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1099 - 1st Crusaders capture, plunder Jerusalem
1205 - Pope Innocent III states Jews are doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation due to crucifixion of Jesus
1207 - John of England expels Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.
1240 - A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeats the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.
1307 - Duke Henrik van Karinthi chosen king of Bohemia
1381 - John Ball, a leader in the Peasants' Revolt, is hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England.
1410 - Battle of Tannenburg-Teutonic Knights vs King Ladislas II of Poland
1500 - Duke Albrecht of Saxon beats Friese rebellion
1500 - "Blood Wedding" of Astorre Baglione & Lavinia Colonna in Perugia family Baglione massacre
1501 - Explorer Pedro Cabral back in Lisbon
1524 - Emperor Karel I bans German national synode
1538 - Peace talks between Karel & King Francois I
1662 - King Charles II charters Royal Society in London
1741 - Alexei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
1755 - French ambassador recalled from London
1779 - US troops under Gen A Wayne conquer Ft Stony Point, NY
1783 - 1st steamboat, Pyroscaphe, 1st run in France
1787 - Parliament of Paris banished to Troyes
1789 - Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette, is named by acclamation colonel-general of the new National Guard of Paris.
1795 - "Marseillaise" becomes French national anthem
1799 - The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign. The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
1806 - Zebulon Pike began his journey to explore the Southwest
1808 - French marshal Joachim Murat becomes king of Naples
1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders at Rochefort & is later exiled on St Helena
1815 - 1st flat horse race held on Nottingham Hill at Cheltenham, England (day and month TBC)
1823 - A fire destroys the ancient Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
1830 - 3 Indian tribes, Sioux, Sauk & Fox, signs a treaty giving the US most of Minnesota, Iowa & Missouri
1840 - England, Russia, Austria & Prussia signs Quadruple Alliance
1850 - John Wisden bowls all 10 South batsmen, North v South at Lord's
1856 - Natal forms as a British colony separate from Cape Colony
1862 - CSS Arkansas vs USS Cardondelet & Queen of the West engage at Yazoo R
1863 - Pres Davis orders service duty for confederate army
1864 - Troop train loaded with Confederate prisoners collided with a coal train killing 65 & injuring 109 of 955 aboard
1867 - SF Merchant's Exchange opens
1869 - Margarine is patented by Hippolye Méga-Mouriès for use by French Navy
1870 - Georgia becomes last confederate to be readmitted to US
1870 - Manitoba becomes 5th Canadian province & NW Territories created
1870 - Hudson's Bay & Northwest Territories transferred to Canada
1876 - Baseball's 1st no-hitter, St Louis' George W Bradley no-hits Hartford
1888 - Bandai volcano (Japan) erupts for 1st time in 1,000 years
1893 - Commodore Perry arrives in Japan
1900 - President Steyn/General De Law escape Brandwater Basin
1901 - NY Giant Christy Mathewson no-hits St Louis, 5-0
1902 - Ranjitsinhji scores 180 before lunch, for Sussex v Surrey
1904 - 1st Buddhist temple in US forms, Los Angeles
1906 - Republic museum opens Rembrandt hall in Amsterdam
1909 - Ty Cobb hits 2 inside-the-park HRs
1911 - 46" of rain (begining 7/14) falls in Baguio, Philippines
1912 - British National Health Insurance Act goes into effect
1914 - Mexican president Huerta flees with 2 million pesos to Europe
1916 - 22.22" (56.4 cm) of rain falls in Altapass NC (state record)
1916 - Boeing Co (Pacific Aero) formed by William Boeing in Seattle Wash
1918 - 2nd Battle of Marne began during WW I
1920 - Ruth ties his record of 29 HRs in a season
1922 - 1st duck-billed platypus publicly exhibited in US, at NY zoo
1922 - 26th US Golf Open: Gene Sarazen shoots a 288 at Skokie CC in Ill
1923 - 27th US Golf Open: Bobby Jones shoots a 296 at Inwood CC in NY
1923 - Italian parliament accepts new constitution
1926 - VPRO (Free thinking Protestant Radio Broadcast) forms
1927 - 62nd British Golf Open: Bobby Jones shoots a 285 at St Andrews
1927 - Massacre of July 15, 1927: 89 protesters are killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.
1929 - 1st airport hotel opens-Oakland Ca
1932 - President Hoover cuts own salary 15%
1933 - Wiley Post began 1st solo flight around world
1934 - Continental Airlines commences operations.
1936 - Dutch 2nd Chamber agree to temporarily increase defense budget
1937 - Buchenwald Concentration Camp opens
1937 - Japanese attack Marco Polo Bridge, invade China
1938 - Arthur Fagg completes 244 & 202 in the same cricket game for Kent
1939 - Clara Adams (NYC) is 1st woman to complete round world flight
1940 - 1st betatron placed in operation, Urbana, Il
1940 - Nazi occupiers seize library of IISG Amsterdam
1941 - Florey & Heatley present freeze dried mold cultures (Penicillin)
1942 - 1st deportation camp at Westerbork, Jews sent to Auschwitz
1942 - Dutch Jews invoked for "Labor camps"
1944 - Greenwich Observatory damaged by WW II flying bomb
1945 - 27th PGA Championship: Byron Nelson at Morraine CC Dayton Ohio
1946 - British North Borneo Co transfers rights to British crown
1948 - Alcoholic Anonymous founded in Britain
1948 - Pres Truman nominated for another term (Phila)
1949 - "Miss Liberty" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 308 performances
1949 - Czech tennis stars Jaroslav Drobny & Vladimir Cernik, defect to US
1949 - WBTV TV channel 3 in Charlotte, NC (CBS) begins broadcasting
1952 - 1st transatlantic helicopter flight begins
1952 - Gerald D Lascelles (under English princess Mary) weds Angela Dowding
1954 - 110°F (43°C) at Balcony Falls, Virginia (state record)
1954 - 1st coml jet transport plane built in US tested (Boeing 707)
1954 - KOCO TV channel 5 in Oklahoma City, OK (ABC) begins broadcasting
1954 - WBOC TV channel 16 in Salisbury, MD (CBS/NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
1955 - WNDU TV channel 16 in South Bend, IN (NBC) begins broadcasting
1955 - Eighteen Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.
1956 - Beverly Hanson/Kathy Cornelius wins LPGA Hot Springs Golf Invitational
1956 - Iharos runs world record 10k (28:42.8)
1957 - Dutch Super Constellation crashes near New Guinea, 56 die
1957 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
1958 - Pres Eisenhower sends US troops to Lebanon; they stay 3 months
1958 - US marines deployed in Lebanon
1959 - The steel strike of 1959 begins, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.
1960 - Balt Orioles' Brooks Robinson goes 5 for 5 including the cycle
1961 - "Donnybrook!" closes at 46th St Theater NYC after 68 performances
1961 - 90th British Golf Open: Arnold Palmer shoots a 284 at Royal Birkdale
1961 - Spain accept equal rights for men & women
1962 - Algeria becomes member of Arab League
1962 - Mickey Wright wins LPGA Milwaukee Golf Open
1962 - Neth & Indonesia accord over New-Guinea
1963 - KAIT TV channel 8 in Jonesboro, AR (ABC) begins broadcasting
1963 - Paul McCartney is fined £17 for speeding
1964 - Barry M Goldwater (Sen-R-Az) nominated for president by Republicans
1965 - "Mariner IV" sends back 1st pictures of Mars
1965 - Athanassiades Novas succeeds Papandreo as premier of Greece
1967 - "Sweet Charity" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 608 performances
1967 - LA Wolves beat Wash Whips 6-5 in OT to be United Soccer Ass champs
1967 - Roberto DeVicenzo of Argentina wins golf's British Open
1967 - USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1968 - "One Life to Live" premieres on TV
1968 - Commercial air travel begins between US & USSR
1968 - France performs nuclear Test at Muruora Island
1968 - NJ Americans moved to Comack & become NY Nets (ABA)
1968 - Soap opera "One Life To Live" premieres
1969 - Cincinnati Red Lee May hits 4 HRs in a doubleheader
1969 - Rod Carew ties record with his 7th steal of home in a season
1970 - Denmark beats Italy 2-0 in 1st world female soccer championship
1971 - Pres Nixon announces he would visit People's Rep of China
1972 - 101st British Golf Open: Lee Trevino shoots 278 at Muirfield Gullane
1972 - Sandra Palmer/Jane Blalock wins Angelo's Four-Ball Golf Championship
1973 - Calif Angel Nolan Ryan 2nd no-hitter beats Detroit Tigers, 6-0
1973 - Carole Jo Skala wins LPGA George Washington Golf Classic
1973 - Paul Getty III kidnapped
1973 - Ray Davies, announces retirement from Kinks then attempts suicide
1973 - Willie McCovey becomes 15th to hit 400 HRs
1974 - Military coup on Cyprus: archbishop/president Makarios flees
1975 - 46th All Star Baseball Game: NL wins 6-3 at County Stadium, Milwaukee
1975 - All star MVP: Bill Madlock (Pitts Pirates) & John Matlock (NY Mets)
1975 - Apollo 18 launched (will rendezvous with Soyuz)
1975 - Soyuz 19 & Apollo 18 launched; rendezvous 2 days later
1976 - 36-hr kidnap of 26 school children & their bus driver in Calif
1978 - 107th British Golf Open: Jack Nicklaus shoots a 281 at St Andrews
1979 - 34th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Jerilyn Britz
1979 - Morarji Desai resigns as premier of India
1980 - Johnny Bench hits his 314th HR as a catcher breaks Yogi Berra's record
1982 - Body of Wendy Caulfield, 1st Green River victim, found near Seattle
1982 - Columbia flies to Kennedy Space Center via Dyess AFB, Texas
1982 - Senate confirms George Shultz as 60th sec of state by vote of 97-0
1983 - 8 killed, 54 wounded, by Armenian extremists bomb at Orly, France
1983 - Linda Ronstadt debuts as Mabel in "Pirates of Penzance"
1984 - 39th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Hollis Stacy
1984 - John Lennon releases "I'm Stepping Out"
1985 - Deborah Carthy-Deu, of Puerto Rico, crowned 34th Miss Universe
1986 - 57th All Star Baseball Game: AL wins 3-2 at Astrodome, Houston
1986 - All star MVP: Roger Clemens (Boston Red Sox)
1987 - Boy George barred from British TV show, he may be a bad influence
1987 - John Poindexter testifies at Iran-Contra hearings
1987 - State of siege ends in Taiwan
1990 - 45th US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Betsy King
1991 - France performs nuclear Test at Muruora Island
1991 - US troops leave northern Iraq
1991 - Sandhi Ortiz-DelValle is 1st woman to officiate a men's pro basketball (USBL) game, game between New Haven Skyhawks & Phila Spirit
1992 - Pope John Paul II hospitalized for 3 weeks to have tumor removed
1994 - Gyula Horn sworn in as premier of Hungary
1994 - Israel & Jordan agree to talks in Wash DC on July 25th
1994 - NJ Nets Derrek Coleman accused of rape in Detroit
1994 - Sonia O'Sullivan runs 3K (8:21.64)
1995 - Birmingham Barracudas 1st CFL home game (vs Hamilton)
1995 - Jews take Jerusalem
1995 - Northern Virginia begins using new area code 540
1996 - After 2,216 consecutive games at shortstop, Cal Ripkin goes to 3rd
1996 - MSNBC begins Microsoft internet-NBC TV
1996 - Prince Charles & Princess Di sign divorce papers
1996 - Southern Mexico hit with 6.5 earthquake
1996 - A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashes on landing at Eindhoven Airport.
1999 - The inaugural game at the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field was held in Seattle, Washington.
2002 - "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.
2002 - Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan hands down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
2003 - AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape Communications Corporation. The Mozilla Foundation is established on the same day.
2009 - A 7.9 Magnitude earthquake registers 160km west of Invercargill, New Zealand, creating a small tsunami.
My highest compliments to all concerned for excellent site."Sir, You have taken a right step to get those Swings removed from site of Harrapa" , Visitors thanked great scholar Dani when I visited his house in 2005. I had taken years to get it done by publishing many articles requesting peoples to create more facilities at cultural heritage sites. My kids and wife would had been cursing me for taking them to Harrapa quite often , My family was not craking Indus Scripts in 1989 because I had more than one computer as Manager Army Computer Club Okara but they had to crack Indus Scripts in 1995 becaue we had just one 486 computer for 3 kids and myself. What attraction kids and families had in ruins visiting 7th time.
“ What you think about round stone with stone round rod in the center and other on the top with hole in the center like grinding stone on top” , my expert visitor Egyptian asked on my 7th visit to Museum of Sasi & Punu two lovers near Twin port Karachi. Being from stone age cultural area , still using hand grinding in 1980 , acting as guide to my guest during last 6 tours , I thought it some sort of grinding though grinding stone are opposite to this , top has a wooen handle to move the stone , hole in the center has wooden piece a slot to where fulcrum from lower stone stone rest. Lower stone has a hole and tappered wooden piece is used for adjust ment of fuckrum. “ But how you would move this set for grinding , this is from tepmle used by issueless women “ , my expert visitor guided me on 7th visit.
My compliments to Thailand tourism , Ms Nani and the driver , she guided me in such an excellent fashon in 1995 that I still remember her. “ No guidence in the way , I would sit with driver , you have to be VIP not speaking a word “ , Nani gave the briefing on a cup of coffe before we started for visit of Royal Palace. She was such an excellent guide that she even gave out out cost of golden budda’s constume , golden bricks on the outer wall of golden temple. They had even kept book on Bhuddaism in my room. Bhudaism started from Taxila Pakistan but we have to make living model of previous prehistoric cultures of snake worshipers and other
1st success decryption of Indus Scripts confirmed through works of Dani, B B Lal , Mehdewan, Fair Server , Mark, Russian Professoers and many others in the century was approved by Dani in 2005. South Asia as most peaceful global trader and protector of global trading routes was known as ‘golden sparrow’.Everyone got job at his home and economy was stable. “ We must share our research work because there is no government support” Dani said . We have many secrets from Indus Script decryption that can make South Asia as most peaceful region for global trading. Global Peace Mega Project at. twitter.com/#!/nazeeraahmadch. We salute Anhazari for greatmove against anti corruption
Harappan civilization reached improbable heights and evolved amazing scripts .
Ancient inscriptions and pictorials starting from Mehrgarh Gedrosia 7000 BC till fall of civilization have always been an enigma. The glories of the ruined cities and their amazing un-deciphered script had many researchers imagining a gentle society of priests and scribes. Our decrypted secrets explain a culture that reached the heights of artistic achievement during 1900-1300 BC termed as Harappan civilization. New clues, unearthed from research on ruins and from our decrypted secrets point to new civilization of global trading termed as Matured Harappan
The settlement of Kot Diji culture mostly remained l hidden under the ruins of Mohenjodaro , Harappa and other big cities now known as Harappan Civilization 2600-1900 BC . Ethno-archaeological model is assuming much as it was when the first 50 hunting groups arrived in perhaps 8000 – 7000 BC connected with the arrival of Adam on earth. A dense forest , marshes and barren land where wild animals ruled was shared by manlike creatures . scarlet macaws, toucans, and vultures nest in towering tropical hardwoods. Scorpions , mountain , goats , fish , water buffalos lived together . These creatures and monkeys swing from branches and vines and howler monkeys bellow in the distance. It had been a land of jungle , marshes , mud, serpents and sweat, and tigers and horned tigers the lord of the jungle . The earliest arrivals of these creatures has been excavated in Samma Soan Valley of stone age where we find caves is probably had no choice—overcrowding elsewhere may have forced them into this forbidding environment. But once there, they mastered its challenges. Settling near rivers, lakes, and swamps, they learned to maximize the thin soil's productivity. They cleared the forest for maize, squash, and other crops by slashing and burning, much as today's Maya do, then re-enriched the land by alternating crops and letting fields lie fallow.
As populations grew, they adopted more intensive methods of cultivation—composting, terracing, irrigation. They filled in swamps to create fields and carried silt and muck from bottomlands to fertilize enclosed gardens. Artificial ponds yielded fish, and corrals held deer and other game flushed from the forest. The ancient Maya ultimately coaxed enough sustenance from the meager land for several million people, many times more than now live in the region.
Over the centuries, as the Maya learned to prosper in the rain forest, the settlements grew into city-states, and the culture became ever more refined. The Maya built elegant multiroom palaces with vaulted ceilings; their temples rose hundreds of feet toward the heavens. Ceramics, murals, and sculpture displayed their distinctive artistic style, intricate and colorful. Though they used neither the wheel nor metal tools, they developed a complete hieroglyphic writing system and grasped the concept of zero, adopting it for everyday calculations. They also had a 365-day year and were sophisticated enough to make leap-year-like corrections. They regularly observed the stars, predicted solar eclipses, and angled their ceremonial buildings so that they faced sunrise or sunset at particular times of year.
Mediating between the heavens and earth were the Maya kings—the kuhul ajaw, or holy lords, who derived their power from the gods. They functioned both as shamans, interpreting religion and ideology, and rulers who led their subjects in peace and war. Demarest and others have described the Maya centers as "theater states" in which the kuhul ajaw conducted elaborate public rituals to give metaphysical meaning to movements of the heavens, changes of the calendar, and the royal succession.
Behind the cloak of ritual, the Maya cities acted like states everywhere, making alliances, fighting wars, and trading for goods over territory that ultimately stretched from what is today southern Mexico through the Petén to the Caribbean coast of Honduras. Well-worn trails and stucco-paved causeways crisscrossed the forest, and canoes plied the rivers. But until Fire Is Born arrived, the Maya remained politically fragmented, the city-states charting their own courses in the jungle.
By 378 Waka was a prestigious center, boasting four main plazas, hundreds of buildings, temple mounds up to 300 feet (90 meters) tall, ceremonial palaces clad in painted stucco, and courtyards graced with carved limestone altars and monuments. A trading power, it occupied a strategic location on the San Pedro River, which flowed westward from the heart of the Petén. Its market was filled with Maya foodstuffs such as maize, beans, chilies, and avocados, along with chicle harvested from sapodilla trees to make glue, and latex from rubber trees to make balls for ceremonial games. Exotic goods found their way to Waka as well. Jade for sculpture and jewelry and quetzal feathers for costumes came from the mountains to the south, and obsidian for weapons and pyrite for mirrors from the Mexican plateau to the west, the domain of Teotihuacan.
A sprawling metropolis of 100,000 people or more—perhaps the largest city in the world at the time—Teotihuacan left no records that epigraphers have been able to decipher. But its motives in dispatching Fire Is Born to the Maya region seem clear. Waka sat on a promontory overlooking a tributary of the San Pedro with a protected harbor, excellent for berthing large canoes. "It was a perfect staging area" for military action, notes Southern Methodist University archaeologist David Freidel, co-director of excavations at Waka. Which may be precisely what Fire Is Born had in mind.
Waka appears to have been key to the envoy's mission: to bring the entire central Petén into Teotihuacan's orbit, through persuasion if possible, force if necessary. His principal target was Tikal, a kingdom 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Waka. Tikal was the most influential city-state in the central Petén. Bring Tikal into the fold, and the other cities would follow.
Fire Is Born's soldiers were probably shock troops, designed principally to display his bona fides and demonstrate good faith. He needed reinforcements, and he had come to Waka to get them. In return, he could offer the goodwill of his patron, a mysterious ruler known from inscriptions as Spear-thrower Owl, probably a highland king, perhaps even the lord of Teotihuacan.
Waka's ruler, Sun-faced Jaguar, apparently welcomed Fire Is Born. Based on hints in texts from Waka and other sources, Freidel, project co-director Héctor Escobedo, and epigrapher Stanley Guenter suggest that the two rulers cemented their alliance by building a fire shrine to house the sacred flame of Teotihuacan.
Along with moral support, Fire Is Born probably secured troops. His expeditionary force likely carried the spear-throwers and javelins typical of Teotihuacan and wore backshields covered with glittery pyrite, perhaps meant to dazzle the enemy when the soldiers spun around to hurl their weapons. Now warriors from the Petén, equipped with stone axes and short stabbing spears, swelled their ranks. As armor, many wore cotton vests stuffed with rock salt. Eleven hundred years later, the Spanish conquistadores shed their own metal armor in the sweltering rain forest in favor of these Maya "flak jackets."
The military expedition most likely set out for Tikal in war canoes, heading east, up the San Pedro River. Reaching the headwaters, the soldiers disembarked and marched either along the river or on the canyon rim overlooking it.
Garrisons probably dotted the route. News of the advancing column must have reached Tikal, and somewhere along the stretch of riverbank and roadway, perhaps at a break in the cliffs about 16 miles (26 kilometers) from the city, Tikal's army tried to stop Fire Is Born's advance. Inscribed slabs, called stelae, later erected at Tikal suggest that the defenders were routed. Fire Is Born's forces continued their march on the city. By January 16, 378—barely a week after his arrival in Waka—the conqueror was in Tikal.
The date is noted on Tikal's now famous Stela 31, which yielded early clues to Fire Is Born's importance when David Stuart of the University of Texas at Austin deciphered it in 2000. The second passage on the stela records what happened after the city fell: Tikal's king, Great Jaguar Paw, died that very day, probably at the hands of the vanquishers.
Fire Is Born appears to have dropped whatever pretense he had assumed as a goodwill ambassador. His forces destroyed most of Tikal's existing monuments—stelae put in place by 14 earlier rulers of Tikal. A new era had begun, and later monuments celebrated the victors. Stela 31, erected long after the conquest, describes Fire Is Born as Ochkin Kaloomte, or Lord of the West, probably referring to his origins in Teotihuacan. Some Maya experts have also suggested another meaning: that Fire Is Born represented a faction that had fled to the west—to Teotihuacan—after a coup d'état by Great Jaguar Paw's father years earlier and had now returned to power.
It apparently took Fire Is Born some time to pacify Tikal and its environs. But a year after his arrival, Tikal's monuments record that he presided over the ascension of a new, foreign king. Inscriptions identify him as the son of Spear-thrower Owl, Fire Is Born's patron in Teotihuacan. According to Stela 31, the new king was less than 20 years old, so Fire Is Born probably became Tikal's regent. He was certainly the city's de facto overlord.
In the years that followed the conquest, Tikal itself went on the offensive, expanding its reach across the Maya region. Fire Is Born appears to have masterminded the campaign, or at least inspired it. References to him have been identified in cities as distant as Palenque, more than 150 miles (240 kilometers) to the northwest. But the most poignant testimony to his empire-building comes from Uaxactún, just 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Tikal. There a mural shows a Maya nobleman giving homage to a warrior in Teotihuacan regalia—perhaps one of Fire Is Born's troops. A stela depicting a similar warrior guards a tomb where archaeologists found the remains of two women, one pregnant, a child, and an infant. Freidel and others have concluded that these were the remains of Uaxactún's royal family, slain by Tikal's forces. The king, presumably, was taken to Tikal and sacrificed there.
Decades after the arrival of Fire Is Born and long after he must have died, the aggressive rulers of Tikal continued to invoke Fire Is Born and his patron state, Teotihuacan. In 426, Tikal took over Copán, 170 miles (274 kilometers) to the south in present-day Honduras, and crowned its own king, Kinich Yax Kuk Mo, who became the founder of a new dynasty. A posthumous portrait shows him wearing a costume typical of central Mexico—a reference to Teotihuacan—and like Fire Is Born, he bore the title Lord of the West.
Some Mayanists believe that Tikal was acting as a vassal state for Teotihuacan, expanding its dominion throughout the Maya lowlands, with Fire Is Born acting as a kind of military governor. Others see him less as a conqueror and more as a catalyst who spurred Tikal to expand its own power and influence.
His fate is a mystery. There is no known record of his death, and no evidence that he ever ruled a Maya kingdom. But his prestige lived on. The Waka stela recording his arrival there wasn't erected until a generation later, indicating that even a long-ago visit from the great Fire Is Born was a matter of civic pride.
For more than a millennium, the Maya had entrusted their religious and temporal well-being to their god-kings. These leaders displayed their might and majesty in lavish rituals and pageants, in opulent art and architecture, and in written records of their triumphs, inscribed on stone, murals, and ceramics.
The system prospered—indeed, its excesses created the artistic achievements and learning that defined the Maya as one of the ancient world's great cultures—as long as the land could satisfy people's basic needs. This was easy at first when cities were small and resources relatively plentiful, but over time, growing populations, an expanding nobility, and rivalry between the city-states strained the limits of the environment.
Today the Petén, geographically the largest province in Guatemala, has a population of 367,000, living in isolated towns scattered through a forested wilderness. In the eighth century, by some estimates, ten million people lived in the Maya lowlands. The landscape was an almost unbroken fabric of intensely cultivated farms, gardens, and villages, linked by a web of trails and paved causeways connecting monumental city-states.
Maya farmers were well schooled in sophisticated techniques designed to get maximum production from delicate tropical soils. But beginning in the ninth century, studies of lake-bed sediments show, a series of prolonged droughts struck the Maya world, hitting especially hard in cities like Tikal, which depended on rain both for drinking water and to reinvigorate the swampland bajos where farmers grew their crops. River ports like Cancuén might have escaped water shortages, but across much of the Maya region the lake-bed sediments also show ancient layers of eroded soil, testimony to deforestation and overuse of the land.
When bad times came, there was little the kuhul ajaw could do to help their people. Monoculture farming—growing one staple food crop that could be accumulated and stored for hard times or for trade—could not be sustained in the rain forest. Instead, each city-state produced small quantities of many different food items, such as maize, beans, squash, and cacao. There was enough, at least at first, to feed the kingdom, but little left over.
Meanwhile, Maya society was growing dangerously top heavy. Over time, elite polygamy and intermarriage among royal families swelled the ruling class. The lords demanded jade, shells, feathers from the exotic quetzal bird, fancy ceramics, and other expensive ceremonial accoutrements to affirm their status in the Maya cosmos. A king who could not meet the requirements of his relatives risked alienating them.
The traditional rivalry among states only made matters worse. The kuhul ajaw strove to outdo their neighbors, building bigger temples and more elegant palaces and staging more elaborate public pageants. All of this required more labor, which required larger populations and, perhaps, more wars to exact tribute in forced labor from fallen enemies. Overtaxed, the Maya political system began to falter.
This period marked the golden age of Classic Maya civilization. The kuhul ajaw were in full flower in these two great alliances, competing in art and monuments as well as in frequent but limited wars. Calakmul defeated Tikal in a major battle in 562 but destroyed neither the city nor its population. Eventually Tikal rebounded and defeated Calakmul, subsequently building many of its most spectacular monuments.
Simon Martin, with Nikolai Grube of the University of Bonn, compares the Tikal-Calakmul rivalry to the superpower struggle of the 20th century, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union competed to outdo each other in fields ranging from weaponry to space travel. With neither side ever able to gain the upper hand, the Cold War arguably brought stability, and so did the standoff in the Maya world. "There was a certain degree of destruction" because of the rivalry, says Guatemalan archaeologist Héctor Escobedo. "But there was also equilibrium."
It did not last. Martin suggests the balance may have been intrinsically unstable, like the competition among the city-states of ancient Greece, or the nervous grappling between North and South in the United States prior to the Civil War. Or perhaps an overstressed environment finally caught up with the proud Maya powers, bringing a new edge of desperation to their rivalry. Either way, the unraveling began at the small garrison state of Dos Pilas, near the Pasión River downstream of Cancuén.
In 630 Tikal, trying to reassert a presence along Pasión River trade routes increasingly dominated by Calakmul, expanded an existing outpost near two large springs—pilas, in Spanish. The site had little else to recommend it. Dos Pilas grew no crops and sold nothing. Scholars call it a "predator state" that depended on tribute from the surrounding countryside. War, for Dos Pilas, was not only a ritual to glorify kings and appease gods. War was what Dos Pilas did to survive.
The kingdom's history of violence and duplicity began when Tikal installed one of its princes, Balaj Chan Kawiil, as Dos Pilas's ruler in 635. The garrison slapped together a fancy-looking capital for the young prince, using carved facades to mask loose and unstable construction fill. But in 658 Calakmul overran Dos Pilas and drove Balaj Chan Kawiil into exile.
We know the next chapter thanks to a thunderstorm that toppled a tree at Dos Pilas six years ago, exposing a carved stairway hidden beneath its roots. Inscriptions on the stairway reveal that Balaj Chan Kawiil returned two years after his exile—but as a Calakmul surrogate. Dos Pilas's turncoat king helped Calakmul cement its control over the Pasión Valley during the next two decades. Then Calakmul delivered fateful news. Its rulers ordered Balaj Chan Kawiil to fight his brother in Tikal itself.
For a time, fleeing nobles could find refuge in Cancuén, a quiet port at the headwaters of the Pasión River. Even as downriver cities sank into chaos during the eighth century, Cancuén prospered by trading luxury items and providing sumptuous lodgings for elite visitors. The architect of this golden age was King Taj Chan Ahk, who came to power in 757 at the age of 15. Cancuén had a long history as a strategic trading post, but Taj Chan Ahk transformed the city into a stunning ceremonial center. Its heart was a 270,000-square-foot (25,000 square meters), three-story royal palace with vaulted ceilings and 11 courtyards, made of solid limestone and elegantly placed on a riverside promontory. It was a perfect stage for a Maya god-king, and Taj Chan Ahk was master of the role, even as it was dying out elsewhere.
There is no evidence that Taj Chan Ahk ever fought a war or even won a battle. Instead he managed to dominate the upper Pasión Valley for nearly 40 years by coaxing advantage through patronage and alliances. An altar monument at Cancuén dated 790 shows him in action, engaged in a ceremonial ball game with an unknown noble, perhaps to celebrate a treaty or a state visit.
Taj Chan Ahk died in 795 and was succeeded by his son Kan Maax, who sought to trump his father by expanding the palace. But pomp and ritual—the old trappings of kingship—could no longer hold the Maya universe together. Within five years the spreading chaos had reached the gates of the city. In one terrible day its glory winked out, another light extinguished in the world of the Classic Maya.
Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry
Independent Researcher from Pakistan
Author & Researcher: Decryption of Harappan Ciphers 1st successful solution in a century
President TPI Inc., President IT Genetics , Manager Asia Women Global Justice Group , Chairman Welfare Committee,
TPI has offered over 0.5 million free predicted solutions at all levels. Integrated solution based on Borderland Sciences, cryptanalysis, forecasting techniques Delphi, Scenarios and multi scenarios, war gaming and other spiritual techniques. We attach no claim with free predicted solutions. Error correction techniques and analysis may be carried out by users.
An analysis might be carried out if I can be of any use for establishing global peace by ending terrorism. I have been subjected to over 30 killing attacks, killing of over 10 members of my family and losses in millions. I have given details at petitions at Care-2, Peace pink, yahoo and other comments. Mega project research work aimed at establishing peace and security at global level by ending terrorism. I desire global board of directors sponsored by UNO to come forward for benefits of all.
I offer 1st decryption of Harappan Scripts in a century; the decrypted secrets not yet published have solution to many problems. The strategic location of Pakistan offer global trading of $ 7.5 billion per year to global community, oil and gas trading of over $ 15 trillions. I have been trained by over 250 foreign telecomm firms; I had lot of interaction with my friends from many countries as class fellows, R&D Engineer at Research Establishment, visit to Thailand, Ministry of Interior Saudi Arabia Border Guards, as operational engineer, as Zonal Manager of NGO and service in the army. I have given lot of material at Internet. My friends , colleagues , group members and others can carry out an analysis of mega project including integrated energy , renewable energy , befouls , safety and security of global trading, safe train link, herbal foods , new employments , new concepts in housing , overhauling of education systems , innovations and integration of new global technologies and many others.. We must establish an accountability system to stop official terrorists and corrupt gangs failing all the global projects.
Mega Project: Problems in offering Global Solutions
The establishment of global peace and stability by ending terrorism has been delayed due to 30 killing attacks on me, killing of 10 members of my family, loss in millions, terrorists attack on 3 sick and crippled women of 3 families, 11 of witnesses and me. Petitions have been registered. May I request global peace lovers to sign the petitions; they may not display their names.
Research Interests Nazeer ’s fundamental research is on discovering and understanding the problems and offering free solutions by forecasting/prediction through economic, social, organizational and technical interactions and techniques evolved through TPI Inc. Over 0.5 million free solutions have been offered at all level but aim of ending terrorism, corruption and prevention of fraud at any level has yet to achieve. Research Projects • Research in any field that can give protection to mankind from fraud, terrorism and human right protection. • Ethno-archaeological Model on Harappan Ciphers: Decryption of Harappan Cipher is over 30 years research project, the 1st successful cryptanalysis in the century • Axiomatic Education Strategy for 21st Century • Prevention of Fraud: Nazeer and his wife Hamida are heir to the lands & property of about 7 families hence an effort underground had been going on for killing of every member of this family. It is very interesting research work scanning the centuries how people slaughter others to become landlords by using fraud and terrorism. • Security and public policy was forced on Nazeer to accept almost all responsibilities in Home County being heir to 7 people. He suffered over 30 killing attacks, killing of 10 members of his family by the snakes brought up by them; the relatives of his step mother.
o1.2 Research Work
B.Sc. Telecomm Engineering, B Sc Honors, Technical Graduate NUST-EME, LLB, PEC, MIE Pak, IEEEP, IEEE, IEEE Computer Society, IEEE- ISST
MBA , M. Phil. Electronics Engineering , MA , Cryptology NUST-MCS , Arabic AIOU , Ph D Total Technology approved researcher Bradford
•B.Sc. (Telecomm. Engineering), Member:PEC,IEEE &Computer Society IEEE USA MIE (Pak.)
•M.B.A. Preston Univ. 1995 , M.A.( Political Science), B.Sc. (Honors War Studies), L.L.B. , Arabic Diploma AIOU Islamabad
•Doctor of Philosophy in Total Technology at University of Bradford UK approved researcher in since 1995. M Phil at MUET was accepted for credit in Ph.D. Second part M.B.A completed from Preston University USA, Courses /research/ 15 years experience/foreign firm training from 250 firms as R&D engineer in cryptographic security completed. Member PEC , TSO graduate from NUST Campus ,Advance Cryptology Course , Refresher Cryptology Course from NUST
•M. Phil. (Electronics Engineering,) Cryptology (NUST), Technical Staff Course (NUST,, Ph.D. (Electrical/Electronics Engineering) approved researcher at Uni. of Bradford U.K. Masters of Science and M Phil at MUET Jamshoro Pakistan was got transferred for PhD
•M.B.A. from Preston University USA from Islamabad Campus getting 98 % in MIS, Organizational Communication and International Marketing subjects. (98 % marks in Information Theory in Advance Cryptology NUST Campus. M.A. (Political Science) from Sindh Uni.
•1996-1997 Telecommunication Engineers at Ministry of Interior Saudi Arabia Border Guards
•1978- 1994 Telecommunication Engineer in Sindh and Baluchistan Provinces , Technical Staff Course , Research & Development Engineer at Signals Research Establishment . Telecommunication Engineer and Communication officer in Army 1972-1994
•Teaching: Teaching Assistant and teaching staff for science and technology subjects at Higher Secondary School, Signal Training Center, Computer Clubs, Divisional Battle School NUST Campus MCS, National Institute of Computer Sciences
•Administration: Zonal Manager Hamdard Laboratories Rawalpindi Zone (1998-1999). 24 years experience in Pakistan Army
•Training: Training by foreign Telecom firms from USA, UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Norway, Sweden and many other countries as R&D Engineer.
Computers: Student Member IEEE USA (1994-95), Manager Army Computer Clubs at Okara and Hyderabad, Teaching Staff National Institute of Computer Sciences Rawalpindi (1995)
•Engineering: Student Member IEEE USA (1994-1997), Telecommunication Member Pakistan Engineering Council, Member Institute of Electrical Engineers Pakistan
 Research Work
Decryption of Indus Valley Scripts has been my research work since last 30 years .This is 1st successful decryption in a century. Dani had confirmed the decryption in 2005 though 1st script was decrypted in 1995 when Secure MIS high security high compression book draft was approved by Artech House USA and Dorrance Publishers USA approved the draft for publication both books not yet published. Rolex Award also approved the research for an award.
B.B. Lal , Russian Professors , and US Scholars Farmer , Sprout , Fair Service, Mark , Durani , F.A. Khan, Mughal and many conclusions of the decryption supported by many other scholars through their written work.
•In 2004, Steve Farmer published, The Collapse of the Indus-Script Thesis: The Myth of a Literate Harappan Civilization, arguing that the Indus valley figures are merely a non-structured symbol system and do not represent a full language.
•In ancient cryptography used by Egyptians or code & ciphers used by lovers, diarists and underworld people, you don't require full language. As a kid, he had just a chance by compulsion to evolve coded language and a writing system to be read by kid girls who could just read Arabic without understanding it.
•All most all the population counted as the people of Indus Valley counted. He was 1st student to qualify Matric (O level) in 1968 and taught new science syllabus to his class as volunteer teacher because his science teacher declined to teach the syllabus unless he had undergone a course.
•He had over 50 of teacher’s 1st &2nd World War soldiers and there were few who had been living in the jungle. His county of 7 treasures in oldest Stone Age culture got electricity in 1990.They used ancient agricultural tools and animal transport like camels, horses, donkeys, bulls and buffalos were used.
•Large number of Design and modification projects in Telecommunication Engineering and Cryptology
•Research in any field that can give protection to mankind from fraud, terrorism and human right protection.
•Ethno-archaeological Model on Harappan Ciphers : Decryption of Harappan Cipher is over 30 years research project the 1st successful cryptanalysis in the century
•Axiomatic Education Strategy for 21st Century
•Prevention of Fraud: 50 years Research Work
•Security and public policy was forced on Nazeer to accept almost all responsibilities in Home County being heir to 7 people.
•Codes and Ciphers: Evolution of Coded Language based on Harappan Scripts
•Codes and Ciphers: Evolution of Written Script based on Harappan Scripts
•Design & Development of Maintenance Free Exchange for Desert Working
•Design & Development of Secrecy Electronics Communication System
•Cryptology : Design of High Security High Compression System
•Design & Development of Exchange for Nuclear Warfare
•Design & Development of Battery Charging and Lighting System on Wind Energy
•Design & Development of Energy Saying System
•Decryption of Moenjodaro Scripts
•Decryption of Matured Harappan Scripts
•Herbal Medicine : Medicated Foods and Treatment of Cancer
•Herbal Medicine : New Treatment for Asthma
•Evolution of Recycling Technologies for Low Cost Housing
•Evolution of Integrated Technologies for Energy Crisis
1.Decryption of Moenjodaro Scripts approved in 1995 based on the Thesis: Integration of TCP/IP Protocol Suites with Cryptographic Security approved Ph. D. Electrical & Electronics Engg.) In Total Technology thesis at University of Bradford U.K. Not yet published.
2.Nazeer Ahmad , Secure MIS book draft sent to Artic House Norwood
3.Nazeer Ahmad, Secure MIS in Business Communication, Research Paper in MIS.
4.Nazeer Ahmad ,Protection of Radio Tele-printing Circuits, The Qasid Magazine ,Military College of Signals , NUST Campus Rawalpindi, 1987,pp 25-29
5.Nazeer A. Chaudhry ,Protection of Speech and Data Communication Circuits , The Qasid Magazine ,Military College of Signals , NUST Campus Rawalpindi, 1988,pp 52-56
6.Nazeer Ahmad ,Neo-Communication Security Environments, The Qasid Magazine ,Military College of Signals , NUST Campus Rawalpindi, 1990,pp 25-29
7.Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry ,Communication Systems , MS Thesis MUET Jamshoro 1990-1992,
8.N. A. Chaudhry , Protection of Electronics & Electrical Equipment, The Hilal Magazine , ISPR Publication , volume 22 , 22-29 December 1994
9.N. A. Chaudhry , Tele-computers and Security Beyond Year 2000, The Hilal Magazine , ISPR Publication , January 1995
10.N. A. Chaudhry , Tele-computers and Security Beyond Year 2000, The Qasid Magazine ,Military College of Signals , NUST Campus Rawalpindi, 1994
11.N. A. Chaudhry , Tactical Nuclear Operations : Indian Option for 21st Century, Pakistan Defense Review, Volume 6, 1994, pp 80-92
12.N. A. Chaudhry , Integrated National Defense , Pakistan Army Green Book, 1991, pp343-346
13.N. A. Chaudhry , Safety Equipment for Nuclear Operations , T.S.O. Research Paper , E.M.E. College NUST Campus Rawalpindi, 1985
14.Nazeer Ahmad. Chaudhry , Pre- Evolution History Corps of Signals 1847-1947, SRC Publishers Hyderabad, 1992
15.Nazeer Ahmad. Chaudhry, Design and Development of Secrecy Electronics Communication System, M. Phil. ( Electronics Engg. ) thesis at MUET Jamshoro, 1993-1995
16.Nazeer Ahmad. Chaudhry , Electronics Warfare Doctrine Under Hostile Environments , Pakistan Army Green Book, 1991, pp 287-290
17.Nazeer A. , Cryptographic and Computer Security , The Hilal Magazine ,19 January 1995
18.N. A. Chaudhry ,Evolution of Codes and Ciphers , The Hilal Magazine ,8 February 1995
19.N. A. Chaudhry , Cryptographic Security Systems , The Hilal Magazine , 15 December 1994
20.N. A. Chaudhry , Protection of Electronics & Electrical Equipment, The Hilal Magazine , ISPR Publication , volume 22 , 22-29 December 1994
21.N. A. Chaudhry , Axiomatic Educational Strategy for 21st Century , Research Paper presented at IEEEP Lahore ,1995 and published in local press
22.Nazeer Ahmad , Quality Education , Pakistan Observer Daily, 18 November 1998
23.Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry, Education System & National Development , The Jung Daily, 6 February 1995
24.Nazeer Ahmad, Legal Settlement of Kashmir Problem , Pakistan Army Journal , U.N. and Kashmir Issue , Pakistan Observer Daily, 15 November 1994
25.Nazeer Chaudhry , Islamic Requirements of Justice System, , Daily Markaz, 22 February1998
26.Nazeer Chaudhry , Islamic System of Saudi Arabia , Daily Markaz, 8 September 1998 Islamabad
27.Nazeer Ahmad , Face Reading : Integration of Forecasting and Prediction Technologies for Solution of Problems , Bazem –i- Alm –o-Fun Islamabad 2000
28.Nazeer Ahmad , Solution to National Problems , Daily Markaz, 21 September,1998
29.Nazeer Ahmad , Solution to National Problems , Daily Markaz, 3 April,1999,
30.Nazeer Ahmad , Solution to National Problems , Daily Markaz, April,1999
31.Nazeer Ahmad , Solution to National Problems , Daily Markaz, 11 April,1999, Islamabad
32.Nazeer Ahmad , Solution to Public Problems , The Exclusive Weekly, Islamabad, 26 September 1996
33.Nazeer Chaudhry, Budget and Unemployment , Asas Daily , 20 June 1999
34.Nazeer Ahmad , Time to Shake Hands With India , The Exclusive Weekly, Islamabad, 16 July 1991
35.Nazeer Ahmad , Face Reading : Integration of Forecasting and Prediction Technologies for Solution of Problems , Defense Digest Monthly, October 1992, pp 53-87
36.Nazeer Ahmad , We can’t Progress Without Science Education, Pakistan Observer Daily, 2 November 1994
37.Nazeer Chaudhry, South Asian Economy and Kashmir , Al Akhbar Daily, 16 October 1999
38.Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry, Peace, Security &Development, Daily Markaz, 17 Agust,1998, Islamabad
39.N. A. Chaudhry , Modern Technology Impacts of Defense , Pakistan Army Journal , 1994, pp62-74
40.N.A. Chaudhry , Tourism Development , The Parwaz Monthly Islamabad, June 1999
41.N.A. Chaudhry , Tourism Development in Pakistan , Friday News Weekly, 6 July 1999
42.N.A. Chaudhry , Tourism Development , The Parwaz Monthly Islamabad, September 1999
43.N.A. Chaudhry , Tourism Development , The Parwaz Monthly Islamabad, June 1999
44.Nazeer Ahmad , 21st Century Challenges for Our Engineers, Pakistan Observer , 11 December 1994
45.Nazeer Ahmad , New Trends in Energy Generation, Pakistan Observer Daily, 2 November 1994
46.Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry, Eastern Science of Medicine, Pakistan Observer Daily, 18 March 1995
47.N.A. Chaudhry, Kala Bagh Dam , Niwa –i- Waqat Daily, 14 July 1998
48.Nazeer Chaudhry, Pakistan –US Relations, Markaz Daily 22 July 1998, Islamabad
49.Nazeer Chaudhry, Pakistan –US Relations, Markaz Daily 28 July 1998, 1974.
50.Nazeer Chaudhry, Expected Attack on Atomic Instillations Pakistan , Osaf Daily 5June 1998,
51.Nazeer Chaudhry, Regional Cooperation and Pakistani Forces, Markaz Daily 30 June 1999,
52.Nazeer Chaudhry, Circulation of Money Al Akhbar Daily 17 February 2003, Islamabad
53.Nazeer Chaudhry, Solution of Unemployment Problem , Daily Subha, , 17 April 2004
54.Nazeer Chaudhry, Inflation, Unemployment and Terrorism, Daily Subha, , 9 August 2004,
55.Nazeer Chaudhry, Social and Economic Welfare of Society , Daily Ehsas , 6 April 1999,
56.Nazeer A. Chaudhry, Strategic Dimension of Pakistan, Submitted to Pakistan Defense Review, 2005
57.Nazeer A. Chaudhry, Solution to Kashmir Problem, Submitted to Pakistan Defense Review ,1995
58.Nazeer Chaudhry, How to End Terrorism, Daily Markaz , 8 November 1998 , Islamabad
59.Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry , Neo Scenario for Armed Forces of Pakistan , Pakistan Army Journal ( Urdu) , Winter 2009 , pp 25-42
60.ibid, PAJ, The J curve , Rise and Fall of Nations by Ian Beemer , Book Review , pp107-108
61.Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry , Science & Technology : New Challenges for Defense , Pakistan Army Journal ( Urdu) , Summer 2009 , pp 15-25
62.ibid, PAJ , Curveball: Spies, Lies and the Con Man Who caused a War by Bob Dorgan , Book Review , pp- 85-87
63.Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry , Nuclear Strategy for Future , Pakistan Army Journal ( Urdu) , Winter 2008 , pp 45-55
64.ibid, PAJ, the Failure of American Foreign Policy and Next Great Crisis in Middle East by Ali M. An sari , Book Review , pp104-106
65.Nazeer Ahmad Chaudhry , Defense Strategy for Future , Pakistan Army Journal ( Urdu) , Summer 2008 , pp 42-51
66.ibid, PAJ , Winning the Right War by Phillips H Gordon, Book Review , pp 85-87
Thierry Robin payo michto
Ho fought Satan to a standstill losing four million innocent Vietnamese men women and children to Satan Israel-Pentagon Wall Street's eternal war on every human. -RT
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh
Ho Chi Minh 1946.jpg
Portrait c. 1946
Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam
19 February 1951 – 2 September 1969
Preceded by Position created
Succeeded by Position abolished
First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam
1 November 1956 – 10 September 1960
Preceded by Trường Chinh
Succeeded by Lê Duẩn
1st President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
2 September 1945 – 2 September 1969
Preceded by Position established
Bảo Đại (as Emperor)
Succeeded by Tôn Đức Thắng
1st Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
2 September 1945 – 20 September 1955
Preceded by Position established
Trần Trọng Kim (as Prime Minister of the Empire of Vietnam)
Succeeded by Phạm Văn Đồng
Minister of Foreign Affairs
28 August 1945 – 2 March 1946
Succeeded by Nguyễn Tường Ta
3 November 1946 – March 1947
Preceded by Nguyễn Tường Tam
Succeeded by Hoàng Minh Giám
Member of the Politburo
31 March 1935 – 2 September 1969
Born Nguyễn Sinh Cung
19 May 1890
Kim Liên, Nghệ An Province, French Indochina
Died 2 September 1969 (aged 79)
Hanoi, North Vietnam
Political party French Section of the Workers' International
French Communist Party
Communist Party of Vietnam
Spouse(s) none (disputed)
Relations Bạch Liên (or Nguyễn Thị Thanh) (Sister)
Nguyễn Sinh Khiêm (or Nguyễn Tất Đạt) (brother)
(Nguyễn Sinh Nhuận) (brother)
Parents Nguyễn Sinh Sắc (father)
Hoàng Thị Loan (mother)
Alma mater Communist University of the Toilers of the East
Vietnamese Hồ Chí Minh
Vietnamese birth name
Vietnamese Nguyễn Sinh Cung
Hồ Chí Minh (/ˈhoʊ ˈtʃiː ˈmɪn/; Central Vietnamese pronunciation: [ho̞˧˩ t͡ɕi˧˥ mɪŋ˧] ( listen), Southern Vietnamese pronunciation: [ho̞˧˩ t͡ɕɪj˧ mɪ̈n˧] ( listen); 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969; Chữ nôm: 胡志明), born Nguyễn Sinh Cung, also known as Nguyễn Tất Thành and Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister (1945–55) and president (1945–69) of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam). He was a key figure in the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, as well as the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) and the Việt Cộng (NLF or VC) during the Vietnam War.
He led the Việt Minh independence movement from 1941 onward, establishing the Communist-ruled Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945 and defeating the French Union in 1954 at the battle of Điện Biên Phủ. He officially stepped down from power in 1965 due to health problems, but remained a highly visible figurehead and inspiration for those Vietnamese fighting for his cause—a united, communist Vietnam—until his death. After the war, Saigon, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was renamed Hồ Chí Minh City.
1 Early life
1.1 First sojourn in France
1.2 In the United States
1.3 In the United Kingdom
2 Political education in France
3 In the Soviet Union and China
4 Independence movement
4.1 Birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
5 Becoming president and Vietnam War
6 Personal life
8 Legacy and personality cult
11 Further reading
12 External links
Ho Chi Minh was born Nguyễn Sinh Cung (as appeared in a letter from the director of Collège Quốc học, dated August 7, 1908), in 1890 in the village of Hoàng Trù (the name of the local temple near Làng Sen), his mother's village. From 1895, he grew up in his father Nguyễn Sinh Sắc (Nguyễn Sinh Huy)'s village of Làng Sen, Kim Liên, Nam Đàn, Nghệ An Province. He had three siblings: his sister Bạch Liên (or Nguyễn Thị Thanh), a clerk in the French Army; his brother Nguyễn Sinh Khiêm (or Nguyễn Tất Đạt), a geomancer and traditional herbalist; and another brother (Nguyễn Sinh Nhuận) who died in his infancy. As a young child, Cung studied with his father before more formal classes with a scholar named Vuong Thuc Do. Cung quickly mastered Chinese writing, a prerequisite for any serious study of Confucianism, while honing his colloquial Vietnamese writing.:21 In addition to his studious endeavors, he was fond of adventure, and loved to fly kites and go fishing.:21 Following Confucian tradition, at the age of 10, his father gave him a new name: Nguyễn Tất Thành ("Nguyễn the Accomplished").
Thành's father was a Confucian scholar and teacher, and later an imperial magistrate in the small remote district of Binh Khe (Qui Nhơn). He was demoted for abuse of power after an influential local figure died several days after having received 102 strokes of the cane as punishment for an infraction.:21Thành's father was eligible to serve in the imperial bureaucracy but refused because it meant serving the French. This exposed Thành to rebellion at a young age and seemed to be the norm for the province where Thành came of age. The province was known for its resistance to foreign rule. In deference to his father, Thành received a French education, attended lycée in Huế, the alma mater of his later disciples, Phạm Văn Đồng and Võ Nguyên Giáp and his later enemy, Ngô Đình Diệm.
First sojourn in France
Previously, it was believed that Thành was involved in an anti-slavery (anti-corvée) demonstration of poor peasants in Huế in May 1908, which endangered his student status at Collège Quốc học. However, a document from the Centre des archives d'Outre-mer in France shows that he was admitted to Collège Quốc học on August 8, 1908, which was several months after the anti-corvée demonstration (April 9–13, 1908). The exaggeration of revolutionary credentials was common among Vietnamese communist leaders, as shown in Tôn Đức Thắng's falsified participation in the 1919 Black Sea revolt. Later in life, Hồ would claim the 1908 revolt had been the moment when his revolutionary outlook emerged, but his application to the French Colonial Administrative School in 1911 undermines this version of events. He chose to leave school in order to find a chance to go abroad. Because his father had been dismissed, he no longer had any hope for a governmental scholarship and went southward, taking a position at Dục Thanh school in Phan Thiết for about six months, then traveled to Saigon.
Thành worked as a kitchen helper on a French steamer, the Amirale de Latouche-Tréville, while using the alias "Văn Ba". The steamer departed on 5 June 1911 and arrived in Marseille, France on July 5, 1911. The ship then left for Le Havre and Dunkirk, returning to Marseille in mid-September. There he applied for the French Colonial Administrative School but his application was rejected. Instead, he decided to begin traveling the world by working on ships and visited many countries from 1911 to 1917.
In the United States
In 1912, while working as the cook's helper on a ship, Thành traveled to the United States. From 1912–13, he may have lived in New York City (Harlem) and Boston, where he claimed to have worked as a baker at the Parker House Hotel. The only evidence that Thành was in the United States is a letter to French colonial administrators dated December 15, 1912 and postmarked New York City (but he gave as his address Poste Restante in Le Havre and stated that he was a sailor) :20 and a postcard to Phan Chu Trinh in Paris where he mentioned working at the Parker House Hotel. Inquiries to the Parker House management revealed no records of his ever having worked there.:51 Among a series of menial jobs, he claimed to have worked for a wealthy family in Brooklyn between 1917–18, and for General Motors as a line manager.:46 It is believed that while in the United States, he made contact with Korean nationalists, an experience that developed his political outlook, but Sophie Quinn-Judge admits that this is "in the realm of conjecture".:20
In the United Kingdom
At various points between 1913 and 1919, Thành claimed to have lived in West Ealing, and later in Crouch End, Hornsey. He reportedly worked as either a chef or dish washer [reports vary] at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. It is claimed that he trained as a pastry chef under Auguste Escoffier at the Carlton Hotel in the Haymarket, Westminster, but there is no evidence to support this.:25  However, the wall of New Zealand House, home of the New Zealand High Commission, which now stands on the site of the Carlton Hotel, displays a blue plaque, stating that Hồ Chí Minh worked there in 1913. Thành was also employed as a pastry boy on the Newhaven–Dieppe ferry route in 1913.
Political education in France
Ho Chi Minh, 1921
From 1919–23, while living in France, Thành began to show an interest in politics, being influenced by his friend and Socialist Party of France comrade Marcel Cachin. Thành claimed to have arrived in Paris from London in 1917, but the French police only had documents recording his arrival in June 1919. He joined a group of Vietnamese nationalists in Paris whose leaders were Phan Chu Trinh, Phan Văn Trường, and Nguyễn Thế Truyền. They had been publishing newspaper articles advocating for Vietnamese independence under the pseudonym Nguyễn Ái Quốc ("Nguyễn the Patriot") prior to the arrival of Nguyễn Tất Thành in Paris in 1919. Following World War I, the group petitioned for recognition of the civil rights of the Vietnamese people in French Indochina to the Western powers at the Versailles peace talks, but was ignored. Citing the principle of self-determination outlined prior to the peace accords, they requested the allied powers to end French colonial rule of Vietnam and ensure the formation of an independent government. Prior to the conference, the group sent their letter to allied leaders, including Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. They were unable to obtain consideration at Versailles, but the episode would later help establish Nguyễn Ái Quốc as a symbol of the anti-colonial movement at home in Vietnam. Since Nguyễn Tất Thành was the public face behind the publication of the document (although it was written by Phan Văn Trường), he soon became known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc and first used the name in September during an interview with a Chinese newspaper correspondent. Many authors have speculated that 1919 was a lost "Wilsonian moment" when the future Hồ Chí Minh could have adopted a pro-American and less radical position if only President Wilson had received him. However, the available evidence shows that at the time of the Versailles Conference he was committed to a Socialist program. While the conference was ongoing, Nguyễn Ái Quốc was already delivering speeches on the prospects of Bolshevism in Asia and was attempting to persuade French Socialists to join Vladimir Lenin's Third Communist International.
In December 1920, Quốc officially became a representative to the Congress of Tours of the Socialist Party of France, voted for the Third International and was a founding member of the Parti Communiste Français (FCP). Taking a position in the Colonial Committee of the PCF, he tried to draw his comrades' attention towards people in French colonies including Indochina, but his efforts were often unsuccessful. During this period he began to write journal articles and short stories as well as running his Vietnamese nationalist group. In May 1922, Quốc wrote an article for a French magazine criticizing the use of English words by French sportswriters.:21 The article implored Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré to outlaw such Franglais as le manager, le round and le knock-out. While living in Paris, he reportedly had a relationship with a dressmaker named Marie Brière.
Part of a series on
Marx, Engels and Lenin, the founders of Marxism-Leninism.
v t e
In the Soviet Union and China
In 1923, Quốc left Paris for Moscow carrying a passport with the name Chen Vang, a Chinese merchant,:86 where he was employed by the Comintern, studied at the Communist University of the Toilers of the East,:92 and participated in the Fifth Comintern Congress in June 1924, before arriving in Canton (present-day Guangzhou), China, in November 1924 using the name Ly Thuy.
In 1925–26, Quốc organized "Youth Education Classes" and occasionally gave socialist lectures to Vietnamese revolutionary young people living in Canton at the Whampoa Military Academy. These young people would become the seeds of a new revolutionary, pro-communist movement in Vietnam several years later. According to Duiker, he lived with and married a Chinese woman, Zeng Xueming (Tăng Tuyết Minh), on 18 October 1926. When his comrades objected to the match, he told them: "I will get married despite your disapproval because I need a woman to teach me the language and keep house." She was 21 and he was 36. They married in the same place where Zhou Enlai had married earlier, and then lived in the residence of a Comintern agent, Mikhail Borodin.
Hoàng Văn Chí argued that in June 1925, Hồ betrayed Phan Bội Châu, the famous leader of a rival revolutionary faction and his father's old friend, to French Secret Service agents in Shanghai for 100,000 piastres. A source states that Hồ later claimed he did it because he expected Châu's trial to stir up anti-French sentiment, and because he needed the money to establish a communist organization. In Ho Chi Minh: A Life, William Duiker considered but rejected this hypothesis.:126–128 Other sources claim that Nguyễn Thượng Hiền was responsible for Chau's capture. Chau, sentenced to lifetime house arrest, never denounced Quốc.
Chiang Kai-shek's 1927 anti-communist coup triggered a new era of exile for Quốc. He left Canton again in April 1927 and returned to Moscow, spending some of the summer of 1927 recuperating from tuberculosis in the Crimea, before returning to Paris once more in November. He then returned to Asia by way of Brussels, Berlin, Switzerland, and Italy, where he sailed to Bangkok, Thailand, arriving in July 1928. "Although we have been separated for almost a year, our feelings for each other do not have to be said in order to be felt", he reassured Minh in an intercepted letter. In this period, he served as a senior agent undertaking Comintern activities in Southeast Asia.
Quốc remained in Thailand, staying in the Thai village of Nachok, :44 and xiii until late 1929 when he moved on to India, then Shanghai. In early 1930, in Hong Kong, he chaired a meeting with representatives from two Vietnamese communist parties in order to merge them into a unified organization, Communist Party of Vietnam. In June 1931, he was arrested in Hong Kong. To reduce French pressure for extradition, it was (falsely) announced in 1932 that Quốc had died.: 57–58 The British quietly released him in January 1933. He moved to the Soviet Union and in Moscow studied and taught at the Lenin Institute. During those years he was also recovering from tuberculosis. It is said that in this period he lost his positions in the Comintern because of a concern that he had betrayed the organization. His influence among his Vietnamese comrades faded significantly.
In 1938, Quốc was allowed to return to China and served as an advisor to the Chinese Communist armed forces, which later forced China's government into exile on Taiwan. Around 1940, Quốc began regularly using the name "Hồ Chí Minh", a Vietnamese name combining a common Vietnamese surname (Hồ, 胡) with a given name meaning "He Who has been enlightened" (from Sino-Vietnamese 志 明: Chí meaning 'will' (or spirit) and Minh meaning "bright").:248–49
In 1941, Ho returned to Vietnam to lead the Viet Minh independence movement. The Japanese occupation of Indochina that year, the first step toward invasion of the rest of Southeast Asia, created an opportunity for patriotic Vietnamese. The "men in black" were a 10,000 member guerrilla force that operated with the Viet Minh. He oversaw many successful military actions against the Vichy French and Japanese occupation of Vietnam during World War II, supported closely but clandestinely by the United States Office of Strategic Services, and later against the French bid to reoccupy the country (1946–54). He was jailed in China by Chiang Kai-shek's local authorities before being rescued by Chinese Communists.:198 Following his release in 1943, he returned to Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh (third from left, standing) with the OSS in 1945
In April 1945, Ho met with the OSS agent Archimedes Patti and offered to provide intelligence to the allies provided that he could have "a line of communication with the allies." The OSS agreed to this and later sent a military team of OSS members to train Ho's men and Ho himself was treated for malaria and dysentery by an OSS doctor.
Following the August Revolution (1945) organized by the Viet Minh, Ho became Chairman of the Provisional Government (Premier of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and issued a Proclamation of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Although he convinced Emperor Bảo Đại to abdicate, his government was not recognized by any country. He repeatedly petitioned American President Harry S. Truman for support for Vietnamese independence, citing the Atlantic Charter, but Truman never responded.
Several sources relate how, during a power struggle in 1945, the Viet Minh killed members of rival groups, such as the leader of the Constitutional Party, Bui Quang Chieu, the head of the Party for Independence, and Ngo Dinh Diem's brother, Ngo Dinh Khoi. Purges and killings of Trotskyists were also documented in The Black Book of Communism. Ho, when asked by a reporter about the murder of Ta Thu Thau, a leading Trotskyist and personal friend, answered matter-of-factly, "Anyone who does not follow the line determined by me will be smashed."
In 1946, future Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Ho became acquainted when they stayed at the same hotel in Paris. Ho offered Ben-Gurion a Jewish home-in-exile in Vietnam. Ben-Gurion declined, telling Ho: "I am certain we shall be able to establish a Jewish Government in Palestine."
In 1946, when Ho traveled outside of the country, his subordinates imprisoned 2,500 non-communist nationalists and forced 6,000 others to flee. Hundreds of political opponents were jailed or exiled in July 1946, notably members of the National Party of Vietnam and the Dai Viet National Party, after a failed attempt to raise a coup against the Vietminh government. All rival political parties were hereafter banned and local governments were purged to minimize opposition later on. However, it was noted that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam's first Congress had over two-third of its members come from non-Viet Minh political factions, some without election. NPV party leader Nguyễn Hải Thần was named Vice President. They also held four out of ten ministerial positions.
Birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
On 2 September 1945, following Emperor Bảo Đại's abdication, Ho read the Declaration of Independence of Vietnam, under the name of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In Saigon, with violence between rival Vietnamese factions and French forces increasing, the British commander, General Sir Douglas Gracey, declared martial law. On 24 September, the Viet Minh leaders responded with a call for a general strike.
In September 1945, a force of 200,000 Republic of China Army troops arrived in Hanoi to accept the surrender of the Japanese occupiers in northern Indochina. Ho made a compromise with their general, Lu Han, to dissolve the Communist Party and to hold an election which would yield a coalition government. When Chiang forced the French to give the French concessions in Shanghai back to China in exchange for withdrawing from northern Indochina, Ho had no choice but to sign an agreement with France on 6 March 1946, in which Vietnam would be recognized as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union. The agreement soon broke down. The purpose of the agreement, for both the French and Vietminh, was for Chiang's army to leave North Vietnam. Fighting broke out in the North soon after the Chinese left.
Historian Professor Liam Kelley of the University of Hawaii at Manoa on his Le Minh Khai's SEAsian History Blog challenged the authenticity of the alleged quote where Hồ Chí Minh said he would rather sniff French shit than eat Chinese shit, noting that Stanley Karnow provided no source for the extended quote attributed to Ho in his 1983 Vietnam: A History, and that the original quote was most likely forged by the Frenchman Paul Mus in his 1952 book Viêt-Nam: Sociologie d’une Guerre, Mus was a supporter of French colonialism in Vietnam and Ho knew that there was no danger of Chinese troops staying in Vietnam, and in fact the Vietnamese at the time were busy spreading anti-French propaganda as evidence of French atrocities in Vietnam emerged, while Ho showed no qualms about accepting Chinese aid after 1949.
Hồ Chí Minh (right) with Võ Nguyên Giáp (left) in Hanoi, 1945
The Viet Minh then collaborated with French colonial forces to massacre supporters of the Vietnamese nationalist movements in 1945-6. The Communists eventually suppressed all non-Communist parties but failed to secure a peace deal with France. In the final days of 1946, after a year of diplomatic failure and many concessions in agreements such as the Dalat and Fontainebleau conferences, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam government found that war was inevitable. The bombardment of Haiphong by French forces at Hanoi only strengthened the belief that France had no intention of allowing an autonomous, independent state in Vietnam. On 19 December 1946, Ho, representing his government, declared war against the French Union, marking the beginning of the Indochina War. The Vietnam National Army, by then mostly armed with machetes and muskets immediately attacked, waging assault against French positions, smoking them out with straw bundled with chili pepper, destroying armored vehicles with "lunge mines" (a hollow-charge warhead on the end of a pole, detonated by thrusting the charge against the side of a tank; typically a suicide weapon) and Molotov cocktails, holding off attackers by using roadblocks, landmines and gravel. After two months of fighting, the exhausted Viet Minh forces withdrew after systematically destroying any valuable infrastructure. Ho was reported to be captured by a group of French soldiers led by Jean-Étienne Valluy at Việt Bắc in Operation Lea. The person in question turned out to be a Viet Minh advisor, who was later killed trying to escape. According to journalist Bernard Fall, after fighting the French for several years, Ho decided to negotiate a truce. The French negotiators arrived at the meeting site: a mud hut with a thatched roof. Inside they found a long table with chairs and were surprised to discover in one corner of the room a silver ice bucket containing ice and a bottle of good Champagne which should have indicated that Ho expected the negotiations to succeed. One demand by the French was the return to French custody of a number of Japanese military officers (who had been helping the Vietnamese armed forces by training them in the use of weapons of Japanese origin), in order for them to stand trial for war crimes committed during World War II. Ho replied that the Japanese officers were allies and friends whom he could not betray. Then he walked out, to seven more years of war.
In February 1950, after the successful removal of the French border's blockade, Ho met with Stalin and Mao Zedong in Moscow after the Soviet Union recognized his government. They all agreed that China would be responsible for backing the Viet Minh. Mao's emissary to Moscow stated in August that China planned to train 60,000–70,000 Viet Minh in the near future. The road to the outside world was open for Viet Minh forces to receive additional supplies which would allow them to escalate the fight against the French regime throughout Indochina. In 1954, after the crushing defeat of French Union forces at Battle of Dien Bien Phu, France was forced to give up its fight against the Viet Minh. The Viet Minh assassinated between 100,000 and 150,000 civilians during the war.
Becoming president and Vietnam War
"Charles DeGaulle and Hồ Chí Minh are hanged" by Students demonstration in Saigon, July 1964, observing the tenth anniversary of the July 1954 Geneva Agreements
The 1954 Geneva Accords concluded between France and the Viet Minh, allowing the latter's forces to regroup in the North whilst anti-communist groups settled in the South. Ho's Democratic Republic of Vietnam relocated to Hanoi and became the government of North Vietnam, a communist-led one-party state.
Following the Geneva Accords, there was to be a 300-day period in which people could freely move between the two regions of Vietnam, later known as South Vietnam and North Vietnam. More than 1 million North Vietnamese people fled to the South. A much smaller number moved North. It is estimated that as many as two million more would have left had they not been stopped by the Viet Minh.
All the parties at Geneva called for reunification elections, but could not agree on the details. Recently appointed Viet Minh acting foreign minister Pham Van Dong proposed elections under the supervision of "local commissions". The US, with the support of Britain and the Associated States of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, suggested UN supervision. This plan was rejected by Soviet representative Vyacheslav Molotov, who argued for a commission composed of an equal number of communist and non-communist members, which could determine "important" issues only by unanimous agreement. The negotiators were unable to agree on a date for the elections for reunification. The DRV argued that the elections should be held within 6 months of the ceasefire, while the Western allies sought to have no deadline. Molotov proposed June 1955, then later softened this to any time in 1955 and finally July 1956.:610 The Diem government supported reunification elections, but only with effective international supervision, arguing that genuinely free elections were impossible in the totalitarian North. By the afternoon of July 20 the remaining outstanding issues were resolved as the parties agreed that the partition line should be at the 17th parallel and that the elections for reunification should be in July 1956, two years after the ceasefire.:604 The "Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities in Vietnam" was signed only by French and Viet Minh military commands, completely bypassing the State of Vietnam. Based on a proposal by Chinese delegation head Zhou Enlai, an International Control Commission (ICC) chaired by India, with Canada and Poland as members, was placed in charge of supervising the ceasefire.:603 Because issues were to be decided unanimously, Poland's presence in the ICC provided the communists effective veto power over supervision of the treaty. The unsigned "Final Declaration of the Geneva Conference" called for reunification elections, which the majority of delegates expected to be supervised by the ICC. The Viet Minh never accepted ICC authority over such elections, stating that the ICC's "competence was to be limited to the supervision and control of the implementation of the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities by both parties." Of the nine nations represented, only the United States and the State of Vietnam refused to accept the declaration. U.S. undersecretary of state Walter Bedell Smith delivered a "unilateral declaration" of the US position, reiterating: "We shall seek to achieve unity through free elections supervised by the United Nations to insure that they are conducted fairly."
Between 1953 and 1956, the North Vietnamese government instituted various agrarian reforms, including "rent reduction" and "land reform", which resulted in significant political oppression. During the land reform, testimony from North Vietnamese witnesses suggested a ratio of one execution for every 160 village residents, which extrapolated nationwide would indicate nearly 100,000 executions. Because the campaign was concentrated mainly in the Red River Delta area, a lower estimate of 50,000 executions became widely accepted by scholars at the time. However, declassified documents from the Vietnamese and Hungarian archives indicate that the number of executions was much lower than reported at the time, although likely greater than 13,500.
Ho Chi Minh with East German sailors in Stralsund harbour, 1957
Ho Chi Minh with East German Young Pioneers near Berlin, 1957
At the end of 1959, Lê Duẩn was appointed by Ho to be the acting party leader, after becoming aware that the nationwide election would never happen and Diem's intention to purge out all opposing forces (mostly ex-Viet Minh). Ho began requesting the Politburo to send aid to the Viet Cong's uprising in South Vietnam. This was considered by Western analyzers as a loss of power by Ho, who is said to have preferred the more moderate Giap for the position. North Vietnam invaded Laos in 1959 aided by the Pathet Lao, and used 30,000 men to build invasion and supply routes through Laos known as the Ho Chi Minh trail, which allowed the North to send troops and aid to the Vietcong through Laos and Cambodia, thus escalating the war and tipping the balance, turning it to their favor. Duan was officially named party leader in 1960, leaving Ho a public figure rather than actually governing the country. Ho maintained much influence in the government, Tố Hữu, Lê Duẩn, Trường Chinh, and Phạm Văn Đồng would often share dinner with him, and later all of them remained key figures of Vietnam throughout and after the war. In 1963, Ho purportedly corresponded with South Vietnamese President Diem in the hopes of achieving a negotiated peace.:174
In late 1964, PAVN combat troops were sent southwest into officially neutral Laos and Cambodia. According to Chen Jian, during the mid-to-late 1960s, Le Duan permitted 320,000 Chinese volunteers into North Vietnam to help build infrastructure for the country, thereby freeing a similar number of PAVN personnel to go south. However, there are no sources from Vietnam, US or the USSR confirming the number of Chinese troops stationed in Northern Vietnam. By early 1965, U.S. combat troops began arriving in South Vietnam, first to protect the airbases around Chu Lai and Da Nang, later to take on most of the fight, as "More and more American troops were put in to replace Saigon troops who could not, or would not, get involved in the fighting".
Hồ Chí Minh meeting a North Vietnamese circus troupe after their performance at the Presidential Palace, Hanoi, 1967.
As fighting escalated, widespread aerial and artillery bombardment all over North Vietnam by the U.S. Air Force and Navy begin with Operation Rolling Thunder. In July 1967, Ho and most of the Politburo of Workers Party of Vietnam met in a high-profile conference where they all concluded the war had fallen into a stalemate, since the United States Army presence forced the People's Army of Vietnam to expend the majority of their resources maintaining the Ho Chi Minh trail instead of reinforcing their comrade's ranks in the South. With Ho's permission, the Viet Cong planned to execute the Tet Offensive to begin on 31 January 1968, gambling on taking the South by force and defeating the U.S. military. The offensive came at great cost and with heavy casualties on NLF's political branches and armed forces. It appeared to Ho and to the rest of his government that the scope of the action had shocked the world, which had up until then been assured that the Communists were "on the ropes". The overly positive spin that the U.S. military had been attempting to achieve for years came crashing down. The bombing of Northern Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh trail was halted, and U.S and Vietnamese negotiators began to discuss how to end the war. From then on, Ho and his government's strategy, based on the idea of "avoiding conventional warfare and facing the might of the U.S. Army, which would wear them down eventually, while merely prolonging the conflict would lead to eventual acceptance of Hanoi's terms" materialized.
Hồ Chí Minh watching a football game in his favourite fashion. His closest comrade - Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng is the person sitting next to him on the right corner.
Other than a politician, Ho was also a writer, journalist, poet and polyglot. His father was a scholar and teacher, who received a high degree in the Nguyễn dynasty Imperial examination; Ho was taught to master Classical Chinese at a young age. Before the August Revolution, he often wrote poetry in Chữ Hán (the Vietnamese name for the Chinese writing system). One of those is Poems from the Prison Diary made when he was imprisoned by the police of the Republic of China. This poetry chronicle is Vietnam National Treasure No. 10, and was translated to many languages. It is used in Vietnamese high schools. After Vietnam gained independence from France, the new government promoted Chữ Quốc Ngữ (Vietnamese writing system in Latin characters) exclusivity to eliminate illiteracy. Ho started to create more poems in the modern Vietnamese language for dissemination to a wider range of readers. After he became President until the appearance of serious health problems, a short poem of his was regularly published in the newspaper Nhân Dân Tết (Lunar new year) edition to encourage his people in working, studying or fighting Americans in the new year.
Because of staying nearly 30 years in exile, Ho could speak fluently, as well as read and write professionally, in French, English, Russian, Cantonese and Mandarin in addition to his mother tongue Vietnamese. In 1920s, he was bureau chief / editor of many newspapers which he established to criticize French Colonial Government of Indochina and serving communism propaganda purposes. Examples are Le Paria (The Pariah) first published in Paris 1922 or Thanh Nien (Youth) first published on 21 June 1925 (21 June was named by The Socialist Republic of Vietnam Government as Vietnam Revolutionary Journalism Day). In many state official visits to Soviet Union and China, he often talked directly to their communist leaders without interpreters especially about top secret information. While being interviewed by Western journalists, he used French. His Vietnamese had a strong accent from his birthplace in the central province of Nghệ An, but could be widely understood through the country.[note 1]
Stilt house of "Uncle Ho" in Hanoi
As president, Ho held formal receptions for foreign heads of state and ambassadors at the Presidential Palace, but he personally did not live there. He ordered the building of a stilt house at the back of the palace, which is today known as the Presidential Palace Historical Site. His hobbies (according to his secretary Vũ Kỳ) included reading, gardening, feeding fish (many of which are still living) and visiting schools and children's homes.
Ho remained in Hanoi during his final years, demanding the unconditional withdrawal of all non-Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam. By 1969, with negotiations still dragging on, Ho's health began to deteriorate from multiple health problems, including diabetes which prevented him from participating in further active politics. However, he insisted that his forces in the south continue fighting until all of Vietnam was reunited under his regime regardless of the length of time that it might take, believing that time was on his side.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi
Hồ Chí Minh statue outside Hồ Chí Minh City Hall, Hồ Chí Minh City
With the outcome of the Vietnam War still in question, Hồ Chí Minh died at 09:47 on the morning of 2 September 1969 from heart failure at his home in Hanoi, aged 79. His embalmed body is currently on display in a mausoleum in Ba Đình Square in Hanoi despite his will stating that he wanted to be cremated.:565 News of his death was withheld from the North Vietnamese public for nearly 48 hours because he had died on the anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. He was not initially replaced as president, but a "collective leadership" composed of several ministers and military leaders took over, known as the Politburo.
During North Vietnam's final campaign, a famous song written by composer Huy Thuc was often sung by People's Army of Vietnam soldiers, "Bác vẫn cùng chúng cháu hành quân" ("You are still marching with us, Uncle Ho"). Six years after his death, at the Fall of Saigon, several PAVN tanks in Saigon displayed a poster with the words "Bác vẫn cùng chúng cháu hành quân".
Legacy and personality cult
See also: Nông Thị Xuân, Nông Đức Mạnh, and Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai
Temple devoted to Nguyễn Sinh Sắc, Hồ Chí Minh's father
The former capital of South Vietnam, Saigon, was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City on 2 July 1976 by the new VCP-controlled National Assembly of Vietnam. However, the name provokes strong anti-communist feeling in a substantial number of Vietnamese. Many Vietnamese, especially those living abroad, continue to refer to the city as Sài Gòn, in rejection of the new communist-imposed name and in honor of the former capital of anti-communist Republic of Vietnam.
Ho's embalmed body is on display in Hanoi in a granite mausoleum modeled after Lenin's Tomb in Moscow. Streams of people queue each day, sometimes for hours, to pass his body in silence. This is reminiscent of other Communist leaders like Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Kim il-sung, and Kim Jong-il.
The Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi is dedicated to his life and work.
Chilean musician Víctor Jara referenced Hồ Chí Minh in his song "El derecho de vivir en paz" ("The Right to Live in Peace").
Hồ Chí Minh holding his god-daughter, baby Elizabeth (Babette) Aubrac, and Elizabeth's mother, Lucie Aubrac in 1946
In Vietnam today, Ho's image appears on the front of all Vietnamese currency notes. His portrait and bust are featured prominently in most of Vietnam's public buildings, in classrooms (both public and private schools) and in some families' altars. There is at least one temple dedicated to him, built in Vĩnh Long shortly after his death, in 1970, in Viet Cong-controlled areas.
The communist regime has also continually maintained a personality cult around Ho since the 1950s in the North, and later extended it to the South, which it sees as a crucial part in their propaganda campaign about Ho and the Party's past. Ho is frequently glorified in schools to schoolchildren. Opinions, publications and broadcasts that are critical of Ho or that identify his flaws are banned in Vietnam. Both Vietnamese and foreign activists, writers, reporters and commentators who criticize anything about Ho in the slightest are arrested and imprisoned or fined for "opposing the people's revolution". Ho is even glorified to a religious status as an "immortal saint" by the Vietnamese Communist Party, and some people "worship the President", according to a BBC report.
Shrine devoted to Ho Chi Minh
Publications about Ho's non-celibacy are banned in Vietnam, because the Party maintains that Ho had no romantic relationship with anyone in his lifetime in order to portray a puritanical image of Ho to the Vietnamese public, and advance the image of Ho as "the father of the [communist] revolution" and of a "celibate married only to the cause of revolution". William Duiker's Ho Chi Minh: A Life (2000) presents much information on Ho's relationships.:605, fn 58 The government requested substantial cuts in the official Vietnamese translation of Duiker's book, which was refused. In 2002, the Vietnamese government suppressed a review of Duiker's book in the Far Eastern Economic Review. In 1987, UNESCO officially recommended to member states that they "join in the commemoration of the centenary of the birth of President Ho Chi Minh by organizing various events as a tribute to his memory", considering "the important and many-sided contribution of President Ho Chi Minh in the fields of culture, education and the arts" who "devoted his whole life to the national liberation of the Vietnamese people, contributing to the common struggle of peoples for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress." There's also a personality cult surrounding Nguyễn Sinh Sắc, Ho's father.
He sometimes went on-air to delivery important political messages and encourage soldiers.
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vi:Lời kêu gọi toàn quốc kháng chiến
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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "The State of The World's Refugees 2000 – Chapter 4: Flight from Indochina" (PDF). Retrieved 6 April 2007.
Robert F. Turner (1975), Vietnamese Communism: Its Origin and Development, Hoover Institution Press, p. 75.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. pp. 89, 91, 97. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Logevall, Fredrik (2012). Embers of War: The fall of an Empire and the making of America's Vietnam. random House. ISBN 978-0-679-64519-1.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. p. 107. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. p. 97. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. pp. 90, 97. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. pp. 97–98. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. p. 99. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. pp. 95, 99–100. ISBN 978-0817964313.
Turner, Robert F. (1975). Vietnamese Communism: Its Origins and Development. Hoover Institution Publications. p. 143. ISBN 978-0817964313.
cf. Gittinger, J. Price, "Communist Land Policy in Viet Nam", Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 29, No. 8, 1957, p. 118.
Courtois, Stephane; et al. (1997). The Black Book of Communism. Harvard University Press. p. 569. ISBN 978-0-674-07608-2.
Dommen, Arthur J. (2001), The Indochinese Experience of the French and the Americans, Indiana University Press, p. 340, gives a lower estimate of 32,000 executions.
"Newly released documents on the land reform". Vietnam Studies Group. Retrieved 2016-07-15. "Vu Tuong: There is no reason to expect, and no evidence that I have seen to demonstrate, that the actual executions were less than planned; in fact the executions perhaps exceeded the plan if we consider two following factors. First, this decree was issued in 1953 for the rent and interest reduction campaign that preceded the far more radical land redistribution and party rectification campaigns (or waves) that followed during 1954-1956. Second, the decree was meant to apply to free areas (under the control of the Viet Minh government), not to the areas under French control that would be liberated in 1954-1955 and that would experience a far more violent struggle. Thus the number of 13,500 executed people seems to be a low-end estimate of the real number. This is corroborated by Edwin Moise in his recent paper "Land Reform in North Vietnam, 1953-1956" presented at the 18th Annual Conference on SE Asian Studies, Center for SE Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley (February 2001). In this paper Moise (7-9) modified his earlier estimate in his 1983 book (which was 5,000) and accepted an estimate close to 15,000 executions. Moise made the case based on Hungarian reports provided by Balazs, but the document I cited above offers more direct evidence for his revised estimate. This document also suggests that the total number should be adjusted up some more, taking into consideration the later radical phase of the campaign, the unauthorized killings at the local level, and the suicides following arrest and torture (the central government bore less direct responsibility for these cases, however)." cf. Szalontai, Balazs (November 2005). "Political and Economic Crisis in North Vietnam, 1955–56". Cold War History. 5 (4): 395–426.
Cheng Guan Ang & Ann Cheng Guan, The Vietnam War from the Other Side, p. 21. (2002)
The Economist, 26 February 1983.
Davidson, Vietnam at War: the history, 1946–1975, 1988
Chen Jian. "China's Involvement in the Vietnam Conflict, 1964–69", China Quarterly, No. 142 (June 1995), pp. 366–69.
"Vietnam Veterans Against the War: History of the U.S. War in Vietnam". vvaw.org.
French - Người tình nguyện vào ngục Bastille dịch "Nhật ký trong tù"
Czech - by cs:Ivo Vasiljev.
Korean - "Prison Diary" published in Korean by Ahn Kyong Hwan.
English - by Steve Bradbury, Tinfish Press
Older version - by Aileen Palmer
Spanish -  by Félix Pita Rodríguez
Romanian - by ro:Constantin Lupeanu
Russian - by Pavel Antokolsky
Duiker, William J. (2000). Ho Chi Minh: A Life. Hyperion. ISBN 978-0-7868-8701-9.
[iMarx] Full translated - English subtitle-Interview President Ho Chi Minh - 1964. YouTube. 19 December 2011.
Marr, David, Vietnam: State, War, and Revolution (1945-1946), 2013, University of California Press 
Phỏng vấn Vũ Kỳ - Thư ký của chủ tịch Hồ Chí Minh. YouTube. 10 August 2011.
Vietnamese Wikipedia article on Huy Thuc
"Nghị quyết của Quốc hội nước Cộng hòa xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam về việc chính thức đặt tên thành phố Sài Gòn - Gia Định là thành phố Hồ Chí Minh". wikisource.org.
Marsh, Viv (6 June 2012). "Uncle Ho's legacy lives on in Vietnam". BBC News. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
Dinh, Thuy. "The Writer's Life Stephen B. Young and Hoa Pham Young: Painting in Lacquer". The Zenith by Duong Thu Huong. Da Mau magazine. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
Baker, Mark (August 15, 2002). "Uncle Ho: a legend on the battlefield and in the boudoir". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 December 2013.
"Great 'Uncle Ho' may have been a mere mortal". The Age. 15 August 2002. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
"UNESCO. General Conference; 24th; Records of the General Conference, 24th session, Paris, 20 October to 20 November 1987, v. 1: Resolutions; 1988" (PDF). Retrieved 26 September 2009.
Bernard B. Fall, ed., 1967. Ho Chi Minh on Revolution and War, Selected Writings 1920–1966. New American Library.
William J. Duiker. 2000. Ho Chi Minh: A Life. Theia.
Jean Lacouture. 1968. Ho Chi Minh: A Political Biography. Random House.
Khắc Huyên. 1971. Vision Accomplished? The Enigma of Ho Chi Minh. The Macmillan Company.
David Halberstam. 1971. Ho. Rowman & Littlefield.
Hồ chí Minh toàn tập. NXB chính trị quốc gia
Sophie Quinn-Judge. 2003. Ho Chi Minh: The missing years. C. Hurst & Co. ISBN 1-85065-658-4
Tôn Thất Thiện, Was Ho Chi Minh a Nationalist? Ho Chi Minh and the Comintern Information and Resource Centre, Singapore, 1990
Việt Minh, NLF and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
William J. Duiker. 1981. The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam. Westview Press.
Hoang Van Chi. 1964. From colonialism to communism. Praeger.
Trương Như Tảng. 1986. A Viet Cong Memoir. Vintage.
War in Vietnam
Frances FitzGerald. 1972. Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam. Little, Brown and Company.
American foreign policy
Henry A. Kissinger. 1979. White House Years. Little, Brown.
Richard Nixon. 1987. No More Vietnams. Arbor House Pub Co.
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The Drayton Court Hotel
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TIME 100: Hồ Chí Minh
Ho Chi Minh selected writings
Hồ Chí Minh's biography
Satellite photo of the mausoleum on Google Maps
Final Tribute to Hồ from the Central Committee of the Vietnam Workers' Party
Bibliography: Writings by and about Hồ Chí Minh
Booknotes interview with William Duiker on Hồ Chí Minh: A Life, November 12, 2000
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This article is about the George Orwell novel. .
Nineteen Eighty-Four 1984first.jpg
British first edition cover
Author George Orwell
Cover artist Michael Kennard
Country United Kingdom
Genre Dystopian, political fiction, social science fiction
Published 8 June 1949, London
Publisher Secker & Warburg
Media type Print (hardback and paperback)
Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or Ingsoc in the government's invented language, Newspeak) under the control of a privileged elite of the Inner Party, that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as "thoughtcrime."
The tyranny is epitomised by Big Brother, the Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality but who may not even exist. The Party "seeks power entirely for its own sake. It is not interested in the good of others; it is interested solely in power." The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue in Newspeak), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record always supports the party line. The instructions that the workers receive specify the corrections as fixing misquotations and never as what they really are: forgeries and falsifications. A large part of the ministry also actively destroys all documents that have been edited and do not contain the revisions; in this way, no proof exists that the government is lying. Smith is a diligent and skillful worker but secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother. Orwell based the character of the heroine of the novel, Julia, on his second wife, Sonia Orwell.
As literary political fiction and dystopian science-fiction, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic novel in content, plot and style. Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5, and memory hole, have entered into common use since its publication in 1949. Nineteen Eighty-Four popularised the adjective Orwellian, which describes official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of recorded history by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. In 2005, the novel was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. It was awarded a place on both lists of Modern Library 100 Best Novels, reaching number 13 on the editor's list, and 6 on the readers' list. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 8 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
1 History and title
1.1 Copyright status
4.1 Main characters
4.2 Secondary characters
5 The world in 1984
5.1 Ingsoc (English Socialism)
5.2 Ministries of Oceania
5.4 Political geography
5.5 The Revolution
5.6 The War
5.7 Living standards
7 The Newspeak appendix
8 Sources for literary motifs
10 Critical reception
11 Cultural impact
12 Radio adaptation
13 1984 vs. Brave New World
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
History and title
A 1947 draft manuscript of the first page of Nineteen Eighty-Four, showing the editorial development.
George Orwell "encapsulate[d] the thesis at the heart of his unforgiving novel" in 1944, the implications of dividing the world up into Zones of influence that had been conjured by the Tehran Conference and three years later he wrote most of it on the Scottish island of Jura, from 1947 to 1948, despite being seriously ill with tuberculosis. On 4 December 1948, he sent the final manuscript to the publisher Secker and Warburg and Nineteen Eighty-Four was published on 8 June 1949. By 1989, it had been translated into sixty-five languages, more than any other novel in English at the time. The title of the novel, its themes, the Newspeak language and the author's surname are often invoked against control and intrusion by the state, while the adjective Orwellian describes a totalitarian dystopia, characterised by government control and subjugation of the people. Orwell's invented language, Newspeak, satirises hypocrisy and evasion by the state: the Ministry of Love (Miniluv) oversees torture and brainwashing, the Ministry of Plenty (Miniplenty) oversees shortage and rationing, the Ministry of Peace (Minipax) oversees war and atrocity and the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue) oversees propaganda and historical revisionism.
The Last Man in Europe was an early title for the novel but in a letter dated 22 October 1948 to his publisher Fredric Warburg, eight months before publication, Orwell wrote about hesitating between The Last Man in Europe and Nineteen Eighty-Four. Warburg suggested changing the main title to a more commercial one.
In the novel 1985 (1978), Anthony Burgess suggests that Orwell, disillusioned by the onset of the Cold War (1945–91), intended to call the book 1948. The introduction to the Penguin Books Modern Classics edition of Nineteen Eighty-Four reports that Orwell originally set the novel in 1980, but that he later shifted the date to 1982, then to 1984. The final title may also be a permutation of 1948, the year of composition. Throughout its publication history, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been either banned or legally challenged, as subversive or ideologically corrupting, like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), We (1924) by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Kallocain (1940) by Karin Boye and Fahrenheit 451 (1951) by Ray Bradbury. Literary scholars consider the Russian dystopian novel We by Zamyatin to have strongly influenced Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The novel is in the public domain in Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, and Oman. It will be in the public domain in Brazil in 2021, and in the United States in 2044.
The banner of the Party in the 1984 film adaptation of the book. Party flags are mentioned, but never described in the actual novel.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is set in Oceania, one of three inter-continental superstates that divided the world after a global war. Most of the plot takes place in London, the "chief city of Airstrip One," the Oceanic province that "had once been called England or Britain." Posters of the Party leader, Big Brother, bearing the caption "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU," dominate the city, while the ubiquitous telescreen (transceiving television set) monitors the private and public lives of the populace. The class hierarchy of Oceania has three levels:
(I) the upper-class Inner Party, the elite ruling minority, who make up 2% of the population.
(II) the middle-class Outer Party, who make up 13% of the population.
(III) the lower-class Proles (from proletariat), who make up 85% of the population and represent the uneducated working class.
As the government, the Party controls the population with four ministries:
the Ministry of Peace deals with war and defence.
the Ministry of Plenty deals with economic affairs (rationing and starvation).
the Ministry of Love deals with law and order (torture and brainwashing).
the Ministry of Truth deals with news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda).
The protagonist Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, works in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth as an editor, revising historical records, to make the past conform to the ever-changing party line and deleting references to unpersons, people who have been "vaporised," i.e. not only killed by the state but denied existence even in history or memory.
The story of Winston Smith begins on 4 April 1984: "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen" yet he is uncertain of the true date, given the régime's continual rewriting and manipulation of history. Smith's memories and his reading of the proscribed book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, reveal that after the Second World War, the United Kingdom fell to civil war and then was absorbed into Oceania. Simultaneously, the USSR conquered mainland Europe and established the second superstate of Eurasia. The third superstate, Eastasia, comprises the regions of Eastern/Southeastern Asia. The three superstates wage perpetual war for the remaining unconquered lands of the world, forming and breaking alliances as is convenient. From his childhood (1949–53), Winston remembers the Atomic Wars fought in Europe, western Russia and North America. It is unclear to him what occurred first: the Party's victory in the civil war, the US annexation of the British Empire or the war in which Colchester was bombed. Smith's strengthening memories and the story of his family's dissolution, suggest that the atomic bombings occurred first (the Smiths took refuge in a tube station), followed by civil war featuring "confused street fighting in London itself" and the societal postwar reorganisation, which the Party retrospectively calls "the Revolution."
Winston Smith is a man who lives in Airstrip One, the remnants of an England broken down by war, civil conflict, and revolution. A member of the middle class Outer Party, Winston lives in a one-room London apartment and eats black bread, synthetic meals and "Victory"-branded gin. Telescreens in every building, accompanied by secret microphones and cameras, allow the Thought Police to identify anyone who might compromise the Party's régime. Children are encouraged to inform the officials about potential thought criminals, including their parents.
Winston works at the Ministry of Truth, or "Minitrue," as an editor. He is responsible for historical revisionism; he rewrites records and alters photographs to conform to the state's ever-changing version of history itself, rendering the deleted people "unpersons"; the original documents are burned up in a "memory hole". Winston becomes mesmerized by the true past and tries to get more information about it. In a place beside his flat's telescreen where he believes he cannot be seen, he begins writing a journal criticizing the Party and its enigmatic leader, Big Brother. By doing so he commits a crime that if discovered by the Thought Police, warrants certain death. Julia, a young woman who maintains the novel-writing machines at the ministry and whom Winston loathes, surreptitiously hands Winston a note confessing her love for him. Winston and Julia begin an affair after Winston realizes she shares his loathing of the Party, first meeting in the country, and eventually in a rented room at the top of an antiques shop. They believe that the shop, being located in a proletarian neighbourhood of London, is safe, as the room has no telescreen.
Weeks later, Winston is approached by O'Brien, an Inner Party member whom Winston believes is an agent of the Brotherhood - a secret underground society that intends to destroy the Party. They arrange a meeting at O'Brien's flat where both Winston and Julia swear allegiance to the Brotherhood. A week later O'Brien clandestinely sends Winston a copy of "The Book," The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, the publicly reviled leader of the Brotherhood. The Book explains the concept of perpetual war, the true meanings of the slogans WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH, and how the Party can be overthrown through means of the political awareness of the proles.
In a surprising turn, the Thought Police capture Winston along with Julia in their rented room. The two are then delivered to the Ministry of Love (Miniluv) for interrogation. Mr. Charrington, the shopkeeper who rented the room to them, reveals himself as a Thought Police agent. O'Brien is also an agent of the Thought Police. He is part of a special sting operation used by the police to find and arrest suspected thoughtcriminals. O'Brien interrogates and tortures Winston with electroshock, telling him that Winston can "cure" himself of his "insanity"—his manifest hatred for the Party—through controlled manipulation of perception. Winston confesses to crimes that O'Brien tells him to say that he has committed; but O'Brien understands that Winston has not betrayed Julia. O'Brien sends him to Room 101 for the final stage of re-education, a room which contains each prisoner's worst nightmare. Winston shouts "Do it to Julia!" as a wire cage holding hungry rats is fitted onto his face, thus betraying her.
After being put back into Oceania society, Winston meets Julia in a park. She admits that she was also tortured, and each reveals betraying the other. Later, Winston, sits alone in the Chestnut Tree Cafe, troubled by memories which he is sure are lies. A raucous celebration begins outside, celebrating Oceania's "decisive victory" over Eurasian armies in Africa, and Winston imagines himself as a part of the crowd. Winston feels he has at last ended his "stubborn, self-willed exile", exile from the love of Big Brother—a love Winston returns quite happily as he looks up in admiration at a portrait of Big Brother.
Winston Smith—the protagonist who is a phlegmatic everyman.
Julia—Winston's lover who is a covert "rebel from the waist downwards" who publicly espouses Party doctrine as a member of the fanatical Junior Anti-Sex League.
Big Brother—the dark-eyed, mustachioed embodiment of the Party who rules Oceania.
O'Brien—a member of the Inner Party who poses as a member of The Brotherhood, the counter-revolutionary resistance, in order to deceive, trap, and capture Winston and Julia. O'Brien has a servant: Martin. (See Secondary characters)
Emmanuel Goldstein—ostensibly a former leader of the Party, counter-revolutionary leader of the Brotherhood, and author of The Book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, Goldstein is the symbolic enemy of the state—the national nemesis who ideologically unites the people of Oceania with the Party, especially during the Two Minutes Hate and other fearmongering. While Winston eventually learns that The Book is the product of an Inner Party committee that includes O'Brien. Whether Goldstein or his Brotherhood are real or fabrications of Party propaganda is something that neither Winston nor the reader is permitted to know.
Aaronson, Jones, and Rutherford—Former members of the Inner Party whom Winston vaguely remembers as among the original leaders of the Revolution, long before he had heard of Big Brother. They confessed to treasonable conspiracies with foreign powers and were then executed in the political purges of the 1960s. In between their confessions and executions, Winston saw them drinking in the Chestnut Tree Café – with broken noses, suggesting that their confessions had been obtained by torture. Later, in the course of his editorial work, Winston sees newspaper evidence contradicting their confessions, but drops it into a memory hole. Eleven years later, he is confronted with the same photograph during his interrogation.
Ampleforth—Winston's one-time Records Department colleague who was imprisoned for leaving the word "God" in a Kipling poem as he could not find another rhyme for "rod"; Winston encounters him at the Miniluv. Ampleforth is a dreamer and intellectual who takes pleasure in his work, and respects poetry and language, traits which cause him disfavour with the Party.
Charrington—An officer of the Thought Police posing as a sympathetic antiques dealer.
Katharine Smith—The emotionally indifferent wife whom Winston "can't get rid of." Despite disliking sexual intercourse, Katharine married Winston because it was their "duty to the Party." Although she was a "goodthinkful" ideologue, they separated because she could not bear children. Divorce is not permitted, but couples who cannot have children may live separately. For much of the story Winston lives in vague hope that Katharine may die or could be "got rid of" so that he may marry Julia. He regrets not having killed her by pushing her over the edge of a quarry when he had the chance many years previously.
Tom Parsons—Winston's naive neighbour, and an ideal member of the Outer Party: an uneducated, suggestible man who is utterly loyal to the Party, and fully believes in its perfect image. He is socially active and participates in the Party activities for his social class. He is friendly towards Smith, and despite his political conformity punishes his bullying son for firing a catapult at Winston. Later, as a prisoner, Winston sees Parsons is in the Ministry of Love, as his daughter had reported him to the Thought Police, hearing him speak against the Party in his sleep. Even this does not dampen his belief in the Party, and he states he could do "good work" in the hard labour camps.
Mrs. Parsons—Parsons's wife is a wan and hapless woman who is intimidated by her own children, who are members of the Party Youth League and represent the new generation of Oceanian citizens, without memory of life before Big Brother, and without family ties or emotional sentiment; the model society visioned by the Inner Party.
Syme—Winston's colleague at the Ministry of Truth, whom the Party "vaporised" because he remained a lucidly thinking intellectual. He was a lexicographer who helped develop the language and the dictionary of Newspeak, in the course of which he enjoyed destroying words, and wholeheartedly believed that Newspeak would replace Oldspeak (Standard English) by the year 2050. Although Syme's politically orthodox opinions aligned with Party doctrine, Winston notes that "He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly." After noting that Syme's name was erased from the members list of the Chess Club, Winston infers he became an unperson.
The world in 1984
Ingsoc (English Socialism)
Main article: Ingsoc
In the year 1984, Ingsoc (English Socialism), is the regnant ideology and pseudophilosophy of Oceania, and Newspeak is its official language, of official documents.
Ministries of Oceania
Main article: Ministries of Nineteen Eighty-Four
In London, the capital city of Airstrip One, Oceania's four government ministries are in pyramids (300 metres high), the façades of which display the Party's three slogans. The ministries' names are antonymous doublethink to their true functions: "The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation." (Part II, Chapter IX — The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism)
Ministry of Peace
The Ministry of Peace supports Oceania's perpetual war against either of the two other superstates.
The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work.
Ministry of Plenty
The Ministry of Plenty rations and controls food, goods, and domestic production; every fiscal quarter, the Miniplenty publishes false claims of having raised the standard of living, when it has, in fact, reduced rations, availability, and production. The Minitrue substantiates the Miniplenty claims by revising historical records to report numbers supporting the current, "increased rations."
Ministry of Truth
The Ministry of Truth controls information: news, entertainment, education, and the arts. Winston Smith works in the Minitrue RecDep (Records Department), "rectifying" historical records to concord with Big Brother's current pronouncements, thus everything the Party says is true.
Ministry of Love
The Ministry of Love identifies, monitors, arrests, and converts real and imagined dissidents. In Winston's experience, the dissident is beaten and tortured, then, when near-broken, is sent to Room 101 to face "the worst thing in the world" – until love for Big Brother and the Party replaces dissension.
Main article: Doublethink
The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.
— Part II, Chapter IX – The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism
Main article: Nations of Nineteen Eighty-Four
Perpetual War: The news report Oceania has captured Africa, 1984.
Three perpetually warring totalitarian super-states control the world:
Oceania (ideology: Ingsoc, i.e., English Socialism); its core territories are the Western Hemisphere, the British Isles, Australasia, and Southern Africa.
Eurasia (ideology: Neo-Bolshevism); its core territories are Continental Europe and Russia, including Siberia.
Eastasia (ideology: Obliteration of the Self, i.e., "Death worship"); its core territories are China, Japan, Korea, and Indochina.
The perpetual war is fought for control of the "disputed area" lying "between the frontiers of the super-states," it forms "a rough parallelogram with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin and Hong Kong," thus Northern Africa, the Middle East, India and Indonesia are where the super-states capture and utilise slave-labour. Fighting also takes place between Eurasia and Eastasia in Manchuria, Mongolia and Central Asia, and all three powers battle one another over various Atlantic and Pacific islands.
Goldstein's book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, explains that the superstates' ideologies are alike and that the public's ignorance of this fact is imperative so that they might continue believing in the detestability of the opposing ideologies. The only references to the exterior world for the Oceanian citizenry (the Outer Party and the Proles) are Minitrue maps and propaganda ensuring their belief in "the war."
Main article: The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism
Winston Smith's memory and Emmanuel Goldstein's book communicate some of the history that precipitated the Revolution. Eurasia was formed when the USSR conquered continental Europe, creating a single nation stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait. Eurasia does not include the British Empire because the United States annexed it, as well as Latin America, thus establishing Oceania and gaining control over a quarter of the planet. Eastasia, the last superstate established, emerged only after "a decade of confused fighting". It comprises the Asian lands conquered by China and Japan. Although Eastasia was prevented from matching Eurasia's size, its larger populace compensates for that handicap.
The annexation of Britain occurred about the same time as the atomic war that provoked civil war, but just who was fighting whom in this war is left unclear. Nuclear weapons fell on Britain, an atomic bombing of Colchester is referenced in the text. Exactly how Ingsoc and its rival systems (Neo-Bolshevism and Death Worship) gained power in their respective countries is also unclear.
While precise chronology cannot be traced, most of the global societal reorganization occurred between 1945 and the early 1960s. Winston and Julia once meet in the ruins of a church that was destroyed in a nuclear attack "thirty years" earlier, suggesting 1954 as the year of the atomic war that destabilized society and allowed the Party to seize power. It is stated in the novel that the "fourth quarter of 1983" was "also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan," implying that the first quarter of the first three-year plan began in July 1958. By then, the Party was apparently in control of Oceania.
See also: Perpetual war
In 1984, there is a perpetual war among Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, the superstates which emerged from a global atomic war. The book, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein, explains that each state is so strong it cannot be defeated, even with the combined forces of two superstates—despite changing alliances. To hide such contradictions, history is re-written to explain that the (new) alliance always was so; the populaces accustomed to doublethink accept it. The war is not fought in Oceanian, Eurasian or Eastasian territory but in the Arctic wastes and in a disputed zone comprising the sea and land from Tangiers (northern Africa) to Darwin (Australia). At the start, Oceania and Eastasia are allies fighting Eurasia in northern Africa and the Malabar Coast.
That alliance ends and Oceania, allied with Eurasia, fights Eastasia, a change which occurred during Hate Week, dedicated to creating patriotic fervour for the Party's perpetual war. The public are blind to the change; in mid-sentence an orator changes the name of the enemy from "Eurasia" to "Eastasia" without pause. When the public are enraged at noticing that the wrong flags and posters are displayed, they tear them down—thus the origin of the idiom "We've always been at war with Eastasia"; later the Party claims to have captured Africa.
Goldstein's book explains that the purpose of the unwinnable, perpetual war is to consume human labour and commodities, so the economy of a superstate cannot support economic equality (a high standard of life) for every citizen. By using up most of the produced objects like boots and rations, the "proles" are kept poor and uneducated so that they will not realise what the government is doing and they will not rebel. Goldstein also details an Oceanian strategy of attacking enemy cities with atomic rockets before invasion, yet dismisses it as unfeasible and contrary to the war's purpose; despite the atomic bombing of cities in the 1950s the superstates stopped such warfare lest it imbalance the powers. The military technology in 1984 differs little from that of World War II, yet strategic bomber aeroplanes were replaced with Rocket Bombs, helicopters were heavily used as weapons of war (while they did not figure in WW2 in any form but prototypes) and surface combat units have been all but replaced by immense and unsinkable Floating Fortresses, island-like contraptions concentrating the firepower of a whole naval task force in a single, semi-mobile platform (in the novel one is said to have been anchored between Iceland and the Faroe Islands, suggesting a preference for sea lane interdiction and denial).
The society of Airstrip One and, according to "The Book", the whole world, lives in poverty: hunger, disease and filth are the norms. Ruined cities and towns are commonplace—the consequence of the civil war, the atomic wars, and purportedly enemy (but quite possibly self-serving Oceanian) rockets.
Social decay and wrecked buildings surround Winston; aside from the ministerial pyramids, little of London was rebuilt. Members of the Outer Party consume synthetic foodstuffs and poor-quality "luxuries" such as oily gin and loosely packed cigarettes, distributed under the "Victory" brand (taken from low-quality Indian-made "Victory" cigarettes that were widely smoked in Britain and by British soldiers during World War II). Winston describes something as simple as the repair of a broken pane of glass as requiring committee approval that can take several years.
All Outer Party residences include telescreens that serve both as outlets for propaganda and to monitor the Party members; they can be turned down, but they cannot be turned off.
In contrast to their subordinates, the Inner Party upper class of Oceanian society reside in clean and comfortable flats in their own quarter of the city, with pantries well-stocked with foodstuffs such as wine, coffee, and sugar that are denied to the general populace. Winston is astonished that the lifts in O'Brien's building function, that the telescreens can be switched off, and that O'Brien has an Asian manservant, Martin; indeed, all of the Inner Party are attended to by slaves captured in the disputed zone, and "The Book" suggests that many have their own motorcars or even helicopters. Nonetheless, "The Book" makes clear that even the conditions enjoyed by the Inner Party are only relatively comfortable and would be regarded as austere by the standards of the pre-revolutionary elite.
The proletariat, or "proles", live in poverty and are kept sedated with alcohol, pornography and a national lottery (whose winnings are never actually paid out, a fact obscured by propaganda and lack of communication between various parts of Oceania). At the same time, the proles are freer and less intimidated than the middle class Outer Party: they are subject to certain levels of monitoring but are not expected to be particularly patriotic, lack telescreens in their own homes, and often jeer at the telescreens that they see. "The Book" indicates that this state of things derives from the observation that the middle class, not the lower class, traditionally started revolutions. The model demands tight control of the middle class, with ambitious Outer Party members neutralised via promotion to the Inner Party or "reintegration" by Miniluv, while proles can be allowed intellectual freedom because they lack intellect. Winston nonetheless believed that "the future belonged to the proles."
The standard of living of the populace is low overall. Consumer goods are scarce, and those available through official channels are invariably of low quality; for instance, despite the Party regularly reporting increased boot production, upwards of half of the Oceanian populace goes barefoot. The Party claims that this poverty is a necessary sacrifice for the war effort, and "The Book" confirms this is partially correct, since the purpose of perpetual war is consuming surplus industrial production. Outer Party members and proles occasionally gain access to better-quality items through the market, dealing in goods pilfered from the residences of the Inner Party.
Nineteen Eighty-Four expands upon the subjects summarised in the essay "Notes on Nationalism" about the lack of vocabulary needed to explain the unrecognised phenomena behind certain political forces. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Party's artificial, minimalist language 'Newspeak' addresses the matter.
Positive nationalism: Oceanians' perpetual love for Big Brother; Neo-Toryism, Celtic nationalism and British Israelism are (as Orwell argues) defined by love.
Negative nationalism: Oceanians' perpetual hatred for Emmanuel Goldstein; Stalinism, Anglophobia and antisemitism are (as Orwell argues) defined by hatred.
Transferred nationalism: In mid-sentence an orator changes the enemy of Oceania; the crowd instantly transfers their hatred to the new enemy. Transferred nationalism swiftly redirects emotions from one power unit to another (e.g., Communism, Pacifism, Colour Feeling and Class Feeling). This happened during a Party Rally against the original enemy Eurasia, when the orator suddenly switches enemy in midsentence, the crowd goes wild and destroys the posters that are now against their new friend (Eurasia) and many say that this must be the act of an agent of their new enemy (and former friend) Eastasia. Even though many of the crowd must have put up the posters before the rally, they now say that the enemy has always been Eastasia.
O'Brien concludes: "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."
In the book, Inner Party member O'Brien describes the Party's vision of the future:
There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.
— Part III, Chapter III, Nineteen Eighty-Four
A major theme of Nineteen Eighty-Four is censorship, especially in the Ministry of Truth, where photographs are modified and public archives rewritten to rid them of "unpersons" (i.e., persons who have been arrested, whom the Party has decided to erase from history). On the telescreens figures for all types of production are grossly exaggerated (or simply invented) to indicate an ever-growing economy, when the reality is the opposite. One small example of the endless censorship is when Winston is charged with the task of eliminating a reference to an unperson in a newspaper article. He proceeds to write an article about Comrade Ogilvy, a made-up party member, who displayed great heroism by leaping into the sea from a helicopter so that the dispatches he was carrying would not fall into enemy hands.
The inhabitants of Oceania, particularly the Outer Party members, have no real privacy. Many of them live in apartments equipped with two-way telescreens, so that they may be watched or listened to at any time. Similar telescreens are found at workstations and in public places, along with hidden microphones. Written correspondence is routinely opened and read by the government before it is delivered. The Thought Police employ undercover agents, who pose as normal citizens and report any person with subversive tendencies. Children are encouraged to report suspicious persons to the government, and some even denounce their parents. Surveillance controls the citizenry and the smallest sign of rebellion, even something so small as a facial expression, can result in immediate arrest and imprisonment. Thus, citizens (and particularly party members) are compelled to obedience.
The Newspeak appendix
Main articles: Newspeak and List of Newspeak words
"The Principles of Newspeak" is an academic essay appended to the novel. It describes the development of Newspeak, the Party's minimalist artificial language meant to ideologically align thought and action with the principles of Ingsoc by making "all other modes of thought impossible." (For linguistic theories about how language may direct thought, see the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis.)
Whether or not the Newspeak appendix implies a hopeful end to Nineteen Eighty-Four remains a critical debate, as it is in Standard English and refers to Newspeak, Ingsoc, the Party, etc., in the past tense (i.e., "Relative to our own, the Newspeak vocabulary was tiny, and new ways of reducing it were constantly being devised," p. 422); in this vein, some critics (Atwood, Benstead, Milner, Pynchon) claim that, for the essay's author, Newspeak and the totalitarian government are past.
Sources for literary motifs
Nineteen Eighty-Four uses themes from life in the Soviet Union and wartime life in Great Britain as sources for many of its motifs. American producer Sidney Sheldon wrote to Orwell in the early 1950s, interested in adapting the novel to the Broadway stage. Orwell sold the American stage rights to Sheldon, explaining that his basic goal with Nineteen Eighty-Four was imagining the consequences of Stalinist government ruling British society:
[Nineteen Eighty-Four] was based chiefly on communism, because that is the dominant form of totalitarianism, but I was trying chiefly to imagine what communism would be like if it were firmly rooted in the English speaking countries, and was no longer a mere extension of the Russian Foreign Office.
The statement "2 + 2 = 5," used to torment Winston Smith during his interrogation, was a Communist party slogan from the second five-year plan, which encouraged fulfillment of the five-year plan in four years. The slogan was seen in electric lights on Moscow house-fronts, billboards and elsewhere.
The switch of Oceania's allegiance from Eastasia to Eurasia and the subsequent rewriting of history ("Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia. A large part of the political literature of five years was now completely obsolete"; ch 9) is evocative of the Soviet Union's changing relations with Nazi Germany. The two nations were open and frequently vehement critics of each other until the signing of the 1939 Treaty of Non-Aggression. Thereafter, and continuing until the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, no criticism of Germany was allowed in the Soviet press, and all references to prior party lines stopped—including in the majority of non-Russian communist parties who tended to follow the Russian line. Orwell had criticised the Communist Party of Great Britain for supporting the Treaty in his essays for Betrayal of the Left (1941). "The Hitler-Stalin pact of August 1939 reversed the Soviet Union's stated foreign policy. It was too much for many of the fellow-travellers like Gollancz [Orwell's sometime publisher] who had put their faith in a strategy of construction Popular Front governments and the peace bloc between Russia, Britain and France."
The description of Emmanuel Goldstein, with a "small, goatee beard," evokes the image of Leon Trotsky. The film of Goldstein during the Two Minutes Hate is described as showing him being transformed into a bleating sheep. This image was used in a propaganda film during the Kino-eye period of Soviet film, which showed Trotsky transforming into a goat. Goldstein's book is similar to Trotsky's highly critical analysis of the USSR, The Revolution Betrayed, published in 1936.
The omnipresent images of Big Brother, a man described as having a moustache, bears resemblance to the cult of personality built up around Joseph Stalin.
The news in Oceania emphasised production figures, just as it did in the Soviet Union, where record-setting in factories (by "Heroes of Socialist Labor") was especially glorified. The best known of these was Alexey Stakhanov, who purportedly set a record for coal mining in 1935.
The tortures of the Ministry of Love evoke the procedures used by the NKVD in their interrogations, including the use of rubber truncheons, being forbidden to put your hands in your pockets, remaining in brightly lit rooms for days, torture through the use of provoked rodents, and the victim being shown a mirror after their physical collapse.
The random bombing of Airstrip One is based on the Buzz bombs, which struck England at random in 1944–1945.
The Thought Police is based on the NKVD, which arrested people for random "anti-soviet" remarks. The Thought Crime motif is drawn from Kempeitai, the Japanese wartime secret police, who arrested people for "unpatriotic" thoughts.
The confessions of the "Thought Criminals" Rutherford, Aaronson and Jones are based on the show trials of the 1930s, which included fabricated confessions by prominent Bolsheviks Nikolai Bukharin, Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev to the effect that they were being paid by the Nazi government to undermine the Soviet regime under Leon Trotsky's direction.
The song "Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree" ("Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you, and you sold me") was based on an old English song called "Go no more a-rushing" ("Under the spreading chestnut tree, Where I knelt upon my knee, We were as happy as could be, 'Neath the spreading chestnut tree."). The song was published as early as 1891. The song was a popular camp song in the 1920s, sung with corresponding movements (like touching your chest when you sing "chest," and touching your head when you sing "nut"). Glenn Miller recorded the song in 1939.
The "Hates" (Two Minutes Hate and Hate Week) were inspired by the constant rallies sponsored by party organs throughout the Stalinist period. These were often short pep-talks given to workers before their shifts began (Two Minutes Hate), but could also last for days, as in the annual celebrations of the anniversary of the October revolution (Hate Week).
Orwell fictionalized "newspeak," "doublethink," and "Ministry of Truth" as evinced by both the Soviet press and that of Nazi Germany. In particular, he adapted Soviet ideological discourse constructed to ensure that public statements could not be questioned.
Nikolai Yezhov walking with Stalin in the top photo from the mid 1930s. Following his execution in 1940, Yezhov was edited out of the photo by Soviet censors. Yezhov became an "unperson."
Winston Smith's job, "revising history" (and the "unperson" motif) are based on the Stalinist habit of airbrushing images of 'fallen' people from group photographs and removing references to them in books and newspapers. In one well-known example, the Soviet encyclopaedia had an article about Lavrentiy Beria. When he fell in 1953, and was subsequently executed, institutes that had the encyclopaedia were sent an article about the Bering Strait, with instructions to paste it over the article about Beria.
Big Brother's "Orders of the Day" were inspired by Stalin's regular wartime orders, called by the same name. A small collection of the more political of these have been published (together with his wartime speeches) in English as "On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union" By Joseph Stalin. Like Big Brother's Orders of the day, Stalin's frequently lauded heroic individuals, like Comrade Ogilvy, the fictitious hero Winston Smith invented to 'rectify' (fabricate) a Big Brother Order of the day.
The Ingsoc slogan "Our new, happy life," repeated from telescreens, evokes Stalin's 1935 statement, which became a CPSU slogan, "Life has become better, Comrades; life has become more cheerful."
In 1940 Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges published Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius which described the invention by a "benevolent secret society" of a world that would seek to remake human language and reality along human-invented lines. The story concludes with an appendix describing the success of the project. Borges' story addresses similar themes of epistemology, language and history to 1984.
During World War II (1939–1945) Orwell believed that British democracy as it existed before 1939 would not survive the war, the question being "Would it end via Fascist coup d'état from above or via Socialist revolution from below"?
Later he admitted that events proved him wrong: "What really matters is that I fell into the trap of assuming that 'the war and the revolution are inseparable.'" Thematically Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and Animal Farm (1945) share the betrayed revolution; the person's subordination to the collective; rigorously enforced class distinctions (Inner Party, Outer Party, Proles); the cult of personality; concentration camps; Thought Police; compulsory regimented daily exercise and youth leagues. Oceania resulted from the US annexation of the British Empire to counter the Asian peril to Australia and New Zealand. It is a naval power whose militarism venerates the sailors of the floating fortresses, from which battle is given to recapturing India, the "Jewel in the Crown" of the British Empire. Much of Oceanic society is based upon the USSR under Joseph Stalin—Big Brother; the televised Two Minutes Hate is ritual demonisation of the enemies of the State, especially Emmanuel Goldstein (viz Leon Trotsky); altered photographs and newspaper articles create unpersons deleted from the national historical record, including even founding members of the regime (Jones, Aaronson and Rutherford) in the 1960s purges (viz the Soviet Purges of the 1930s, in which leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution were similarly treated). A similar thing also happened during the French Revolution in which many of the original leaders of the Revolution were later put to death, for example Danton who was put to death by Robespierre, and then later Robespierre himself met the same fate.
In his 1946 essay "Why I Write," Orwell explains that the serious works he wrote since the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) were "written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism." Nineteen Eighty-Four is a cautionary tale about revolution betrayed by totalitarian defenders previously proposed in Homage to Catalonia (1938) and Animal Farm (1945), while Coming Up for Air (1939) celebrates the personal and political freedoms lost in Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). Biographer Michael Shelden notes Orwell's Edwardian childhood at Henley-on-Thames as the golden country; being bullied at St Cyprian's School as his empathy with victims; his life in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma and the techniques of violence and censorship in the BBC as capricious authority. Other influences include Darkness at Noon (1940) and The Yogi and the Commissar (1945) by Arthur Koestler; The Iron Heel (1908) by Jack London; 1920: Dips into the Near Future by John A. Hobson; Brave New World (1932) by Aldous Huxley; We (1921) by Yevgeny Zamyatin which he reviewed in 1946; and The Managerial Revolution (1940) by James Burnham predicting perpetual war among three totalitarian superstates. Orwell told Jacintha Buddicom that he would write a novel stylistically like A Modern Utopia (1905) by H. G. Wells.
Extrapolating from World War II, the novel's pastiche parallels the politics and rhetoric at war's end—the changed alliances at the "Cold War's" (1945–91) beginning; the Ministry of Truth derives from the BBC's overseas service, controlled by the Ministry of Information; Room 101 derives from a conference room at BBC Broadcasting House; the Senate House of the University of London, containing the Ministry of Information is the architectural inspiration for the Minitrue; the post-war decrepitude derives from the socio-political life of the UK and the USA, i.e., the impoverished Britain of 1948 losing its Empire despite newspaper-reported imperial triumph; and war ally but peace-time foe, Soviet Russia became Eurasia.
The term "English Socialism" has precedents in his wartime writings; in the essay "The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius" (1941), he said that "the war and the revolution are inseparable... the fact that we are at war has turned Socialism from a textbook word into a realisable policy" – because Britain's superannuated social class system hindered the war effort and only a socialist economy would defeat Adolf Hitler. Given the middle class's grasping this, they too would abide socialist revolution and that only reactionary Britons would oppose it, thus limiting the force revolutionaries would need to take power. An English Socialism would come about which "will never lose touch with the tradition of compromise and the belief in a law that is above the State. It will shoot traitors, but it will give them a solemn trial beforehand and occasionally it will acquit them. It will crush any open revolt promptly and cruelly, but it will interfere very little with the spoken and written word."
In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, "English Socialism" – contracted to "Ingsoc" in Newspeak – is a totalitarian ideology unlike the English revolution he foresaw. Comparison of the wartime essay "The Lion and the Unicorn" with Nineteen Eighty-Four shows that he perceived a Big Brother régime as a perversion of his cherished socialist ideals and English Socialism. Thus Oceania is a corruption of the British Empire he believed would evolve "into a federation of Socialist states, like a looser and freer version of the Union of Soviet Republics."[verification needed]
When first published, Nineteen Eighty-Four was generally well received by reviewers. V. S. Pritchett, reviewing the novel for the New Statesman stated: "I do not think I have ever read a novel more frightening and depressing; and yet, such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down." P. H. Newby, reviewing Nineteen Eighty-Four for The Listener magazine, described it as "the most arresting political novel written by an Englishman since Rex Warner's The Aerodrome." Nineteen Eighty-Four was also praised by Bertrand Russell, E. M. Forster and Harold Nicolson. On the other hand, Edward Shanks, reviewing Nineteen Eighty-Four for The Sunday Times, was dismissive; Shanks claimed Nineteen Eighty-Four "breaks all records for gloomy vaticination." C. S. Lewis was also critical of the novel, claiming that the relationship of Julia and Winston, and especially the party view on sex, lacked credibility, and that the setting was "odious rather than tragic."
See also: Nineteen Eighty-Four in popular media
"Happy 1984" stencil graffiti, denoting mind control via video games, on a standing piece of the Berlin Wall, 2005.
Wall of an industrial building in Donetsk, Ukraine
The effect of Nineteen Eighty-Four on the English language is extensive; the concepts of Big Brother, Room 101, the Thought Police, thoughtcrime, unperson, memory hole (oblivion), doublethink (simultaneously holding and believing contradictory beliefs) and Newspeak (ideological language) have become common phrases for denoting totalitarian authority. Doublespeak and groupthink are both deliberate elaborations of doublethink, while the adjective "Orwellian" denotes "characteristic and reminiscent of George Orwell's writings" especially Nineteen Eighty-Four. The practice of ending words with "-speak" (e.g. mediaspeak) is drawn from the novel. Orwell is perpetually associated with the year 1984; in July 1984 an asteroid discovered by Antonín Mrkos was named after Orwell.
In 1977 the British rock band The Jam released the album This Is the Modern World, which includes the track "Standards" by Paul Weller. This track concludes with the lyrics... "...and ignorance is strength, we have god on our side, look, you know what happened to Winston."
In 1984, Apple Computer made a Super Bowl advertisement for the Mac, stating that "1984 won't be like '1984'". The ad was suggesting that the Apple Mac would be freedom from Big Brother, the IBM PC.
In September 2009, the English progressive rock band Muse released The Resistance, which included songs influenced by 1984.
References to the themes, concepts and plot of Nineteen Eighty-Four have appeared frequently in other works, especially in popular music and video entertainment. An example is the worldwide hit reality television show Big Brother, in which a group of people live together in a large house, isolated from the outside world but continuously watched by television cameras.
In November 2011, the United States government argued before the US Supreme Court that it wants to continue utilizing GPS tracking of individuals without first seeking a warrant. In response, Justice Stephen Breyer questioned what this means for a democratic society by referencing Nineteen Eighty-Four. Justice Breyer asked, "If you win this case, then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States. So if you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like Nineteen Eighty-Four... "
In 1984, the book was made into a movie which starred John Hurt as the central character of Winston Smith. In 2006, the movie version of V for Vendetta was released, which has many of the same running themes and principles as 1984 and also stars John Hurt taking on the role of the leader of a totalitarian party, though the film is based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. An episode of Doctor Who called "The God Complex" depicts an alien ship disguised as a hotel containing Room 101-like spaces, and quotes the nursery rhyme as well.
The book touches on the invasion of privacy and ubiquitous surveillance. From mid 2013 it was publicized that the NSA has been secretly monitoring and storing global internet traffic, including the bulk data collection of email and phone call data. Sales of Nineteen Eighty-Four increased by up to 7 times within the first week of the 2013 mass surveillance leaks. It is also seen in the book how mass media was a catalyst for the intensification of destructive emotions and violence. Since the 20th century news and other forms of media has been publicizing violence more. It is no coincidence that in the same year, the Almeida Theatre and Headlong staged a successful new adaptation (by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan) which twice toured the UK and played an extended run in London's West End.
Nineteen Eighty-Four was presented on Theatre Guild on the Air 26 April 1953. The adaptation starred Richard Widmark, Alan Hewitt, and Marian Seldes.
1984 vs. Brave New World
In the decades since the publication of 1984, there have been numerous comparisons to the Aldous Huxley novel, Brave New World which was published 17 years earlier in 1932. They are both predictions of societies dominated by a central government, based on extensions of the trends of their times. But the ruling class of 1984 use brutal force, torture, and mind control to keep rebellious individuals in line, while Brave New World rulers keep citizens in line through addictive drugs and pleasurable distractions.
In October 1949, after reading 1984, Huxley sent a letter to Orwell stating his belief that it would be more efficient for rulers to stay in power through the softer touch – allowing citizens to self-seek pleasure as a means of control rather than brute force, allowing for a false sense of freedom:
"Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience."
Elements of both novels can be seen in modern-day societies, with Huxley's vision being more dominant in the West and Orwell's vision more prevalent with dictators in ex-communist countries and the theocracies and dictatorships of the Middle East, as pointed out in essays that compare the two novels, including Huxley's own Brave New World Revisited.
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Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition (1996). HarperCollins:New York. p. 734.
Aaronovitch, David (8 February 2013). "1984: George Orwell's road to dystopia". BBC News Magazine (United Kingdom: The BBC). Retrieved 8 February 2013.
The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition, Columbia University Press: 1993, p. 2030.
"Nineteen Eighty-Four," pg 272.
The Oxford Companion to English Literature, Sixth Edition. University of Oxford Press: 2000. p. 726.
"Dedicated follower of passions". The Guardian. 19 May 2002.
"The Widow Orwell". The New York Times. 15 June 2003.
Grossman, Lev; Lacayo, Richard (6 October 2005). "ALL-TIME 100 Novels. 1984 (1949), by George Orwell". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 19 October 2012
"100 Best Novels". Modern Library. Retrieved 19 October 2012
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Letter to Roger Senhouse, 26 December 1948, reprinted in Collected Works:It Is What I Think, p.487
Bowker, Chapter 18. "thesis": pp. 368–9
Bowker 2003, pp. 383, 399
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John Rodden. The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of "St. George" Orwell
CEJL, iv, no. 125.
Crick, Bernard. Introduction to Nineteen Eighty-Four (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984)
Nineteen Eighty-four, ISBN 978-0-14-118776-1; p. xxvii (Penguin)
Marcus, Laura; Nicholls, Peter (2005). The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature. Cambridge University Press. p. 226. ISBN 0-521-82077-4. "Brave New World [is] traditionally bracketed with Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four as a dystopia ..."
"Freedom and Happiness" (a review of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin) by Orwell, Tribune, 4 January 1946.
"1984 thoughtcrime? Does it matter that George Orwell pinched the plot?", Paul Owen, The Guardian, 8 June 2009.
Canadian protection covers the author's life and 50 years from the end of the calendar year of his or her death.
South African copyright law protects literary works for the author's life plus fifty years; see the Copyright Act, No. 98 of 1978, as amended.
"1984, de Orwell, 60 años después – 25.07.2009 – lanacion.com". Lanacion.com.ar. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
Australian law stipulates life plus 70 years, since 2005. The law is not retrospective and excludes works published in the lifetime of an author who died in 1956 or earlier
Omani law provides for a copyright duration of 70 years after the death of the author since 2008, prior to this the copyright duration was only 50 years after the death of the author, and as the new law explicitly provides that it does not apply to works already in the public domain, this work remains in the public domain.
Law No. 9.610 of February 19, 1998 on Copyright and Neighboring Rights. WIPO, 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
Hirtle, Peter B. "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". Retrieved 25 March 2010. As a work published between 1923 and 1963, with renewed notice and copyright, it remains protected for 95 years from its publication date
Part I, Ch. 1.
Part I, Ch. 3.
"striking thirteen" (1:00 pm). In Nineteen Eighty-Four, the 24-hour clock is modern, the 12-hour clock is old-fashioned, Part I, Ch. 8.
Part II, Ch. 9
Reed, Kit (1985). "Barron's Booknotes-1984 by George Orwell". Barron's Educational Series. Retrieved 2 July 2009.
"1984".Part 2, Chapter 9
Lines 29–35, page 229, Chapter X, Part II of the Penguin paperback edition of 1984: "The proles were immortal, you could not doubt it when you looked at that valiant figure in the yard. In the end their awakening would come. And until that happened, though it might be a thousand years, they would stay alive against all the odds, like birds, passing on from body to body the vitality which the Party did not share and could not kill."
"George Orwell: "Notes on Nationalism"". Resort.com. May 1945. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
Margaret Atwood: "Orwell and me". The Guardian 16 June 2003
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photo Oliver Stone by Gage
Oliver Stone in 2016.
Born William Oliver Stone
September 15, 1946 (age 69)
New York City, U.S.
Alma mater New York University (B.F.A.), Yale University
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1971–present
Religion Buddhism (previously Protestant)
Spouse(s) Najwa Sarkis (m. 1971; div. 1977)
Elizabeth Burkit Cox (m. 1981; div. 1993)
Sun-jung Jung (m. 1996)
Awards Academy Award for Best Director
1989 Born on the Fourth of July
Légion d'Honneur (2004)
William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.
Stone won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as writer of Midnight Express (1978). He also wrote the acclaimed gangster movie Scarface (1983). As a director, Stone achieved prominence as director/writer of the war drama Platoon (1986), for which Stone won the Academy Award for Best Director; the film was awarded Best Picture. Platoon was the first in a trilogy of films based on the Vietnam War, in which Stone served as an infantry soldier. He continued the series with Born on the Fourth of July (1989) - for which Stone won his second Best Director Oscar - and Heaven & Earth (1993). Stone's other notable works include the Salvadoran Civil War-based drama Salvador (1986); the financial drama Wall Street (1987) and its 2010 sequel Money Never Sleeps; the Jim Morrison biopic The Doors (1991); and a trilogy of films based on the American Presidency - JFK (1991), Nixon (1995) and W. (2008). Many of Stone's films primarily focus on controversial American political issues during the late 20th century, and as such that they were considered contentious at the times of their releases. They often combine different camera and film formats within a single scene as evidenced in JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon.
1 Early life
2 U.S. Army
3 Writing and directing career
5 Other work
6 Personal life
7 Political views
7.1 Latin America
7.2 U.S. Presidential politics
7.3 Iran and Holocaust controversy
8.1 As director
8.2 As actor
8.3 Screenwriter only
8.4 Producer/executive producer only
9 Award and Nominations
9.1 Academy Awards
11 Further reading
12 External links
Stone was born in New York City, the son of Jacqueline (née Goddet) and Louis Stone (born Louis Silverstein), a stockbroker. He grew up in Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut. His parents met during World War II when his father was fighting as a part of the allied troops in France. His father was a non-practicing Jew, and his French-born mother was a non-practicing Roman Catholic. Stone was raised in the Episcopal Church, and now practices Buddhism.
Stone attended Trinity School in New York City before his parents sent him away to The Hill School, a college-preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. His parents were divorced abruptly while he was away at school (1962) and this, because he was an only child, marked him deeply. Stone's mother was often absent and his father made a big impact on his life; father-son relationships were to feature heavily in Stone's films.
He often spent parts of his summer vacations with his maternal grandparents in France, both in Paris and La Ferté-sous-Jouarre in Seine-et-Marne. Stone also worked at 17 in the Paris mercantile exchange in sugar and cocoa — a job that proved inspirational to Stone for his film Wall Street. He speaks French fluently. Stone graduated from The Hill School in 1964.
Stone was admitted into Yale University, but left in June 1965 at age 18 to teach high school students English for six months in Saigon at the Free Pacific Institute in South Vietnam. Afterwards, he worked as a wiper on a United States Merchant Marine ship in 1966, traveling to Oregon. He returned to Yale, where he dropped out a second time (in part due to working on an autobiographical novel A Child's Night Dream, published 1997 by St. Martin's Press).
In April 1967, Stone enlisted in the United States Army and requested combat duty in Vietnam. From September 16, 1967 to April 1968, he served with 2nd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam where he was wounded two times, and with the First Cavalry Division participating in long range patrols before being transferred again to a motorized infantry unit of the division in Vietnam driving army vehicles until November 1968. For his service, his military awards include the Bronze Star with "V" Device for heroism, the Purple Heart with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to denote two awards, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Writing and directing career
An early photo of Oliver Stone.
Stone graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film in 1971, where his teachers included director Martin Scorsese (the same year, he had a small acting role in comedy The Battle of Love's Return). Stone made a short, well received 12-minute film Last Year in Viet Nam. He worked as a taxi driver, film production assistant, messenger, and salesman before making his mark in film as a scriptwriter in the late '70s, in the period between his first two films as a director: horror films Seizure and The Hand.
In 1979, Stone won his first Academy Award, after adapting true-life prison story Midnight Express into a hit film for British director Alan Parker (the two would later collaborate on a 1996 movie of stage musical Evita). Stone's screenplay for Midnight Express was criticized by some for its inaccuracies in portraying the events described in the book and vilifying the Turkish people. The original author, Billy Hayes, around whom the film is set, spoke out against the film, protesting that he had many Turkish friends while in jail. Stone later apologized to Turkey for over-dramatizing the script, while not repudiating the film's stark brutality or the reality of Turkish prisons.
Stone wrote further features, including Brian De Palma's drug lord tale Scarface and Year of the Dragon with Mickey Rourke, before his career took off as a writer-director in 1986. Like his contemporary Michael Mann, Stone is unique in having written or co-written most of the films he has directed. In 1986, Stone directed two films back to back: the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Salvador, shot largely in Mexico, and his long in development Vietnam project Platoon, shot in the Philippines. Stone loosely based Scarface on his own addiction to cocaine, which he successfully kicked while writing the screenplay.
Platoon brought Stone's name to a much wider audience. It also finally kickstarted a busy directing career, which saw him making nine films over the next decade. Alongside some negative reaction, Platoon won many rave reviews (Roger Ebert later called it the ninth best film of the 1980s), large audiences, and Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2007, a film industry vote ranked it at number 83 in an American Film Institute "AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies" poll of the previous century's best American movies. British TV channel Channel 4 voted Platoon as the sixth greatest war film ever made.
Platoon was the first of three films Stone has made about the Vietnam War: the others were Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth, each dealing with different aspects of the war. Platoon is a semi-autobiographical film about Stone's experience in combat; Born on the Fourth of July is based on the autobiography of US Marine turned peace campaigner Ron Kovic; Heaven & Earth is based on the memoir When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, in which Le Ly Hayslip recalls her life as a Vietnamese village girl drastically affected by the war and who finds another life in the USA.
Stone also directed the acclaimed Wall Street, which won Michael Douglas an Academy Award for Best Actor as a ruthless Wall Street corporate raider, and Talk Radio, based on Eric Bogosian's Pulitzer-nominated play.
The Doors, released in 1991, received criticism from former Doors member Ray Manzarek (keyboardist–bass player) during a question and answer session at Indiana University East (in Richmond, Indiana), in 1997. During the discussion, Manzarek stated that he sat down with Stone about The Doors and Jim Morrison for over 12 hours. Patricia Kennealy Morrison—a well known rock critic and author—was a consultant on the movie, in which she also has a cameo appearance, but she writes in her memoir Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison (Dutton, 1992) that Stone ignored everything she told him and proceeded with his own version of events. From the moment the movie was released, she blasted it as untruthful and inaccurate. The other surviving former members of the band, John Densmore and Robby Krieger, also cooperated with the filming of Doors, but Krieger distanced himself from the work before the film's release. However, Densmore thought highly of the film, and in fact celebrated its DVD release on a panel with Oliver Stone.
During this same period, Stone directed one of his most ambitious, controversial and successful films to date JFK, that depicts the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. In 1991, Stone showed JFK to Congress on Capitol Hill, which helped lead to passage of the Assassination Materials Disclosure Act of 1992. The Assassination Records Review Board (created by Congress to end the secrecy surrounding Kennedy's assassination) discussed the film, including Stone's observation at the end of the film, about the dangers inherent in government secrecy. Stone published an annotated version of the screenplay, in which he cites references for his claims, shortly after the film's release.
I make my films like you're going to die if you miss the next minute. You better not go get popcorn.
1994 saw the release of Stone's satire of the modern media, Natural Born Killers. Originally based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, critics recognized its portrayal of violence and the intended satire on the media. Before it was released, the MPAA gave the film a NC-17 rating; this caused Stone to cut four minutes of film footage in order to obtain an R rating (he eventually released the unrated version on VHS and DVD in 2001).
Stone went on to direct the 1995 Richard Nixon biopic Nixon, which was nominated for Oscars for script and Anthony Hopkins' portrait of the title role. Stone followed Nixon with the 1997 road movie/film noir, U Turn, and 1999's Any Given Sunday, a film about power struggles within and without an American football team.
Oliver Stone with Rino Barillari in "Piazza dé Ricci" exit of the restaurant "Pierluigi" in Rome – September 25, 2012
After a period from 1986–1999 where Stone released a new film at least every 1–2 years, Stone slowed down in the 2000s, though still finding some success.
In 2004, Stone directed the critically savaged Alexander. He later radically re-edited his biopic of Alexander the Great into a two-part, 3 hour 37 minute film Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut, which became one of the highest-selling catalog items from Warner Bros. After Alexander, Stone went on to direct World Trade Center, based on the true story of two PAPD policemen who were trapped in the rubble and survived the September 11 attacks.
In 2007, Stone was intended to direct his fourth Vietnam War film Pinkville, about a Pentagon investigation into the My Lai Massacre of Vietnamese civilians. The film was to have been made for United Artists, but the company officially cancelled the production start due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Shortly after the strike, Stone went on to write and direct the George W. Bush biopic W., that chronicles the controversial President's childhood, relationship with his father, struggles with his alcoholism, rediscovery of his Christian faith, and continues the rest of his life up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In 2010, Stone returned to the theme of Wall Street for the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. In 2012, Stone directed Savages, based on a novel by Don Winslow.
In 2014, Stone announced that his Martin Luther King project, which he had worked on for three years, was aborted by the producing studios, Warner Bros and DreamWorks, following the objection of King's estate to his screenplay, which deals with King's adultery. Later Stone commented in a BBC interview: "These are not rumours; these are facts and Hoover had the tapes."
In 2015, he was presented with an honorific award at the Sitges Film Festival .
Stone's next film is Snowden. Based on the life of Edward Snowden, the film sees Stone returning to his controversial roots. Snowden ended filming in May 2015 and is to be released on September 16, 2016.
Stone with Hugo Chávez at the Venice International Film Festival, July 9, 2009 for the screening of South of the Border
Stone made three documentaries on Fidel Castro: Comandante (2003), Looking for Fidel, and Castro in Winter (2012). He made Persona Non Grata, a documentary on Israeli-Palestinian relations, interviewing several notable figures of Israel, including Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Shimon Peres, as well as Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In 2009, Stone completed a feature-length documentary, South of the Border about the rise of progressive, leftist governments in Latin America, featuring seven presidents: Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Cuba's Raúl Castro, the Kirchners of Argentina, Brazil's Lula da Silva, and Paraguay's Fernando Lugo (all of whom hold negative views of US manipulations in South America). Stone hoped the film would get the Western world to rethink socialist policies in South America, particularly as it was being applied by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. Chávez joined Stone for the premiere of the documentary at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2009. Stone defended his decision not to interview Chávez's opponents, stating that oppositional statements and TV clips were scattered through the documentary and that the documentary was an attempt to right a balance of heavily negative coverage. He praised Chávez as a leader of a movement for social transformation in Latin America (the Bolivarian Revolution), along with the six other Presidents in the film. The documentary was also released in several cities in the United States and Europe in the summer of 2010.
In 2012, the documentary miniseries Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States premiered on Showtime, Stone co-wrote, directed, produced, and narrated the series, having worked on it since 2008 with co-writers American University historian Peter J. Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham. The 10-part series is supplemented by a 750-page companion book of the same name, also written by Stone and Kuznick, released on October 30, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. Stone described the project as "the most ambitious thing I've ever done. Certainly in documentary form, and perhaps in fiction, feature form." The project received positive reviews from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, and reviewers from IndieWire, San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsday. Hudson Institute adjunct fellow historian Ronald Radosh accused the series of historical revisionism, while journalist Michael C. Moynihan accused the book of "moral equivalence" and said nothing within the book was "untold" previously. Stone defended the program's accuracy to TV host Tavis Smiley by saying "This has been fact checked by corporate fact checkers, by our own fact checkers, and fact checkers [hired] by Showtime. It's been thoroughly vetted...these are facts, our interpretation may be different than orthodox, but it definitely holds up."
On March 5, 2014, Stone and teleSUR premiered the documentary film Mi Amigo Hugo (My Friend Hugo), a documentary about Venezuela's late President, Hugo Chávez, one year after his death. The film is also a "spiritual answer" and a tribute from Stone to Chávez. At the end of 2014 according to a Facebook post Stone said he had been in Moscow to interview (former Ukrainian president) Viktor Yanukovych, for a "new English language documentary produced by Ukrainians" . Stone reportedly also wanted to do a film on Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Stone was interviewed in Boris Malagurski's documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014), which deals with neoliberal reforms in the Balkans.
In 1993, Stone produced a miniseries for ABC Television called Wild Palms. In a cameo, Stone appears on a television in the show discussing how the theories in his film JFK had been proven correct (the series took place in a hypothetical future, 2007). That same year, he also spoofed himself in the comedy hit Dave, espousing an (accurate) conspiracy theory about the film President's replacement by a near-identical double. In 1997, Stone published A Child's Night Dream (St. Martin's Press), a semiautobiographical novel first written in 1966–1967.
On September 15, 2008, Stone was named the Artistic Director of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore.
Stone married three times, first to Najwa Sarkis on May 22, 1971. They divorced in 1977. He then married Elizabeth Burkit Cox, an assistant in film production, on June 7, 1981. They had two sons, Sean Stone/Ali (b. 1984) and Michael Jack (b. 1991). Sean appeared in some of his father's films while a child. Oliver and Elizabeth divorced in 1993. Stone is currently married to Sun-jung Jung, and the couple have a daughter, Tara (b. 1995).
Stone is mentioned in Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief as having been a member of Scientology for about a month, saying "It was like going to college and reading Dale Carnegie, something you do to find yourself." In 1997, Stone was one of 34 celebrities to sign an open letter to then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, published as a newspaper advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which protested against the treatment of Scientologists in Germany and compared it to the Nazis' oppression of Jews in the 1930s. In 2003, Stone was a signatory of the third Humanist Manifesto.
In 1999, Stone was arrested and pleaded guilty to alcohol and drug charges. He was ordered into a rehabilitation program. He was arrested again on the night of May 27, 2005 in Los Angeles for possession of an undisclosed illegal drug. He was released the next day on a $15,000 bond. In August 2005, Stone pleaded no contest and was fined $100.
Stone has had an interest in Latin America since the 1980s when he made his 1986 film Salvador and later returned to make his documentary South of the Border about the left-leaning movements that had been taking hold in the region. He has expressed the view that these movements are a positive step toward political and economic autonomy for the region.
U.S. Presidential politics
According to Newsmeat and Entertainment Weekly respectively, Stone voted for Barack Obama as U.S. president in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, instead of John McCain and Mitt Romney, the GOP candidates for the presidency. Stone was quoted as saying at the time: "I voted for Obama because...I think he's an intelligent individual I think he responds to difficulties well...very bright guy...far better choice yes." In 2012, Stone endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President. He said that Paul is "the only one of anybody who's saying anything intelligent about the future of the world." then later: "I supported Ron Paul in the Republican primary... but his domestic policy... made no sense!" In 2016, Stone wrote on the Huffington Post his support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic nomination.
Iran and Holocaust controversy
In an interview with The Times newspaper on July 25, 2010, Stone claimed that America does not know "the full story" on Iran and complained about Jewish "domination" in parts of the U.S. media and foreign policy, notably his view that Adolf Hitler was misunderstood due to Jewish control of the media. When Stone was asked why so much of an emphasis has been placed on the Holocaust, as opposed to the 20-plus million casualties the Soviet Union, for example, suffered in World War II, he stated that in Washington the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was an overly powerful Jewish lobby within the U.S. The remarks were heavily criticized by Jewish groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, from which Yuri Eidelstein described Stone's remarks as what "could be a sequel to the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and the American Jewish Committee, as well as from Israel's Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister.
A day later, Stone stated: "In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity—and it was an atrocity."
Two days later, Stone issued a second apology to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which was accepted. "I believe he now understands the issues and where he was wrong, and this puts an end to the matter," said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman.
Oliver Stone is a vocal supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone signed a petition in support of Assange's bid for political asylum in June 2012. In August 2012, he penned a New York Times op-ed with filmmaker Michael Moore on the importance of WikiLeaks and free speech. Stone visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in April 2013 and commented, "I don't think most people in the US realize how important WikiLeaks is and why Julian's case needs support." He also criticized two upcoming WikiLeaks films from Alex Gibney and Bill Condon.
In June 2013, Stone and numerous other celebrities appeared in a video showing support for Chelsea Manning.
In December 2014, Stone made statements supporting the Russian government's narrative on Ukraine, portraying the 2014 Ukrainian revolution as a CIA plot and former Ukrainian president (who was ousted as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution) Viktor Yanukovych, whose responsibility for the killing of protesters is claimed by the new Ukrainian government, as a legitimate president forced to leave Ukraine by "well-armed, neo-Nazi radicals." The University of Toronto's Stephen Velychenko, the author of several books on Ukrainian history, and James Kirchick of The Daily Beast criticized Stone's comments and plans for a film.
Year Film Academy Award Golden Globe BAFTA Golden Raspberry Awards
Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins Nominations Wins
1981 The Hand
1986 Salvador 2
Platoon 8 4 4 3 3 2
1987 Wall Street 1 1 1 1 1 1
1988 Talk Radio
1989 Born on the Fourth of July 8 2 5 4 2
1991 The Doors
JFK 8 2 4 1 2 2
1993 Heaven & Earth 1 1
1994 Natural Born Killers 1
1995 Nixon 4 1 1
1997 U Turn 2
1999 Any Given Sunday
2003 Persona Non Grata
2004 Alexander 6
Looking for Fidel
2006 World Trade Center
2009 South of the Border
2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps 1
Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States
The Battle of Love's Return (1971)
Platoon (1986) (cameo)
Wall Street (cameo) (1987)
Born on the Fourth of July (cameo) (1989)
The Doors (1991) (cameo)
Dave (cameo) (1993)
Any Given Sunday (1999)
Torrente 3: El Protector (cameo) (2005)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (cameo) (2010)
Greystone Park (actor) (2011)
End the War on Animals (narrator, PETA video) (2012)
Midnight Express (1978)
Conan the Barbarian (with John Milius) (1982)
Year of the Dragon (with Michael Cimino) (1985)
8 Million Ways to Die (with David Lee Henry) (1985)
Evita (with Alan Parker) (1996)
Producer/executive producer only
Sugar Cookies (1973)
Blue Steel (1989)
Reversal of Fortune (1990)
South Central (1992)
Wild Palms (1993) (TV)
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
The New Age (1994)
Indictment: The McMartin Trial (1995) (TV)
The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Cold Around the Heart (1996)
Killer: A Journal of Murder (1996)
The Last Days of Kennedy and King (1998)
The Corruptor (1999)
The Day Reagan Was Shot (2001) (TV)
Award and Nominations
Year Category Film Result
1978 Best Adapted Screenplay Midnight Express Won
1986 Best Director Platoon Won
1989 Best Picture Born on the Fourth of July Nominated Shared with A. Kitman Ho
Best Director Born on the Fourth of July Won
Best Adapted Screenplay Born on the Fourth of July Nominated Shared with Ron Kovic
1991 Best Picture JFK Nominated Shared with A. Kitman Ho
Best Director JFK Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay JFK Nominated Shared with Zachary Sklar
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Oliver Stone Apologizes to Turkey
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Alexander – Words from Oliver Stone: Thank you very much.... Facebook. Retrieved on May 22, 2014.
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Husam sam Asi (2014-02-19), Oliver Stone criticises Martin Luther King family in a BBC arabic interview with Sam Asi, retrieved 2016-04-04
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Stone: Film an intro to Chávez and his movement, by Ian James, Associated Press, May 29, 2010
Oliver Stone (June 28, 2010). "Oliver Stone Responds to New York Times Attack". Truthdig. External link in |publisher= (help)
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Ed Rampell "Q&A: Oliver Stone on Israel, Palestine and Newt Gingrich", "The Jewish Daily Forward", January 15, 2012
Gorbachev on Untold History, October 2012
Glenn Greenwald "Various Items: Oliver Stone is releasing a new book" The Guardian. October 30, 2012
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bloombergview.com patronsaint truthiness
"Oliver Stone Named Artistic Director". tischasia.nyu.edu.sg. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
Oliver Stone: Interviews — Oliver Stone, Charles L. P. Silet — Google Books. Books.google.ca. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television — Monica M. O'Donnell — Google Books. Books.google.ca. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival - 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' Premiere, LIFE.com, May 14, 2010
Nine Celebrity Morsels from Lawrence's Wright's Scientology Book
Drozdiak, William (January 14, 1997). U.S. Celebrities Defend Scientology in Germany, The Washington Post, p. A11
"Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. American Humanist Association. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
"Director Oliver Stone arrested". CNN News. May 28, 2005. Retrieved October 15, 2008.
"Director Oliver Stone arrested". CNN. May 28, 2005.
"Oliver Stone enters plea in pot charge". USA Today. August 11, 2005.
Ann Hornaday (June 23, 2010). "Director Stone leaves no passion unstoked, and Silverdocs film is no exception". Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
Schou, Solvej. "Oliver Stone on Obama: 'I hope he wins'". Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
"Oliver Stone On Voting For Obama". AOL Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
"Director Oliver Stone On History. And America, Jim Morrison & Ron Paul". Rock Cellar Magazine. January 2012.
Oliver Stone. "Why I'm For Bernie Sanders". Huffington Post.com. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
Hoffman, Gil. "Israel slams Oliver Stone's interview". The Jerusalem Post.
"AJC: "Oliver Stone has Outed Himself as an Anti-Semite"". American Jewish Committee - Website. Retrieved July 26, 2010. External link in |publisher= (help)
"Oliver Stone 'Sorry' About Holocaust Comments". The Wall Street Journal. July 26, 2010.
Szalai, Georg (October 14, 2010). "Oliver Stone, ADL settle their differences". The Hollywood Reporter.
"Moore, Glover, Stone, Maher, Greenwald, Wolf, Ellsberg Urge Correa to Grant Asylum to Assange". Just Foreign Policy. June 22, 2012.
"WikiLeaks and Free Speech". The New York Times. August 20, 2012.
Child, Ben (April 11, 2013). "Oliver Stone meets Julian Assange and criticises new WikiLeaks films". The Guaridan (London).
Celeb video: 'I am Bradley Manning' - Patrick Gavin. Politico.Com (June 20, 2013). Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
I am Bradley Manning (full HD). YouTube. Retrieved on May 22, 2014.
Miller, Christopher (December 30, 2014). "Oliver Stone says CIA was behind Ukraine revolution in bizarre Facebook rant". Mashable.
"Oliver Stone Meets Toppled Ukrainian President Yanukovych, Accuses CIA of Sparking Coup". Newsweek.
"Oliver Stone, Patron Saint of Truthiness". Bloomberg View.
"Oliver Stone Interviews Yanukovych for Documentary on U.S. 'Coup' in Ukraine". The Moscow Times.
"Oliver Stone: Ukraine's revolution was CIA 'plot'". International Business Times.
"CIA Fingerprints All Over Ukraine Coup". Ron Paul institute.
Velychenko, Stephen (January 1, 2015). "Stephen Velychenko: An open letter to Oliver Stone". Kyiv Post.
Kirchick, James (January 5, 2015). "Oliver Stone’s Latest Dictator Suckup". The Daily Beast.
Hamburg, Eric. Nixon: An Oliver Stone Film. Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-8157-7
Riordan, James. Stone: The Biography. (1996)
Stone, Oliver. JFK: The Book of the Film. Applause Books. ISBN 1-55783-127-0
Salewicz, Chris. Oliver Stone: the making of his movies. Orion. ISBN 0-7528-1820-1
Stone, Oliver. "A Child's Night Dream".
iconfilm in the United States portal Biography portal
Media related to Oliver Stone at Wikimedia Commons
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The Oliver Stone Experience (official Oliver Stone website)
Oliver Stone at the Internet Movie Database
A biography of Oliver Stone
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Seizure (1974) The Hand (1981) Salvador (1986) Platoon (1986) Wall Street (1987) Talk Radio (1988) Born on the Fourth of July (1989) The Doors (1991) JFK (1991) Heaven & Earth (1993) Natural Born Killers (1994) Nixon (1995) U Turn (1997) Any Given Sunday (1999) Alexander (2004) World Trade Center (2006) W. (2008) Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) Savages (2012) Snowden (2016)
Persona Non Grata (2003) Comandante (2003) Looking for Fidel (2004) South of the Border (2009) Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States (2012 series)
Midnight Express (1978) Conan the Barbarian (1982) Scarface (1983) Year of the Dragon (1985) 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) Evita (1996)
from Marx and Engels Archive
by Frederick Engels
This short biography is based on Engels’ version written at the end of July 1868 for the German literary newspaper Die Gartenlaube, whose editors decided against using it.
Written: Engels rewrote it around July 28, 1869;
First Published: in Die Zukunft, No. 185, August 11, 1869;
Translated: by Joan and Trevor Walmsley;
Transcribed: for the Internet by Zodiac;
Html Markup: by Brian Baggins.
Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818 in Trier, where he received a classical education. He studied jurisprudence at Bonn and later in Berlin, where, however, his preoccupation with philosophy soon turned him away from law. In 1841, after spending five years in the “metropolis of intellectuals,” he returned to Bonn intending to habilitate. At that time the first “New Era” was in vogue in Prussia. Frederick William IV had declared his love of a loyal opposition, and attempts were being made in various quarters to organise one. Thus the Rheinische Zeitung was founded at Cologne; with unprecedented daring Marx used it to criticise the deliberations of the Rhine Province Assembly, in articles which attracted great attention. At the end of 1842 he took over the editorship himself and was such a thorn in the side of the censors that they did him the honour of sending a censor [Wilhelm Saint-Paul] from Berlin especially to take care of the Rheinische Zeitung. When this proved of no avail either the paper was made to undergo dual censorship, since, in addition to the usual procedure, every issue was subjected to a second stage of censorship by the office of Cologne’s Regierungspresident [Karl Heinrich von Gerlach]. But nor was this measure of any avail against the “obdurate malevolence” of the Rheinische Zeitung, and at the beginning of 1843 the ministry issued a decree declaring that the Rheinische Zeitung must cease publication at the end of the first quarter. Marx immediately resigned as the shareholders wanted to attempt a settlement, but this also came to nothing and the newspaper ceased publication.
His criticism of the deliberations of the Rhine Province Assembly compelled Marx to study questions of material interest. In pursuing that he found himself confronted with points of view which neither jurisprudence nor philosophy had taken account of. Proceeding from the Hegelian philosophy of law, Marx came to the conclusion that it was not the state, which Hegel had described as the “top of the edifice,” but “civil society,” which Hegel had regarded with disdain, that was the sphere in which a key to the understanding of the process of the historical development of mankind should be looked for. However, the science of civil society is political economy, and this science could not be studied in Germany, it could only be studied thoroughly in England or France.
Therefore, in the summer of 1843, after marrying the daughter of Privy Councillor von Westphalen in Trier (sister of the von Westphalen who later became Prussian Minister of the Interior) Marx moved to Paris, where he devoted himself primarily to studying political economy and the history of the great French Revolution. At the same time he collaborated with Ruge in publishing the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, of which, however only one issue was to appear. Expelled from France by Guizot in 1845, he went to Brussels and stayed there, pursuing the same studies, until the outbreak of the February revolution. Just how little he agreed with the commonly accepted version of socialism there even in its most erudite-sounding form, was shown in his critique of Proudhon’s major work Philosophie de la misère, which appeared in 1847 in Brussels and Paris under the title of The Poverty of Philosophy. In that work can already be found many essential points of the theory which he has now presented in full detail. The Manifesto of the Communist Party, London, 1848, written before the February revolution and adopted by a workers’ congress in London, is also substantially his work.
Expelled once again, this time by the Belgian government under the influence of the panic caused by the February revolution, Marx returned to Paris at the invitation of the French provisional government. The tidal wave of the revolution pushed all scientific pursuits into the background; what mattered now was to become involved in the movement. After having worked during those first turbulent days against the absurd notions of the agitators, who wanted to organise German workers from France as volunteers to fight for a republic in Germany, Marx went to Cologne with his friends and founded there the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, which appeared until June 1849 and which people on the Rhine still remember well today. The freedom of the press of 1848 was probably nowhere so successfully exploited as it was at that time, in the midst of a Prussian fortress, by that newspaper. After the government had tried in vain to silence the newspaper by persecuting it through the courts – Marx was twice brought before the assizes for an offence against the press laws and for inciting people to refuse to pay their taxes, and was acquitted on both occasions – it had to close at the time of the May revolts of 1849 when Marx was expelled on the pretext that he was no longer a Prussian subject, similar pretexts being used to expel the other editors. Marx had therefore to return to Paris, from where he was once again expelled and from where, in the summer of 1849, [about August 26 1849] he went to his present domicile in London.
In London at that time was assembled the entire fine fleur [flower] of the refugees from all the nations of the continent. Revolutionary committees of every kind were formed, combinations, provisional governments in partibus infidelium, [literally: in parts inhabited by infidels. The words are added to the title of Roman Catholic bishops appointed to purely nominal dioceses in non-Christian countries; here it means “in exile”] there were quarrels and wrangles of every kind, and the gentlemen concerned no doubt now look back on that period as the most unsuccessful of their lives. Marx remained aloof from all of those intrigues. For a while he continued to produce his Neue Rheinische Zeitung in the form of a monthly review (Hamburg, 1850), later he withdrew into the British Museum and worked through the immense and as yet for the most part unexamined library there for all that it contained on political economy. At the same time he was a regular contributor to the New York Tribune, acting, until the outbreak of the American Civil War, so to speak, as the editor for European politics of this, the leading Anglo-American newspaper.
The coup d’etat of December 2 induced him to write a pamphlet, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, New York, 1852, which is just now being reprinted (Meissner, Hamburg), and will make no small contribution to an understanding of the untenable position into which that same Bonaparte has just got himself. The hero of the coup d’état is presented here as he really is, stripped of the glory with which his momentary success surrounded him. The philistine who considers his Napoleon III to be the greatest man of the century and is unable now to exaplin to himself how this miraculous genius suddenly comes to be making bloomer after bloomer and one political error after the other – that same philistine can consult the aforementioned work of Marx for his edification.
Although during his whole stay in London Marx chose not to thrust himself to the fore, he was forced by Karl Vogt, after the Italian campaign of 1859, to enter into a polemic, which was brought to an end with Marx’s Herr Vogt (London, 1860). At about the same time his study of political economy bore its first fruit: A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Part One, Berlin, 1859. This instalment contains only the theory of money presented from completely new aspects. The continuation was some time in coming, since the author discovered so much new material in the meantime that he considered it necessary to undertake further studies.
At last, in 1867, there appeared in Hamburg: Capital. A Critique of Political Economy, Volume I. This work contains the results of studies to which a whole life was devoted. It is the political economy of the working class, reduced to its scientific formulation. This work is concerned not with rabble-rousing phrasemongering, but with strictly scientific deductions. Whatever one’s attitude to socialism, one will at any rate have to acknowledge that in this work it is presented for the first time in a scientific manner, and that it was precisely Germany that accomplished this. Anyone still wishing to do battle with socialism, will have to deal with Marx, and if he succeeds in that then he really does not need to mention the dei minorum gentium.” [“Gods of a lesser stock;” meaning, celebrities of lesser stature.]
But there is another point of view from which Marx’s book is of interest. It is the first work in which the actual relations existing between capital and labour, in their classical form such as they have reached in England, are described in their entirety and in a clear and graphic fashion. The parliamentary inquiries provided ample material for this, spanning a period of almost forty years and practically unknown even in England, material dealing with the conditions of the workers in almost every branch of industry, women’s and children’s work, night work, etc.; all this is here made available for the first time. Then there is the history of factory legislation in England which, from its modest beginnings with the first acts of 1802, has now reached the point of limiting working hours in nearly all manufacturing or cottage industries to 60 hours per week for women and young people under the age of 18, and to 39 hours per week for children under 13. From this point of view the book is of the greatest interest for every industrialist.
For many years Marx has been the “best-maligned” of the German writers, and no one will deny that he was unflinching in his retaliation and that all the blows he aimed struck home with a vengeance. But polemics, which he “dealt in” so much, was basically only a means of self-defence for him. In the final analysis his real interest lay with his science, which he has studied and reflected on for twenty-five years with unrivalled conscientiousness, a conscientiousness which has prevented him from presenting his findings to the public in a systematic form until they satisfied him as to their form and content, until he was convinced that he had left no book unread, no objection unconsidered, and that he had examined every point from all its aspects. Original thinkers are very rare in this age of epigones; if, however, a man is not only an original thinker but also disposes over learning unequalled in his subject, then he deserves to be doubly acknowledged.
As one would expect, in addition to his studies Marx is busy with the workers’ movement; he is one of the founders of the International Working Men’s Association, which has been the centre of so much attention recently and has already shown in more than one place in Europe that it is a force to be reckoned with. We believe that we are not mistaken in saying that in this, at least as far as the workers’ movement is concerned, epoch-making organisation the German element – thanks precisely to Marx – holds the influential position which is its due.