Big Brother on the Cover: 50+ Covers for George Orwell’s 1984

Daniel Solove
Founder of TeachPrivacy

Privacy Training Blog Big Brother Is Watching You Poster

by Daniel J. Solove

Privacy Training Blog George Orwell

George Orwell

One of the most well-known classic privacy books is George Orwell’s 1984, and it has been published in countless editions around the world.  I enjoy collecting things, and I’ve gathered up more than 50 book covers of various editions of the novel.  I find it interesting how various artists and designers try to capture the novel’s themes.  I thought I’d share the covers with you.

Orwell’s 1984 chronicles a harrowing totalitarian society, one that engages in massive surveillance of its citizenry.  Everywhere are posters that say “NSA Big Brother Is Watching You.”   From the novel:

Outside, even through the shut window-pane, the world looked cold. Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no colour in anything, except the posters that were plastered everywhere. The black moustachio’d face gazed down from every commanding corner. There was one on the house-front immediately opposite. BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU, the caption said, while the dark eyes looked deep into Winston’s own. Down at streetlevel another poster, torn at one corner, flapped fitfully in the wind, alternately covering and uncovering the single word INGSOC. In the far distance a helicopter skimmed down between the roofs, hovered for an instant like a bluebottle, and darted away again with a curving flight. It was the police patrol, snooping into people’s windows.

Another technique of surveillance is called the “telescreen,” which is a two-way TV set — as citizens watch television, someone from Big Brother could be watching them.  Today, the “telescreen” is called “the Internet.”

Another short excerpt from the novel:

There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

Now without further ado, here are the cover images.  Enjoy!

Orwell 1984 Book Cover 01 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 02
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 03 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 04
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Orwell 1984 Book Cover 07  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 10
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 08  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 09
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 11 Italian  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 11
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 12  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 13
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 17  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 14
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 15  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 16
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 18 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 19
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Orwell 1984 Book Cover 25 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 26
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 22 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 23
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 32  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 27
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 28  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 29
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 30  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 31
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 38 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 33
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 34 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 35
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 36 UK Orwell 1984 Book Cover 37
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 44  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 39
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 40 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 41
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 42 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 43
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 49 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 48 Sweden
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 47 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 50
Orwell 1984 Book Cover 45 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 46
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 55  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 56
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 51  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 52
 Orwell 1984 Book Cover 53  Orwell 1984 Book Cover 54

 

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This post was authored by Professor Daniel J. Solove, who through TeachPrivacy develops computer-based privacy training, data security training, HIPAA training, and many other forms of awareness training on privacy and security topics.  

Privacy Security Forum Ad 22Professor Solove is the organizer, along with Paul Schwartz of the Privacy + Security Forum (Oct. 21-23 in Washington, DC), an event that aims to bridge the silos between privacy and security. 

If you are interested in privacy and data security issues, there are many great ways Professor Solove can help you stay informed:
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