27 March 1981

Article by Dan Lubin in "The Hoya", newspaper of G.U. on Polish Seminar

At the end of the month, Georgetown University will be the forum for a unique and unprecedented program. The United States International Communication Agency (USICA) has agreed to sponsor a seminar between the Warsaw School of Planning and Statistics (Polish acronym: SGPiS) and Georgetown University. The seminar, conceived and organized by Georgetown juniors Andrew Menard and Marco Carnovale, is designed to promote extensive exchanges of knowledge on different political and economic issues.

The USICA is a federal agency with the purpose of promoting understanding between the U.S. and foreign nations. [NOTE: USICA was created in 1978 by president Carter and closed down in 1982 by president Reagan.]

The program organizers developed the idea for the seminar after participating in the G.U. Spring Program at SGPiS in 1980. Upon their return to the States, they contacted the Georgetown Office of International Programs and received father Bradley's complete support. Later they submitted the project idea to the USICA, which was impressed the the originality of the concept, and agreed to sponsor the project. The total grant will be $ 5000, a kingly sum considering the grantees are only juniors in college. The money will be used to pay for the seminar costs and the Polish delegation's expenses while in the United States.

The format of the program has been carefully laid out: there will be five sessions on agreed topics, during which one Polish student and one Georgetown student will present prepared reports, followed by discussion. Afterwards, the audience will be invited to participate in a question and answer period. The proposed topics are: 1) Pros and Cons of Western Credit to Poland; 2) the Polish Second Economy; 3) Joint Ventures and Foreign-owned Enterprises in Poland; 4) the Links between the Polish and the American economies; 5) the Polish Way to Socialism.

In addition to the scheduled seminars, the Polish students will be treated like visiting royalty. The USICA has granted the Georgetown organizers enough money to take the Polish delegation to New York for a weekend whirl of the "Big Apple". Included in this trip will be hotel accommodations, restaurant expenses and a Broadway show--courtesy of USICA. Upon return to Georgetown, the students will be introduced to Father Healy, President of the university; Dean Peter Krogh of the School of Foreign Service, and other G.U. officials. There will be dinner engagements, cocktail parties, and other special functions in honor of our Polish guests.

All in all, the program should be a tremendous opportunity for both G.U. and SGPiS students to exchange ideas. Moreover, it will give the Polish students a rare opportunity to sample the lifestyle of the West, and to meet American contemporaries.

The five formal sessions will take place between April 21-25 in White Gravenor Building, Room 301-A. All students and interested parties are welcome to attend, and no formal invitation is necessary.

22 January 1981

Book Review: 1984 (1949), by George Orwell, *****


Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101... Nineteen Eight-Four is George Orwell’s terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime.


Too much has been said about this novel to even try to be original in a review. I will underline that this is one of the most important books I have ever read. It taught me the value of freedom, its pricelessness in fact.

The book is written very well, fluent prose and gripping plot, but that is not its main value. The value is its moral about democracy, which we may take for granted now but is to be nourished all the time. The book, of course, was written in the late forties, at the height of Stalinism, so it is obvious it refers to that scenario, at the peak of the Cold War. But too many people seem to forget the value of democracy today, in the information age.

One could argue that Orwell was wrong about the state controlling people through technology, in fact internet has provided all of us with tremendous power of horizontal communication that governments have a hard time controlling. But the game is an ongoing one... not yet over! I think this book should be taught in schools.

A film has been made of this book, the last starring Richard Burton just weeks before he died.

This is a newer edition: