A Reader posted a review at 2007-11-24 07:08:31.
The greatest political book ever written in a mere 32k+ words. Orwell, whose life is shaped by events of war, demonstrates that COMMON INTEREST is what forms allies and inspires plans/executions. Though once the objective has been attained, like atoms realigning themselves when their environment changes, allies unaware even to themselves begin their shift, ultimately leading to another COMMON INTEREST and another alliance. So, those who were once "friends" become "enemies". This leaves the individual often to slide up and down a scale of ideologies--very often becoming his/her worst enemy.
The impossibility of any one ideology standardizing a social context is what Orwell portrays through the use of a society still following the traditional European economy of agrarianism. Then slowly, he moves them into industrialism, all the while getting them from one supposed ideological extreme to another.
In between, he lays out the tenets of what one ideological system needs: an inspiration, a death leading to the immediate misinterpretation, yet mobilization of the inspiration, an icon, an individual to represent this lost/immortalized icon, seduction, misunderstood intent by the population, power from the population to push on, eventual regrouping, disappointment, and taste from something new. Ironically, all ideologies work off of these tenets.
Orwell leaves his story at the coda/onset of change because the cycle of COMMON INTEREST is unending. And, this is just one interpretation.
Hands down, Animal Farm is a fantastic book for its minimalism as much as its magnitude.