Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) is the author of the classic novels Island, Eyeless in Gaza, and The Genius and the Goddess, as well as such critically acclaimed nonfiction works as The Devils of Loudun, The Doors of Perception, and The Perennial Philosophy. Born in Surrey, England, and educated at Oxford, he died in Los Angeles.
That is the message which Huxley conveys through this follow-up to his masterpiece, Brave New World. Huxley's obsevations of modern day mind control methods, brainwashing, and propaganda are chilling. What is even more chilling is that this book was written in 1958, one can imagine what advances in these dark sciences man has taken since then. A key point in this book is that if a totalitarian state is going to exist in the present day it will almost surely be more like Huxley's Brave New World, rather than Orwell's 1984. The main reason for this is that whereas Orwell's society revolves around the threat of violence, torture, and death, Huxley's revolves around the reward system. Huxley's Brave New World lulls the masses to sleep so that they have no idea that their freedom is being taken away. Huxley predicts that we will drug people who are even slightly out of the norm for "mental illnesses" (does Prozac ring a bell?). He predicts that valuable information, information necessary for the preservation of freedom, will be subtly, very subtly, taken away from the masses while replacing it with a seemingly terrific reward (does television ring a bell?). Huxley's most frightening premise in this book is that the individual (what he and others identify as "The Great Man") is being done away with by modern "science". He recapitulates for us the great debate between the behaviorist psychologists (like Watson and Skinner) and the philosopher psychologist William James. Skinner and company believe that the individual is powerless over his environmental influences while James strongly believes in the idea of "The Great Man". (In other words did Elizabethan England create Shakespeare's plays or did Shakespeare create his plays?Read more ›
Huxley's classic tale of future dystopia seems to become more relevant with the passing of time. At its' original time of publication, some of the novel's social commentary was safety masked inside science fiction.
Today's readers may relate more to Huxley's vision of over medicated, over-sexed consumerism. With topics like genetics, DNA testing and stem-cell research constantly in the news... perhaps the yuppies of today aren't so far off from the Alpha's of the future.
The edition includes the novel, Brave New World, with the non-fiction work, Brave New World Revisted. This content is prefaced by a truly interesting foreword that offers some insights into Huxley's life and experiences. This edition also benefits from a psotscript section which includes interviews, commentary and a letter Huxley wrote to George Orwell (author of 1984).
You *MUST* read this book!Huxley wrote a masterpiece of a book in "Brave New World". "Brave New World Revisited" is a fantastic critical analysis of "BNW", how it differs with Orwell's "1984", and the world as Huxley saw it some 30 after the book debuted. His commentary and social criticism cut deep, and this cautionary tale is perhaps more applicable today than it has ever been (as evidenced in George W. Bush's reference to "BNW" in his speech concerning government funding of stem cell research).This surely is an important book. The amazing thing is, though, that even as such, it is a thrill to read. The dialogue is snappy, the narration rich, and the scenarios hilarious and frightening -- often at the same time. This is SF at its best. This is SF as literature.I cannot sing the praises of "BNW" highly enough. I will waste no more of your time talking about it -- use it to read this book instead!Recommended for: Everyone (even those who don't normally read SF)
Mr. Huxley started warning us in 1932, with his masterpiece, "Brave New World." In this essay-style analysis of his own book, written twenty-six years later, he takes it one big step further. Addressing everything from overpopulation to overorganization, his words ring more true with every passing year. Our society needs to lift its head from the computer screen for a few hours to read this critical work. Few, if any, have said so much in so little space. Mr. Huxley is one of the greatest thinkers of the twentieth century, and it is a criminal shame that his words are not more widely read. We should put down our endless self-help manuals and learn where our ills really begin. We need to understand how the roots serve the tree before we can improve upon the tree. Mr. Huxley is an expert gardener...
This non-fiction book of essays, by author Aldous Huxley (1894 to 1963), examines the predictions he made in his fascinating science fiction novel written over a quarter of a century from the time he wrote this book. Huxley explains:
"When [my science fiction novel] `Brave New World'  was being written, I was convinced that there was plenty of time. The completely organized society, the...caste [or class] system, the abolition of free will by methodical conditioning, the servitude made acceptable by regular doses of chemically induced happiness, the orthodoxies drummed in by...sleep-teaching--these [threats to individual freedom] were coming all right, but not in my time...I feel a good deal less optimistic than I did when I was writing [my science fiction novel]. The prophecies made in [my science fiction novel] are coming true much sooner than I thought they would...Impersonal forces over which we have almost no control seem to be pushing us all in the direction of the Brave New Worldian nightmare...impersonal forces which are now making the world so extremely unsafe for democracy [and] individual freedom."
This is what this book does. It looks in depth at the above threats or forces to or "enemies of" individual freedom and others mentioned in Huxley's science fiction novel and applies them to the modern world.Read more ›