The literary executor of George Orwell's estate is accusing Amazon.com of doublespeak.
In a letter published this week in The New York Times, Bill Hamilton criticized Amazon for "turning the facts inside out" by alleging that Orwell had urged publishers in the 1930s to jointly oppose paperbacks.
Amazon and Hachette Book Group have been locked in a nasty standoff over terms for e-book sales. In a message posted last week on its website, Amazon likened publishers' objections to low e-book prices to concerns about paperbacks in the 1930s. The retailer cited an Orwell essay in which he wrote that "if publishers had any sense," they would "combine against" and "suppress" paperbacks.
Hamilton and others say that Amazon quoted Orwell out of context. An Amazon spokeswoman declined comment Thursday.