George Orwell's 1984 sales skyrocketed amid the recent NSA scandal. The novel, written in 1949, is now gaining popularity with a new generation.
The National Security Administration has been accused of collecting massive volumes of data from Americans. Specifically, they are accused of collecting and monitoring telephone and internet usage.
Edward Snowden, a former contractor with with NSA, exposed the reported surveillance, sparking outrage nationwide. Snowden was fired from his position and is reportedly staying in Hong Kong. The 29-year-old may face federal charges for leaking the information. However, many Americans are calling him a hero.
Monitoring by the US government is being compared to conditions described in Orwell's 1984. Sales have increased significantly, as the novel is repeatedly mentioned in relation to the scandal.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, President Obama mentioned the book late last week. Referring to the invasive government described in Orwell's novel, the president explains his point of view:
"In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."
Big Brother, according to Orwell, is a governing body that exerts complete and total control of the thoughts, words, and actions of its citizens. With the exposure of the NSA surveillance, many Americans are concerned that the government has crossed a line.
As reported by Amazon.com, 1984 sales have propelled the novel into fifth place in the "Movers and Shakers" list. Previously reporting with a sales rank of 6,750, Orwell's novel is now listed at 194. The 60 anniversary edition of 1984 is currently number 74 in the top 100 sales list.
Orwell wrote 1984 in anticipation of broad government surveillance. As stated by his biographer Michael Shelden, "throwing out such a broad net of surveillance is exactly the kind of threat Orwell feared."
It is difficult to say whether the NSA surveillance has been exaggerated, or whether the US is heading into a very frightening direction. Either way, 1984 sales continue to increase as Americans attempt to gain a new perspective.