George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” topped Amazon’s best-seller list this week in wake of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” comment.
The 1949 classic book is the story of a dystopian society in which the autocratic elite attempt to censor language and thought to prevent rebellion. The novel features “newspeak,” a language that eliminates the possibility of independent thought, and “doublethink,” which Orwell describes as the ability to believe contradictory ideas.
The current description for the book on Amazon, calls it a “chilling prophecy about the future,” adding “And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever.”
Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty made the comparison between Conway’s comments and Orwell’s book on CNN’s Reliable Sources, calling “alternative facts” a “George Orwell phrase.”
Conway used the phrase while defending comments made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”
The book’s sales were soaring even before Conway’s comments, though. A spokesman for publisher Signet Classics told NPR that the “1984” has seen nearly 10,000 percent increase in sales since the inauguration. The “alternative facts” debacle created another boost and Penguin USA has ordered 75,000 new copies of the book to match the growth.
This isn’t the first time Trump’s presidency has boosted a book’s sales. In November, Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here,” which focuses on the democracy’s fragility, jumped to No. 1 on Amazon’s best-seller list. It currently sits at No. 7.