On Jan. 21, 1928, Gene Sharp, one of the world’s leading experts on non-violent change, was born. Sharp’s extensive writings, including his 1973 book “The Politics of Nonviolent Action,” have influenced anti-government resistance movements around the world. During the Korean War, he was jailed for nine months after protesting the conscription of soldiers. Sharp is currently Professor Emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
On Jan. 21, 1950, Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, died – just a year after his dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was published. The English author and journalist was known for his awareness of social injustice, intense opposition to totalitarianism, and a passion for clarity in language. His two books, “Animal Farm” and “1984,” together sold more copies than any two books by any other twentieth-century author.