A decade of political chaos shaped George Orwell's vision of a totalitarian future, writes David Aaronovitch. I was brought up in a house full of books, none of them by George Orwell. Simone de Beauvoir was there, as was Sartre and Aldous Huxley and even Lenin. The last is actually a clue as to the absence of the first. My parents were Communists. To them Orwell was on the other side of politics - someone whose principal writings were hostile to them and what they wanted to achieve.