Orwell's Vision Was Too Close For Comfort

Your review of Peter Huber's book Orwell's Revenge ("Why Big Brother isn't watching you," Books, Jan. 9) places great emphasis on the shortcomings of television surveillance as an argument for why Orwell's nightmare world could never occur.

Like any author, Orwell employed some literary license. But your reviewer apparently has little personal experience living under a totalitarian regime. In three countries with which I have personal experience, he would have found that every one of his visitors was monitored from time of entry into his living compound and often tracked thereafter.

So don't tell me Soviet, Chinese, Polish, Czech, and other Iron Curtain monitoring was just Western propaganda. It ain't the failure of TV monitors that dooms Orwell's dark vision. The nemesis of totalitarianism is human will, a factor Orwell didn't overlook.

D.B. Timmins


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