regulation of, abortion clinics). Some of the people most connected by the grand jury report with the failure of the government to act, such as Janice Staloski, had retired by this point and so no action was taken against them.[128]

Civil cases

The family of Karnamaya Mongar has brought a wrongful death suit against Gosnell and sought to freeze his assets to prevent him from transferring them to other people to avoid paying.[129] As of April 2013 the suit is still pending.[130]

Media coverage and public reactions

Gosnell’s arrest has been the subject of much public comment[131] and expressions of condemnation and shock by senior public figures of all parties. Mayor Michael Nutter (D-PA) said, “I think it’s quite clear that, if these allegations are true, we’ve had a monster living in our midst” while vowing to watch the city’s remaining abortion clinics more closely.[132] Outgoing Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) criticized Department of Health officials saying, “I was flabbergasted to learn that the Department of Health did not think their authority to protect public health extended to clinics offering abortion services”,[133] while incoming Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA) stated through a spokesperson that he was “appalled at the inaction on the part of the Health Department and the Department of State,”[134] and District Attorney of the city of Philadelphia R. Seth Williams said “My comprehension of the English language can’t adequately describe the barbaric nature of Dr. Gosnell… Pennsylvania is not a third-world country… There were several oversight agencies that stumbled upon and should have shut down Kermit Gosnell long ago.”[135]

Gosnell also practiced in other states, including Delaware. In January 2011, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (D-Delaware) promised a wide-ranging investigations into the abortions Gosnell performed in Delaware saying; “I’m disturbed by the allegations that were handed up by the grand jury in Philadelphia”.[136]

A spokesperson for the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion providers, noted that Gosnell had been rejected for membership following inspection, because his clinics did not meet appropriate standards of care, but that “they’d cleaned the place up and hired an RN [registered nurse] for our visit. We only saw first-trimester procedures.”[53] She adding that “Unfortunately, some women don’t know where to turn. You sometimes have substandard providers preying on low-income women who don’t know that they do have other (safe) options.”[137] A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in Southeastern Pennsylvania, condemned Gosnell, saying, “We would condemn any physician who does not follow the law or endangers anyone’s health… All women should have access to high-quality care when they are vulnerable and facing difficult decisions.”[138] Dayle Steinberg, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, says she knew that Gosnell had provided abortions in Philadelphia for many years, but says she hadn’t heard of any problems at his clinic until the allegations surfaced.[139] She has been quoted as stating that “when Gosnell was in practice, women would sometimes come to Planned Parenthood for services after first visiting Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, and would complain to staff about the conditions there. We would always encourage them to report it to the Department of Health.” [140] She clarified that “when Gosnell was arrested, I asked our staff if anyone had ever heard of him, and clinic staff members reported that a few women over the years said they were concerned about the uncleanliness of his facility and came to Planned Parenthood instead… if we had heard anything remotely like the conditions that have since come to light about Gosnell’s facility, of course we would have alerted the state and other authorities”.[141]

Kermit Gosnell himself gave an interview to Fox 29 in February 2011,[50] in which he stated that:

  • “I expect to be vindicated.”
  • [Regarding the allegations] “to tell you the truth, I hope to read them in 3 to 6 months […] because I have lived through negative publicity before.”
  • “It’s something I have personally experienced several times before where my surgical abilities have been challenged, where the choices that I have made have not always been perfect.”
  • “If you are not making mistakes, you are not really attempting to do something, so I think that my patients are aware that I do my very best by them.”
  • “The standard that I share with everyone that, I frequently say is that I provide the same care that I would provide my own daughter I feel.”
  • “I have a story to tell. […] my work to the community is of value.”
  • Gosnell reported that he received outpouring of support: “letters, I have gotten wonderful little messages of support, and confidence that I am a good person will prevail.”

Criticism of media coverage

A perception had built up among some journalists and pro-life groups that there had been a reluctance to report on the trial among mainstream media. In an April 11, 2013 opinion column for USA Today, Kirsten Powers wrote: “A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months”, and that national press coverage was represented by a Wall Street Journal columnist who “hijacked” a segment on Meet the Press, a single page A-17 story on the first day of the trial by The New York Times, and no original coverage by The Washington Post.[142]

While Kirsten Powers is credited by some for drawing media coverage to the Gosnell trial, Dave Weigel at Slate.com reported it was conservatives’ aggressive use of social media, especially Twitter, that “goaded” the press into covering the trial in Philadelphia. According to Weigel, Troy Newman, president of the Kansas-based pro-life Operation Rescue, had organized a Twitter campaign using “#Gosnell” to break the “Gosnell Media Blackout.” Key to that social media campaign was a picture of rows of empty media seats in the Gosnell courtroom taken by Calkins Media columnist J.D. Mullane.[143]

Mullane told Weigel he was struck by the absence of media at the trial, and took out his iPhone and snapped the picture, tweeting it later that night.

“Mullane retweeted the photo a few more times, with different captions, because it had been packed into a snowball (of criticism)” which included Powers’ column for USA Today, Weigel wrote. The empty seats photograph was used by pro-life activists to show “proof” of media dereliction. Weigel wrote: “It worked. An estimated 106,000 #Gosnell tweets later, on April 15, Mullane reported that major networks and newspapers had sent their reporters to cover the trial—Fox News, the New York Times, the Washington Post.”

Writing for The Washington Post, Melinda Henneberger responded that “we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights. In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it’s genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That’s not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage”. Explaining why some of her colleagues did not report on the story, Henneberger wrote, “One colleague viewed Gosnell’s alleged atrocities as a local crime story, though I can’t think of another mass murder, with hundreds of victims, that we ever saw that way. Another said it was just too lurid, though that didn’t keep us from covering Jeffrey Dahmer, or that aspiring cannibal at the NYPD.”[144] Writing for Bloomberg View, Jeffrey Goldberg said that this story “upsets a particular narrative about the reality of certain types of abortion, and that reality isn’t something some pro-choice absolutists want to discuss”.[145]

The Los Angeles Times,[146] The Atlantic,[147] Slate,[148] and Time[149] all published opinion columns where the writer thought the incident was not getting as much media coverage as it deserved. Megan McArdle explains that she didn’t cover it because it made her ill, but also how being pro-choice influenced writers saying “most of us tend to be less interested in sick-making stories if the sick-making was done by ‘our side,'” saying, “this story should have been covered much more than it was — covered as a national policy issue, not a ‘local crime story.'”[150] Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor, claims he wasn’t aware of the story until Thursday, 11 April, when readers began emailing him about it, saying “I wish I could be conscious of all stories everywhere, but I can’t be”.[151] They ultimately decided that, in fact, the story warranted attention because of “the seriousness and scope of the alleged crimes and because this was a case that resonated in policy arguments and national politics”, adding “In retrospect, we regret not having staffed the trial sooner. But, as you know, we don’t have unlimited resources, and […] there is a lot of competition for our staff’s attention”.[151] He insisted that “we never decide what to cover for ideological reasons, no matter what critics might claim. Accusations of ideological motives are easy to make, even if they’re not supported by the facts”.[151] The New York Times also acknowledged the lack of coverage and reported on the online campaign and subsequent increase in coverage of the case.[152] While Powers’ piece clearly sparked debate among journalists, Katherine Bindley also highlights contrasting views,[153] as does Paul Farhi.[151] A column on Salon.com questioned whether the Gosnell case was an example of liberal media bias, saying that conservative media and politicians had also given little attention to the story until April 2013.[154]

In April 2013, 71 other Members of Congress joined Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn in a letter condemning the media “blackout” on the Gosnell trial.[155][156]

Movie

In early 2014 filmmakers Ann McElhinney, Phelim McAleer, and Magdalena Segieda announced they will be producing a true crime drama film of the Gosnell crimes. Nick Searcy will direct and John Sullivan is executive producer.[157][158] The working title for the film is Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer.[159] The producers raised money for production of the movie on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, receiving $2.3 million from backers.[160][161][162] Andrew Klavan has been hired to be the screenwriter for the movie.[163] Earl Billings will play Gosnell, and Dean Cain will play Detective James Wood.[164]

As well, the filmmakers wrote a book titled, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. The book was released on January 24, 2017.[165][166] The book quickly rose to the number three spot on Amazon’s “Best Seller” list and number one on their “Hot New Releases” list. [167]

See also

Abortion related

Other

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kermit_Gosnell

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David Horowitz — Radicals: Portraits of A Destructive Passion — Videos

Posted on January 22, 2017. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Culture, Diasters, Documentary, Economics, Education, Employment, Environment, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Islam, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Political Correctness, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religious, Religious, Speech, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Unemployment, Video, War, Water | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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David Horowitz: Democratic Party is marching off the cliff

David Horowitz – Left Illusions: An Intellectual Odyssey

David Horowitz – The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama

Published on Jan 1, 2017

December 14, 2016 – David Horowitz’s speaks about his new book, The Left in Power: Clinton to Obama, which is volume 7 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of his conservative writings that will, when completed, be the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to define the Left and its agenda.

Horowitz on Hillary Clinton and Saul Alinsky

In Depth with David Horowitz

David Horowitz discusses Radicals and who has influence over the media

David Horowitz – Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left

A Most Excellent Explanation of the Left’s Takeover of America

David Horowitz – What The Left Believes

David Horowitz – Take No Prisoners: The Battle Plan for Defeating the Left

Rules for Radicals: What Constitutional Conservatives Should Know About Saul Alinsky

David Horowitz – The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America

David Horowitz interview on Charlie Rose (1997)

David Horowitz – Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (Part 1)

David Horowitz – Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey (Part 2)

The Black Book of the American Left: The Collected Conservative Writings of David Horowitz

Published on Nov 13, 2013

David Horowitz spent the first part of his life in the world of the Communist-progressive left, a politics he inherited from his mother and father, and later in the New Left as one of its founders. When the wreckage he and his comrades had created became clear to him in the mid-1970s, he left. Three decades of second thoughts then made him this movement’s principal intellectual antagonist. “For better or worse,” as Horowitz writes in the preface to this, the first volume of his collected conservative writings, “I have been condemned to spend the rest of my days attempting to understand how the left pursues the agendas from which I have separated myself, and why.”

David Horowitz – Progressive Racism

David Horowitz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named David Horowitz, see David Horowitz (disambiguation).
David Horowitz
David Horowitz by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Horowitz in February 2011
Born David Joel Horowitz
January 10, 1939 (age 78)
Forest Hills, Queens, New York, U.S.
Occupation Conservative activist, writer
Nationality United States
Education MA, University of California at Berkeley
BA, Columbia University
Spouse Elissa Krauthamer (1959–19??; 4 children); Sam Moorman (divorced); Shay Marlowe (1990–?; divorced); April Mullvain Horowitz (current)
Children Jonathan Daniel
Ben Horowitz
Anne Pilat
Sarah Rose Horowitz (deceased)[1]

David Joel Horowitz (born January 10, 1939) is an American conservative writer. He is a founder and current president of the think tank the David Horowitz Freedom Center; editor of the Center’s publication, FrontPage Magazine; and director of Discover the Networks, a website that tracks individuals and groups on the political left. Horowitz founded the organization Students for Academic Freedom to oppose what he believed to be political correctness and leftist orientation in academia.[2]

He has written several books with author Peter Collier, including four on prominent 20th-century American political families that had members elected to the presidency. He and Collier have collaborated on books about current cultural criticism. Horowitz has also worked as a columnist for Salon; its then-editor Joan Walsh described him as a “conservative provocateur.”[3]

Horowitz was raised by parents who were members of the Communist Party USA during the Great Depression; they gave up their membership in 1956 after learning of Joseph Stalin‘s purges and abuses. From 1956–75, Horowitz was an outspoken adherent of the New Left. He later rejected leftism completely and has since become a leading proponent of conservatism. Horowitz has recounted his ideological journey in a series of retrospective books, culminating with his 1996 memoir Radical Son: A Generational Odyssey.

Family background

Horowitz is the son of Phil and Blanche Horowitz, who were high school teachers. His father taught English and his mother taught stenography.[4] During years of labor organizing and the Great Depression, Phil and Blanche Horowitz were long-standing members of the American Communist Party and strong supporters of Joseph Stalin. They left the party after Khrushchev published his report in 1956 about Stalin’s excesses and terrorism of the Soviet populations.[5][6]

According to Horowitz:

Underneath the ordinary surfaces of their lives, my parents and their friends thought of themselves as secret agents. The mission they had undertaken, and about which they could not speak freely except with each other, was not just an idea to them. It was more important to their sense of themselves than anything else they did. Nor were its tasks of a kind they could attend or ignore, depending on their moods. They were more like the obligations of a religious faith. Except that their faith was secular, and the millennium they awaited was being instituted, at that moment, in the very country that had become America’s enemy. It was this fact that made their ordinary lives precarious and their secrecy necessary. If they lived under a cloud of suspicion, it was the result of more than just their political passions. The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima had created a terror in the minds of ordinary people. Newspapers reported on American spy rings working to steal atomic secrets for the Soviet state. When people read these stories, they inevitably thought of progressives like us. And so did we ourselves. Even if we never encountered a Soviet agent or engaged in a single illegal act, each of us knew that our commitment to socialism implied the obligation to commit treason, too.[7]

After the death of Stalin in 1953, his father Phil Horowitz, commenting on how Stalin’s numerous official titles had to be divided among his successors, told his son, “You see what a genius Stalin was. It took five men to replace him.”[8] According to Horowitz:

The publication of the Khrushchev Report was probably the greatest blow struck against the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. When my parents and their friends opened the morning Times and read its text, their world collapsed—and along with it their will to struggle. If the document was true, almost everything they had said and believed was false. Their secret mission had led them into waters so deep that its tide had overwhelmed them, taking with it the very meaning of their lives.[6]

Horowitz received a BA from Columbia University in 1959, majoring in English, and a master’s degree in English literature at University of California, Berkeley.[citation needed]

Career with the New Left

After completing his graduate degree in the late 1960s, Horowitz lived in London and worked for the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.[9][10] He identified as a serious Marxist intellectual.

In 1966, Ralph Schoenman persuaded Bertrand Russell to convene a war crimes tribunal to judge United States involvement in the Vietnam War.[11] Horowitz would write three decades later that he had political reservations about the tribunal and did not take part. He described the tribunal’s judges as formidable, world-famous and radical, including Isaac Deutscher, Jean-Paul Sartre, Stokely Carmichael, Simone de Beauvoir, James Baldwin, and Vladimir Dedijer.[12]

While in London, Horowitz became a close friend of Deutscher, and wrote a biography of him which was published in 1971.[13][14] Horowitz wrote The Free World Colossus: A Critique of American Foreign Policy in the Cold War. In January 1968, Horowitz returned to the United States, where he became co-editor of the New Left magazine Ramparts, based in northern California.[10]

During the early 1970s, Horowitz developed a close friendship with Huey P. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party. Horowitz later portrayed Newton as equal parts gangster, terrorist, intellectual, and media celebrity.[10] As part of their work together, Horowitz helped raise money for, and assisted the Panthers with, the running of a school for poor children in Oakland. He recommended that Newton hire Betty Van Patter as bookkeeper; she was then working for Ramparts. In December 1974, Van Patter’s body was found floating in San Francisco Harbor; she had been murdered. Horowitz has said he believes the Panthers were behind the killing.[10][15]

In 1976, Horowitz was a “founding sponsor” of James Weinstein‘s magazine In These Times.[16]

Writing on the Right

Following this period, Horowitz rejected Marx and socialism, but kept quiet about his changing politics for nearly a decade. In the spring of 1985, Horowitz and longtime collaborator Peter Collier, who had also become conservative, wrote an article for The Washington Post Magazine entitled “Lefties for Reagan“, later retitled as “Goodbye to All That”. The article explained their change of views and recent decision to vote for a second term for Republican President Ronald Reagan.[17][18][19] In 1986, Horowitz published “Why I Am No Longer a Leftist” in The Village Voice.[20]

In 1987, Horowitz co-hosted a “Second Thoughts Conference” in Washington, D.C., described by Sidney Blumenthal in The Washington Post as his “coming out” as a conservative. According to attendee Alexander Cockburn, Horowitz related how his Stalinist parents had not permitted him or his sister to watch the popular Doris Day and Rock Hudson movies of his youth. Instead, they watched propaganda films from the Soviet Union.[21]

In May 1989, Horowitz, Ronald Radosh, and Peter Collier travelled to Poland for a conference in Kraków calling for the end of Communism.[22] After marching with Polish dissidents in an anti-regime protest, Horowitz spoke about his changing thoughts and why he believed that socialism could not create their future. He said his dream was for the people of Poland to be free.[23]

In 1992, Horowitz and Collier founded Heterodoxy, a monthly magazine focused on exposing what it described as excessive political correctness on United States college and university campuses. It was “meant to have the feel of a samizdat publication inside the gulag of the PC [politically correct] university.” The tabloid was directed at university students, whom Horowitz viewed as being indoctrinated by the entrenched Left in American academia.[24] He has maintained his assault on the political left to the present day. Horowitz wrote in his memoir Radical Son that he thought universities were no longer effective in presenting both sides of political arguments. He thought “left-wing professors” had created a kind of “political terror” on campuses.[25]

In a column in Salon magazine, where he is regularly published,[3] Horowitz described his opposition to reparations for slavery. He believed that it represented racism against blacks, as it defined them only in terms of having descended from slaves. He argues that applying labels like “descendants of slaves” to blacks was damaging and would serve to segregate them from mainstream society.[26]

In keeping with his provocateur position, in 2001 during Black History Month Horowitz purchased, or attempted to purchase, advertising space in several student American university publications to express his opposition to reparations for slavery.[3] Many student papers refused to sell him ad space; at some schools, papers which carried his ads were stolen or destroyed.[3][26] Editor Joan Walsh of Salon wrote that the furor had given Horowitz an overwhelming amount of free publicity.[3][27]

Horowitz supported the interventionist foreign policy associated with the Bush Doctrine. But he wrote against US intervention in the Kosovo War, arguing that it was unnecessary and harmful to U.S. interests.[28][29]

In the early 21st century, he has written critically of libertarian anti-war views.[30][31]

In 2004, Horowitz launched Discover the Networks, a conservative watchdog project that monitors funding for, and various ties among, leftists and progressive causes.[2]

In two books, Horowitz accused Dana L. Cloud, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin, as an “anti-American radical” who “routinely repeats the propaganda of the Saddam regime.”[citation needed] Horowitz accused her and 99 other professors listed in his book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, of the “explicit introduction of political agendas into the classroom.”[32]

Cloud replied in Inside Higher Ed that her experience demonstrates that Horowitz damages professors’ lives by his accusations and that he needs to be viewed as more than a political opponent.

Horowitz’s attacks have been significant. People who read the book or his Web site regularly send letters to university officials asking for her to be fired. Personally, she has received—mostly via e-mail—”physical threats, threats of removing my daughter from my custody, threats of sexual assaults, horrible disgusting gendered things,” she said. That Horowitz doesn’t send these isn’t the point, she said. “He builds a climate and culture that emboldens people,” and as a result, shouldn’t be seen as a defender of academic freedom, but as its enemy.[33]

After discussion, the National Communication Association decided against granting Horowitz a spot as a panelist at its national conference in 2008. He had offered to forego the $7,000 speaking fee originally requested. He wrote in Inside Higher Ed, “The fact that no academic group has had the balls to invite me says a lot about the ability of academic associations to discuss important issues if a political minority wants to censor them.”[33] An association official said the decision was based in part on Horowitz’s request to be provided with a stipend for $500 to hire a personal bodyguard. Association officials decided that having a bodyguard present “communicates the expectation of confrontation and violence.”[33]

Horowitz appeared in Occupy Unmasked, a 2012 documentary portraying the Occupy Wall Street movement as a sinister organization formed to violently destroy the American government.[34]

Academic Bill of Rights

In the early 21st century, Horowitz has concentrated on issues of academic freedom, wanting to protect conservative viewpoints. He, Eli Lehrer, and Andrew Jones published a pamphlet, “Political Bias in the Administrations and Faculties of 32 Elite Colleges and Universities” (2004), in which they find the ratio of Democrats to Republicans at 32 schools to be more than 10 to 1.[35]

Horowitz’s book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America (2006), criticizes individual professors for, as he alleges, engaging in indoctrination rather than a disinterested pursuit of knowledge. He says his campaign for academic freedom is ideologically neutral.[36] He published an Academic Bill of Rights (ABR), which he proposes to eliminate political bias in university hiring and grading. Horowitz says that conservatives, and particularly Republican Party members, are systematically excluded from faculties, citing statistical studies on faculty party affiliation.[37] Critics such as academic Stanley Fish have argued that “academic diversity”, as Horowitz defines it, is not a legitimate academic value, and that no endorsement of “diversity” can be absolute.[38]

In 2004 the Georgia General Assembly passed a resolution on a 41–5 vote to adopt a version of the ABR for state educational institutions.[39]

In Pennsylvania, the House of Representatives created a special legislative committee to investigate issues of academic freedom, including whether students who hold unpopular views need more protection. In November 2006 it reported that it had not found evidence of problems [clarification needed] with students’ rights.[40][41][42][43][44][45]

Family

Horowitz has been married four times. He married Elissa Krauthamer, in a Yonkers, New York synagogue on June 14, 1959.[46] They had four children together: Jonathan Daniel, Ben, Sarah Rose (deceased), and Mrs. Anne Pilat. Their daughter Sarah Rose Horowitz died in March 2008 at age 44 from Turner syndrome-related heart complications. She had been a teacher, writer and human rights activist.[1][47] She is the subject of Horowitz’s 2009 book, A Cracking of the Heart.[47]

As an activist, she had cooked meals for the homeless, stood vigil at San Quentin on nights when the state of California executed prisoners, worked with autistic children in public schools and, with the American Jewish World Service, helped rebuild homes in El Salvador after a hurricane, and traveled to India to oppose child labor.[48] In a review of Horowitz’s book, FrontPage magazine associate editor David Swindle wrote that she fused “the painful lessons of her father’s life with a mystical Judaism to complete the task he never could: showing how the Left could save itself from self-destruction.”[49]

Horowitz’s son Ben Horowitz is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder, along with Marc Andreessen, of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.[50][51]

Horowitz’s second marriage, to Sam Moorman, ended in divorce. On June 24, 1990, Horowitz married Shay Marlowe in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony conducted at the Pacific Jewish Center by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.[52]They divorced. Horowitz’s fourth and present marriage is to April Mullvain.[53]

Horowitz now describes himself as an agnostic.[54]

Funding

Politico claims that Horowitz’s activities, like the David Horowitz Freedom Center are funded in part by Aubrey & Joyce Chernick and The Bradley Foundation. Politico claimed that during 2008-2010, “the lion’s share of the $920,000 it [David Horowitz Freedom Center] provided over the past three years to Jihad Watch came from Chernick”.[55]

Controversy and criticism

Academia

Some of Horowitz’s accounts of U.S. colleges and universities as bastions of liberal indoctrination have been disputed.[56] For example, Horowitz alleged that a University of Northern Colorado student received a failing grade on a final exam for refusing to write an essay arguing that George W. Bush is a war criminal.[57][58] A spokeswoman for the university said that the test question was not as described by Horowitz and that there were nonpolitical reasons for the grade, which was not an F.[59]

Horowitz identified the professor[60] as Robert Dunkley, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Northern Colorado. Dunkley said Horowitz made him an example of “liberal bias” in academia and yet, “Dunkley said that he comes from a Republican family, is a registered Republican and considers himself politically independent, taking pride in never having voted a straight party ticket,” according to Inside Higher Ed magazine.[60]In another instance, Horowitz said that a Pennsylvania State University biology professor showed his students the film Fahrenheit 9/11 just before the 2004 election in an attempt to influence their votes.[61][62] Pressed by Inside Higher Ed, Horowitz later retracted this claim.[63]

Horowitz has been criticized for material in his books, particularly The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, by noted scholars such as Columbia University professor Todd Gitlin.[64] The group Free Exchange on Campus issued a 50-page report in May 2006 in which they take issue with many of Horowitz’s assertions in the book: they identify specific factual errors, unsubstantiated assertions, and quotations which appear to be either misquoted or taken out of context.[65][66]

Allegations of racism

Chip Berlet, writing for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), identified Horowitz’s Center for the Study of Popular Culture as one of 17 “right-wing foundations and think tanks support[ing] efforts to make bigoted and discredited ideas respectable.”[67] Berlet accused Horowitz of blaming slavery on “black Africans … abetted by dark-skinned Arabs” and of “attack[ing] minority ‘demands for special treatment’ as ‘only necessary because some blacks can’t seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others,’ rejecting the idea that they could be the victims of lingering racism.”[67][not in citation given]

Horowitz published an open letter to Morris Dees, president of the SPLC, saying that “[this reminder] that the slaves transported to America were bought from African and Arab slavers” was a response to demands that only whites pay reparations to blacks. He said he never held Africans and Arabs solely responsible for slavery. He said that Berlet’s accusation of racism was a “calculated lie” and asked that the report be removed.[68] The SPLC refused Horowitz’s request.[69] Horowitz has criticized Berlet and the SPLC on his website and personal blog.[70][71]

In 2008, while speaking at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), he criticized Arab culture, saying it was rife with antisemitism.[72][73] He referred to the Palestinian keffiyeh, a traditional Arab head covering that became associated with PLO leader Yasser Arafat, as a symbol of terrorism. In response, UCSB professor Walid Afifi said that Horowitz was “preaching hate” and smearing Arab culture.[73]

Criticizing Islamic organizations

Horowitz has used university student publications and lectures at universities as venues for publishing provocative advertisements or lecturing on issues related to Islamic student and other organizations. In April 2008, his ‘David Horowitz Freedom Center’ advertised in the Daily Nexus, the University of California Santa Barbara school newspaper, saying that the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) had links with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Hamas.[74]

In May 2008, Horowitz, speaking at UCSB, said that the Muslim Students’ Association supports “a second Holocaust of the Jews”.[73] The MSA said they were a peaceful organization and not a political group.[74] The MSA’s faculty adviser said the group had “been involved in interfaith activities with Jewish student groups, and they’ve been involved in charity work for national disaster relief.”[73] Horowitz ran the ad in The GW Hatchet, the student newspaper of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Jake Sherman, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, said claims the MSA was radical were “ludicrous”. He vowed to review his newspaper’s editorial and advertising policies.[75]

Horowitz published a 2007 piece in the Columbia University student newspaper, saying that, according to [unnamed and undocumented] public opinion polls, “between 150 million and 750 million Muslims support a holy war against Christians, Jews and other Muslims.”[76] Speaking at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in February 2010, Horowitz compared Islamists to Nazis, saying: “Islamists are worse than the Nazis, because even the Nazis did not tell the world that they want to exterminate the Jews.”[77]

Horowitz created a campaign for what he called “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” in parody of multicultural awareness activities. He helped arrange for leading critics of radical Islam to speak at more than a hundred college campuses in October 2007.[78] As a speaker he has met with intense hostility.[79][80][81]

In a 2011 review of anti-Islamic activists in the US, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified Horowitz as one of 10 people in the United States’ “Anti-Muslim Inner Circle”.[82]

Conservatism

Horowitz’s Frontpage Magazine published Ron Radosh‘s critical review of Diana West‘s book American Betrayal. Conservatives John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, scholars of Soviet espionage, defended Horowitz for publishing the review and Radosh for writing it.[83] Vladimir Bukovsky, a Soviet dissident, rejected Radosh’s criticisms and said it was an attempt to portray West as a historically inept conspiracy-monger.[84]Horowitz defended the review in an article on Breitbart’s Big Government website.[85]

Other

In 2007, Lawrence Auster (January 26, 1949 – March 29, 2013) stated that Horowitz had rejected him from publishing in Frontpage Magazine for making racist statements.[86][87]

Books and other publications

Histories

(all co-authored with Peter Collier)

  • The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976) ISBN 0-03-008371-0
  • The Kennedys: An American Drama (New York: Summit Books/Simon & Schuster, 1985) ISBN 0-671-44793-9
  • The Fords: An American Epic (New York: Summit Books/Simon & Schuster, 1987) ISBN 0-671-66951-6
  • The Roosevelts: An American Saga (1994)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Horowitz

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Mark K. Updegrove — Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency — Videos

Posted on December 19, 2016. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Faith, Family, Farming, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, High School, history, Immigration, Language, Law, liberty, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Political Correctness, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Press, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Success, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Television, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work, World War II, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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BookTV: Mark Updegrove, “Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency”

“Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency” — Mark Updegrove

“LBJ” with Mark Updegrove, Rob Reiner & Woody Harrelson

Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency

Published on May 11, 2012

Mark Updegrove, named “one of the country’s best historians” by CNN, is director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum. He discussed his book, “Indomitable Will,” which provides a portrait of LBJ through the stories and recollections of those who were with him everyday during his presidency. The session was moderated by Terri Garner, director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

This footage has been provided by the Clinton School of Public Service. The Clinton School of Public Service is the only school in the nation to offer a Master’s Degree in public service. It is located on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The Clinton School’s Distinguished Lecture Series are speakers whom speak at the Clinton School, and can be attended by the general public through reserving a seat. More about the Clinton School of Public Service can be found at the link below;

An Intimate View of the Indomitable LBJ

LBJ: The 36th President of the United States

36 Lyndon Johnson

PBS LBJ Part 1

Presidency of LBJ

LBJ Documentary “The Great Society”

LBJ: From Senate Majority Leader to President, 1958-1964

How LBJ Mastered the Senate: The Most Riveting Political Biography of Our Time (2002)

The Most Riveting Political Biography of Our Time: The Definitive Portrait of LBJ (2002)

How Did LBJ Make His Money? The Disturbing Story of His Political Rise and Corruption (1990)

The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 1 of 3.

The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 2 of 3.

The Open Mind: The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power, Part 3 of 3.

The Open Mind: Lyndon Johnson – ‘Master of the Senate’

The Open Mind: Lyndon Johnson – ‘Master of the Senate’ Part 2

The Open Mind: On History, Biography, Literature… and Robert Caro, Part 1 of 2

The Open Mind: On History, Biography, Literature… and Robert Caro, Part 2 of 2

How to Write a Great Biography: Authors Explain the Secrets to Success (1999)

Q&A: Robert Caro – Part 1

Published on May 7, 2012

Pulitzer prize winning author and historian Robert Caro discusses his newly released biography of Lyndon Johnson entitled “The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power.” This is his fourth book in the Johnson biographical series and Caro promises a fifth and final book in the future. The period covered in the book is from 1958 until early 1964.

Q&A: Robert Caro – Part 2

Robert Caro: Understanding Power (Full Length Version)

The Art of Political Power, with Robert Caro and William Hague

LBJ Versus The Kennedy’s: Chasing Demons

Death of LBJ as it broke

Indomitable Will

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency
Indomitable Will - LBJ in the Presidency.jpg
Author Mark K. Updegrove
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Crown Publishing Group
Publication date
March 13, 2012
Media type Hardcover
Pages 400

Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency is a biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson by Mark K. Updegrove, published in 2012.

Plot summary

Indomitable Will is a compilation of original interviews, personal accounts and recollections of individuals who knew, worked with and for President Lyndon Johnson during his five years as President of the United States. Sources include the Reverend Billy Graham, Carl Bernstein, Liz Carpenter, George H. W. Bush, Walter Mondale, Harry Middleton, Rose Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, Helen Thomas, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Moyers, who served as White House Press Secretary in the Johnson Administration.[1]

The book focuses on the extensive legislation passed during Johnson’s Presidency and includes photographs, transcripts from his telephone conversations, and previously unpublished documents.[2][3]

The author is a Presidential historian who has written two additional non-fiction works based on the lives of American Presidents: Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis (2009), and Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (2006).[4]

References

  1. Jump up^ Hendricks, David. “Express-News business writer and columnist”. MySanAntonio. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  2. Jump up^ Langan, Michael. “News Book Reviewer”. Buffalo News. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Monaco, Frances. “Reviewer”. The Post and Courier. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  4. Jump up^ “The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration”. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 5 June 2012.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indomitable_Will

Mark K. Updegrove[1] (born August 25, 1961) is an American author, historian, journalist, television commentator, and director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas.

Early life and education

Updegrove was born outside Philadelphia in Abington, PA, on Aug. 25, 1961. He attended high school in Newtown, PA, at the George School, which honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015.[2] He attended Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1984.

Career

Magazine Publishing

Updegrove spent much of his early career in magazine publishing, including serving as manager of Time Magazine in Los Angeles; president of Time Canada, Time’s separate Canadian edition and operation; and, publisher of Newsweek.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

Since October 2009, Updegrove has served as the fourth director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Mark Updegrove at The Vietnam War Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2016. Photo by Jay Godwin.

Under Updegrove’s direction, the library partnered with the Aspen Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Turn 50, in Washington, D.C, in April 2015, and in November 2015, partnered with WETA-TV, on In Performance at the White House: A Celebration of American Creativity, which aired on PBS, to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Early in his tenure at the library, Updegrove oversaw the $11 million renovation of the library’s core exhibits on Lyndon Johnson and his administration, which opened in December 2012.[3][4]

Updegrove’s December 2014 Politico article, What ‘Selma’ Gets Wrong,[5] ignited a controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on voting rights in the film Selma, touching off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historic events. In January 2015, Updegrove addressed the issue on CBS’ Face the Nation.[6]

Adjunct Professor/Lecturer

In 2013 and 2015, Updegrove taught The Johnson Years for Liberal Arts Honors students as an adjunct professor at The University of Texas at Austin. He has spoken extensively at numerous colleges and universities, museums, presidential libraries, and other public speaking forums.

Selected publications

Books

  • Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library (University of Texas Press, 2015)
  • Indomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency (Crown Publishers, 2012)[7]
  • Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of Crisis (St. Martins Press, 2009)[8]
  • Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House (Lyons Press, 2006)[9]

References

  1. Jump up^ Staff, Public Affairs. “Mark Updegrove Named New Director of LBJ Library”. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Alumni Award Recipient 2015 – George School”. Retrieved 2016-08-15.
  3. Jump up^ Shannon, Kelley. “LBJ library in Austin to unveil $10 million update Dec. 22”. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  4. Jump up^ Baskas, Harriet. “Oval Office audio tapes highlight redesigned LBJ Presidential Library”. NBC News. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “What ‘Selma’ Gets Wrong”. Politico. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  6. Jump up^ “Does the film “Selma” portray LBJ unfairly?”. Face the Nation. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  7. Jump up^ Ealy, Charles. “‘Indomitable Will’ seeks to give LBJ due credit”. statesman.com. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Heilbrunn, Jacob. “Crisis Management”. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  9. Jump up^ “Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House”. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2006. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_K._Updegrove

 

The Years of Lyndon Johnson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from The Passage of Power)

The Years of Lyndon Johnson is a biography of Lyndon B. Johnson by the American writer Robert Caro. Four volumes have been published, running to more than 3,000 pages in total, detailing Johnson’s early life, education, and political career. A fifth volume will deal with the bulk of Johnson’s presidency. The series is published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Book One: The Path to Power (1982)

In the first volume, The Path to Power, Caro retraced Johnson’s early life growing up in the Texas Hill Country and Washington, D.C.. (Caro moved to these areas for months to interview numerous people who knew Johnson and his family.) This volume covers Johnson’s life through his failed 1941 campaign for the United States Senate. This book was released on November 12, 1982. It won the 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award. It was a finalist for the 1983 National Book Award, hardcover autobiography or biography.[1]

Book Two: Means of Ascent (1990)

In the second volume, Means of Ascent, Caro detailed Johnson’s life from the aftermath of Johnson’s first bid to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1948. Much of the book deals with Johnson’s bitterly contested Democratic primary against Coke R. Stevenson in that year. The book was released on March 7, 1990.

Book Three: Master of the Senate (2002)

In the third volume, Master of the Senate, Caro chronicles Johnson’s rapid ascent in United States Congress, including his tenure as Senate majority leader. This 1,167-page work examines in particular Johnson’s battle to pass a landmark civil rights bill through Congress without it tearing apart his party, whose southern bloc was anti-civil rights with the northern faction more supportive of civil rights. Although its scope was limited, the ensuing Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first such legislation since the Reconstruction era. The book was released on April 23, 2002. It won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, the 2002 National Book Award for Nonfiction,[2] the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, and the 2002 D.B. Hardeman Prize.[3]

Book Four: The Passage of Power (2012)

In the fourth volume, The Passage of Power, Caro covers Johnson’s life from 1958 to 1964, the challenges Johnson faced upon his assumption of the presidency, and the significant accomplishments in the months after Kennedy’s assassination.[4] The 736-page book was released on May 1, 2012. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award (2012; Biography),[5] the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2012; Biography),[6] the Mark Lynton History Prize (2013), the American History Book Prize (2013)[7] and the Biographers International Organization‘s Plutarch Award (2013).[8] It was a finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction (2012).[9] It was selected as one of Time magazine’s Best Books of the Year (non-fiction #2).

Book five

In November 2011, Caro estimated that the fifth and final volume would require another two to three years to write.[10] In March 2013, he affirmed a commitment to completing the series with a fifth volume.[11] As of April 2014, he was continuing to research the book.[12]

Themes of the series

Throughout the biography, Caro examines the acquisition and use of political power in American democracy, from the perspective both of those who wield it and those who are at its mercy. In an interview with Kurt Vonnegut and Daniel Stern, he once said: “I was never interested in writing biography just to show the life of a great man,” saying he wanted instead “to use biography as a means of illuminating the times and the great forces that shape the times—particularly political power.”[13]

Caro’s books portray Johnson as alternating between scheming opportunist and visionary progressive. Caro argues, for example, that Johnson’s victory in the 1948 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate was achieved through extensive fraud and ballot stuffing, just as Johnson had lost his 1941 senate race because his opponent stuffed the ballot boxes more than Johnson. Caro also highlights some of Johnson’s campaign contributions, such as those from the Texas construction firm Brown & Root; in 1962 the company was acquired by another Texas firm, Halliburton, which became a major contractor in the Vietnam War. Despite these criticisms, Caro’s portrayal of Johnson also notes his struggles on behalf of progressive causes such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Influence of the series

Politicians in particular have responded most strongly to The Years of Lyndon Johnson:

  • Tom Daschle, a former Senate majority leader, once told the newspaper Roll Call after reading Master of the Senate that “I think the thing you learn from reading that magnificent book is that every day, this body makes history.”
  • Walter Mondale, a former US vice president, described Master of the Senate as a “superb work of history.”
  • Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister, said of the series: “It’s a wonderfully written set of books. The stories are quite breathtaking … These books challenge the view of history that politics is just about individual maneuvering. It’s about ideas and principled policy achievements. That’s what makes it one of the great political biographies.”[14]
  • William Hague, a former British Conservative Party leader and foreign secretary, nominated Means of Ascent as the book he would most like to have with him on a desert island, in the BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs. He later wrote: “I explained that it was the best political biography of any kind, that I had ever read. I said it conveyed more brilliantly than any other publication what it really feels like to be a politician … When a fourth volume finally completes the set, this will be nothing short of a magnificent history of 20th century America.”[14]
  • Michael Howard, another former Conservative Party leader, encountered the series after swapping houses with Caro for a holiday. He said, “For Caro, writing a biography is writing a thriller—in Johnson’s case, a Western. You can’t stop turning the pages. He doesn’t like Johnson, but the facts are there so you can make your own judgments. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.”[14]

See also

Bibliography

  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power. 1982. Alfred a Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0-679-72945-3). xxiii + 882 p. + 48 p. of plates: illus.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent. 1990. Alfred a Knopf Inc., New York. (ISBN 0-679-73371-X). xxxiv + 506 pp.
  • Caro, Robert A., Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. 2002. Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York. (ISBN 0-394-72095-4). xxiv + 1167 pp.
  • Caro, Robert A., The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson. 2012. Alfred a Knopf Inc, New York. (ISBN 0-375-71325-5). 736 pp.

References

  1. Jump up^ “National Book Awards – 1983”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  2. Jump up^ “National Book Awards – 2002”. National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20. (With acceptance speech.)
  3. Jump up^ “Recipients of the D. B. Hardeman Prize”. LBJ Foundation. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Kakutani, Michiko (April 29, 2012). “A Nation’s Best and Worst, Forged in a Crucible”. New York Times.
  5. Jump up^ John Williams (March 1, 2013). “Robert A. Caro, Ben Fountain Among National Book Critics Circle Winners”. New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  6. Jump up^ Staff writer (April 19, 2013). “Announcing the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize winners”. LA Times. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
  7. Jump up^ Jennifer Schuessler (February 20, 2013). “Another Prize for Robert Caro”. New York Times. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  8. Jump up^ “Biographers International Organization, The Plutarch Award”.
  9. Jump up^ “National Book Award Finalists Announced Today”. Library Journal. October 10, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  10. Jump up^ Associated Press (November 1, 2011). “APNewsBreak: Caro’s fourth LBJ book coming in May”. CNSNews.com. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  11. Jump up^ Erik Spanberg (March 8, 2013). “Catching up with award-winning LBJ biographer Robert Caro”. The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  12. Jump up^ Patrick Beach (April 5, 2014). “Caro, LBJ biographer, is hard at work on book No. 5”. Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  13. Jump up^ Barbara Stone, ed. (1999). “The Round Table: Fiction, Biography And The Use Of Power”. Hampton Shorts. Water Mill, N.Y.: Hamptons Literary Publications. IV. ISBN 0-9658652-2-3.
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Reviews”. http://www.robertcaro.com. Robert A. Caro. Retrieved 6 November 2015.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Years_of_Lyndon_Johnson#Book_Four:_The_Passage_of_Power_.282012.29

Robert Caro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert Caro
Robert Caro at the 2012 Texas Book Festival.
Born Robert Allan Caro
October 30, 1935 (age 81)
New York City, New York, United States
Residence Upper West Side
Education
Occupation Biographer
Notable work The Power Broker
The Years of Lyndon Johnson
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Ina Joan Sloshberg Caro (m. 1957)[3]
Children Chase A. Caro
Parent(s) Benjamin and Cele (Mendelow) Caro
Writing career
Genre Non-fiction
Notes
MAYBE LATER

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Robert Allan Caro (born October 30, 1935) is an American journalist and author known for his celebrated biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson.

After working for many years as a reporter, Caro wrote The Power Broker (1974), a biography of New York urban planner Robert Moses, which was chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest nonfiction books of the twentieth century.[5] He has since written four of a planned five volumes of The Years of Lyndon Johnson (1982, 1990, 2002, 2012), a biography of the former president.

For his biographies, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes in Biography, the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize (awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that “best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist”), two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the H.L. Mencken Award, the Carr P. Collins Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, the D.B. Hardeman Prize, and a Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Life and career[edit]

Caro was born in New York City, the son of Cele (née Mendelow) and Benjamin Caro.[3] He “grew up on Central Park West at 94th Street. His father, a businessman, spoke Yiddish as well as English, but he didn’t speak either very often.