There is a classic “Doonesbury” cartoon, published soon after the Vietnam War ended, in which the antiwar activist Mark Slackmeyer is arguing with his pro-war father. They go back and forth, each blaming the other’s politics for everything that’s wrong in Southeast Asia, when they finally reach the Cambodian genocide.
In 1984, criticizing George Orwell for having advocated political quietism to writers, Salman Rushdie asserted that “we are all irradiated by history, we are radioactive with history and politics.” He added: “Politics and literature… do mix, are inextricably mixed, and that… mixture has consequences.”
U.S. Supreme Court justices raised the specter of George Orwell’s novel “1984” as they questioned whether police officers should have unbridled freedom to place GPS devices on cars to track criminal suspects.
Ray Bradbury, the prolific science fiction and fantasy writer who mixed social commentary with warnings about modern technology’s dark side in short stories and novels such as “Fahrenheit 451,” has died. He was 91.