Animal Farm by George Orwell, First American Edition

Orwell, George. Animal Farm. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1946. First American edition. First issue dust jacket with mylar cover. Presented in a custom clamshell.

This first American edition of Animal Farm features the original 1946 dust jacket designed by Art Brenner. Published by Harcourt, Brace and Co. in 1946, this stated first American edition has all the first edition identification points and a new custom quarter-leather clamshell featuring a photo of the author. 

George Orwell, born Eric Arthur Blair, was a famous novelist, essayist, and critic. He headed the Indian service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and was a literary editor for the Tribune, a left-wing socialist paper aligning with his political values. Orwell gained popularity as an author after Animal Farm was first published in England in August of 1945. 

Animal Farm is a fable, loosely based on the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell wrote Animal Farm between November 1943 and February 1944, when the United Kingdom was in its wartime alliance with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany, and the British intelligentsia held Stalin in high esteem. The manuscript was initially rejected by a number of British and American publishers, largely due to fears that the book might upset the alliance between Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union.  Although this delayed publication, it invariably led to better commercial success when the book did appear in 1945, partly because international relations were transformed as the wartime alliance gave way to the Cold War. 

“With the rising popularity of Communism and the general political upheaval of the time, [Animal Farm is] a political fable that partly recounts, in an allegorical mode, the aftermath of the Russian revolution, and partly illustrates a belief in the universal tendency of power to corrupt" (Stringer, 22). 

“Animal Farm is [Orwell’s] masterpiece” (Connolly 93). Time Magazine chose it as one of the 100 best English-language novels (1923 to 2005); it also featured at number 31 on the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Novels. It won a Retrospective Hugo Award in 1996, and is included in the Great Books of the Western World selection. 


Overall very good condition. Original black graphic dust jacket and boards. The pages feature no losses, tears, or soiling. The original dust jacket has been covered in protective mylar. It shows some creasing and wear around the edges, but otherwise is in very good condition.

Book is housed in a custom red and black quarter-leather clamshell with gilt titles, stamps, and raised bands to spine. Clamshell features a photograph of George Orwell on the front. Dimensions: Book: 7 5/8" H x 5 3/4" W x 5/8" D. Clamshell: 8 3/4" H x 6 1/4" W x 1 1/2" D.

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