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Amazon Misinterprets George Orwell in Push Against Hachette

amazon304In response to an author campaign against Amazon in the Hachette battle, the online giant sent out a letter to Kindle readers defending the low price of eBooks. In the letter, the Seattle-based company talks about how the literary establishment has a history of not supporting new formats.

“The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if ‘publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.’ Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion,” reads the letter, which challenges publishers on eBook price collusion and defends low eBook prices.

However, as The New York Times points out, this Orwell quote was taken out of context. Check it out:

When Orwell wrote that line, he was celebrating paperbacks published by Penguin, not urging suppression or collusion. Here is what the writer actually said in The New English Weekly on March 5, 1936: “The Penguin Books are splendid value for sixpence, so splendid that if the other publishers had any sense they would combine against them and suppress them.”

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