Review | Orwell was more than a social critic. Rebecca Solnit’s new book finds him in the garden.



A selection of horticulturally themed Orwell vignettes can be fun sufficient, however that is Solnit’s highway shuttle, and along with her on the wheel we detour from Orwell to Stalin, who sentenced botanist Nikolai Vavilov to die in a jail camp over his refusal to simply accept the pseudoscience Stalin had embraced. We glance in on Tina Modotti, who photographed roses and lived amongst revolutionaries in Mexico. We take a second with Jamaica Kincaid, who writes about botany and British colonialism, and we excursion a Colombian rose farm, the place the questions of staff’ rights and capitalism are alive lately. At each and every forestall Solnit turns again to Orwell, whose paintings touches it all. “You’ve got to make a choice from freeing India and having further sugar,” Orwell as soon as wrote. “Which do you like?”


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