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When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy. He scrutinizes threats to huma When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy. He scrutinizes threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion, and explains why we have found it virtually impossible to avoid them. Brave New World Revisited is a trenchant plea that humankind should educate itself for freedom before it is too late. Brave New World Revisted (first published in 1958) is not a reissue or revision of 0060850523 Brave New World. Brave New World is a novel, whereas Brave New World Revisted is a nonfiction exploration of the themes in Brave New World.


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When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy. He scrutinizes threats to huma When the novel Brave New World first appeared in 1932, its shocking analysis of a scientific dictatorship seemed a projection into the remote future. Here, in one of the most important and fascinating books of his career, Aldous Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with his prophetic fantasy. He scrutinizes threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion, and explains why we have found it virtually impossible to avoid them. Brave New World Revisited is a trenchant plea that humankind should educate itself for freedom before it is too late. Brave New World Revisted (first published in 1958) is not a reissue or revision of 0060850523 Brave New World. Brave New World is a novel, whereas Brave New World Revisted is a nonfiction exploration of the themes in Brave New World.

30 review for Brave New World Revisited

  1. 5 out of 5

    Leonard Gaya

    This book is a small political essay that is just as relevant today as it was at the time of its writing (1958), some twenty-five years after the publication of Huxley’s masterpiece. What the author is trying to do here is to assess the validity of his novel’s predictions, about the socio-political situation of the 1950s and forward. Interestingly, Huxley also compares his predictions with that of Orwell’s 1984. Huxley mainly focuses on two significant problems of our present time: overpopulation This book is a small political essay that is just as relevant today as it was at the time of its writing (1958), some twenty-five years after the publication of Huxley’s masterpiece. What the author is trying to do here is to assess the validity of his novel’s predictions, about the socio-political situation of the 1950s and forward. Interestingly, Huxley also compares his predictions with that of Orwell’s 1984. Huxley mainly focuses on two significant problems of our present time: overpopulation and over-organization or “Will to Order”, i.e. the control — and even despotism — of “Big Business” and “Big Government” over the whole of society, and the subsequent waning of individual freedom, creativity and happiness. But how these big controlling powers are expressed in Brave New World is almost the opposite of that of 1984: “In 1984 the lust for power is satisfied by inflicting pain, in Brave New World, by inflicting a hardly less humiliating pleasure.” (p. 34). Essentially, Brave New World depicts a society where power is exerted in the most despotic way, by feeding the people an evolved version of the Romans’ panis et circenses (feelies and orgy-porgy). This is an entirely accurate description of our occidental civilisation, ruled under the vast mass communication networks (TV and the Internet), manipulated in many ways as instruments of conditioning and as social intoxicants. Huxley provides a few — sometimes humorous — insights into our present political situation, by analysing the use of propaganda technology under the Nazi regime, in part inspired by the indoctrination machinery of the Holy Office in earlier times, and in part inherited by the advertisement industry in later times. Today’s populist politicians use the same tactics and have the same disdain for honesty and objectivity. In this regard, Huxley’s essay is invaluable to help understand a widespread, mostly non-violent, yet totalitarian, style of government. “A dictatorship, says Huxley, maintains itself by censoring or distorting the facts, and by appealing, not to reason, not to enlightened self-interest, but to passion and prejudice, to the powerful ‘hidden forces’, as Hitler called them, present in the unconscious depth of every human mind.” (p. 63). Brave New World Revisited can probably be read alongside Wilhelm Reich’s Listen, Little Man!, Ortega y Gasset’s La Rebelión de las masas, and even Gilles Deleuze’s essays on the “société de contrôle”. An essential read, not only to put Brave New World in perspective but to understand the world we live in now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Bacon

    Authors such as George Orwell, Margaret Atwood and Aldous Huxley scare me. How can these authors who write dystopian fiction or social commentaries 30, 40, even 50 years ago be so accurate in what is going on in today's society? This book is no exception. Huxley is basically summarizing the first book in this collection: Brave New World of which was published over 15 years before this one. Some quotes that I've extracted from this book which ring true for today are: "If over-population should dr Authors such as George Orwell, Margaret Atwood and Aldous Huxley scare me. How can these authors who write dystopian fiction or social commentaries 30, 40, even 50 years ago be so accurate in what is going on in today's society? This book is no exception. Huxley is basically summarizing the first book in this collection: Brave New World of which was published over 15 years before this one. Some quotes that I've extracted from this book which ring true for today are: "If over-population should drive the underdeveloped countries into totalitarianism, and if these new dictatorships should ally themselves with Russia, then the military position of the United States would become less secure and the preparations for defense and retaliation would have to be intensified." "In spite of new wonder drugs and better treatment, the physical health of the general population will show no improvement, and may even deteriorate. And along with a decline of average healthiness there may well go a decline in average intelligence." Huxley compares his work with George Orwell's 1984 and also goes into some scientific philosophy on mind-manipulation and hypnosis. To me, this book should be in every high school curriculum across the nation. It would give our future generations a foundation to correct what is wrong with our society.

  3. 5 out of 5

    P.E.

    = New World Revisited In this essay, Huxley updates some of the themes explored in his dystopia Brave New World and considers some other possible developments and embranchements in the future. The contents : 1) Over-Population / 2) Quantity, Quality, Morality / 3) Over-Organization / 4) Propaganda in a Democratic Society / 5) Propaganda Under a Dictatorship / 6) The Art of Selling / 7) Brainwashing / 8) Chemical Persuasion / 9) Subconscious Persuasion / 10) Hypnopaedia / 11) Education For Freedom / = New World Revisited In this essay, Huxley updates some of the themes explored in his dystopia Brave New World and considers some other possible developments and embranchements in the future. The contents : 1) Over-Population / 2) Quantity, Quality, Morality / 3) Over-Organization / 4) Propaganda in a Democratic Society / 5) Propaganda Under a Dictatorship / 6) The Art of Selling / 7) Brainwashing / 8) Chemical Persuasion / 9) Subconscious Persuasion / 10) Hypnopaedia / 11) Education For Freedom / 12) What Can Be Done? A link to the online text : https://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/ Soundtrack : Fitter Happier - Radiohead --------------------- Un complément utile aux mises en gardes déjà présentes dans Le meilleur des mondes. Les thèmes : 1) Surpopulation / 2) Quantité, Qualité, Moralité / 3) Excès d'organisation / 4) La propagande dans une société démocratique / 5) La propagande dans une dictature / 6) Comment convaincre le client / 7) le lavage de cerveau / 8) Persuasion chimique / 9) Persuasion subconsciente / 10) Hypnopédie / 11) Être instruit pour être libre / 12) Que faire ? Lien vers la version originale du texte en ligne : https://www.huxley.net/bnw-revisited/ Bande-son : Fitter Happier - Radiohead

  4. 4 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    I picked up Huxley’s classic dystopian utopia Brave New World as part of my ongoing pursuit of the classics. His analytical non-fiction follow-up (some thirty years after the novel) was included in the back of the paperback version I was reading, and it immediately piqued my interest, in some ways even more than the novel. Although I ultimately disagree with much of Huxley’s worldview, this collection of essays–which analyzes the possibility and probability of the events in the novel–is fascinat I picked up Huxley’s classic dystopian utopia Brave New World as part of my ongoing pursuit of the classics. His analytical non-fiction follow-up (some thirty years after the novel) was included in the back of the paperback version I was reading, and it immediately piqued my interest, in some ways even more than the novel. Although I ultimately disagree with much of Huxley’s worldview, this collection of essays–which analyzes the possibility and probability of the events in the novel–is fascinating, both as a glimpse into his writing process and from the hindsight viewpoint of a still further sixty years into his future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    I fucking hate politics. It's only useful in a very small amount of cases and in the rest of the time it's just a big pile of bullshit that is fed to people in order to keep them at their lower level. I don't like governments and people that run countries and I really really don't like them in countries like mine or in countries like USA. Somewhere in this world there must be a good president or a nice prime-minister but in my country, that doesn't happen and in the USA it's all just a big scam. I fucking hate politics. It's only useful in a very small amount of cases and in the rest of the time it's just a big pile of bullshit that is fed to people in order to keep them at their lower level. I don't like governments and people that run countries and I really really don't like them in countries like mine or in countries like USA. Somewhere in this world there must be a good president or a nice prime-minister but in my country, that doesn't happen and in the USA it's all just a big scam. Or, at least, that's my opinion. Huxley decided, in the late fifties, to "revisit" his work and comment on it, in order for a better understanding. He did a really nice job in this .. essay, let's call it, on commenting his book. He explained some things about it and he made an apology for other things that he thought were not good enough, or should have been written better about. He was just too young to know. This explanation of his was a good way for me of finding some new things about this world and starting to think about new ideas that didn't occur to me before. He did a lot of comparisons with Hitler's regime, but I think that's because Hitler had just gone out of our world for a bit more than 20 years and everything about that tragedy was still recent in the minds of the people living then. The wound was still open and, apparently, it didn't want to close up. I liked a lot of things that he said about our world and I do find it strange (or, to say, kind of amazing) that what he wrote in 1932 was available in 1958 and is available now, and what he wrote in 1958 is also true for nowadays. The same thing Orwell did in 1948, when he spoke of this idea - the ability of the rulers of our known little world called Earth to kill freedom before it is born. Now I'm not sure which of them did it better, because even though they are based on the same principles and mainly the same big idea, the details are very different and it doesn't come at all as a surprise that I can't pick my favorite. Though I do have something to say against Huxley's work, when compared to Orwell's. 1984 is deeper, I think. It's much more of a philosophical dilemma than Brave New World is. The thing that Huxley did and I didn't like throughout this work is comparing his book with Orwell's from 20 to 20 pages. They're just not the same, so you could be able to compare them! The message they speak about is the same, not the style, not the development! Yes, you can compare them on a personal level, like I did before, and say which of them you liked better, but you cannot speak of them with the same easiness in terms of technical specifications. Plus they are two different authors with two different views on our world, and that's to be seen in their books. One speaks of cruelty, the other of eeriness. One tells a story about fear and the other tells a story about not knowing what fear was. One is oppression, the other is the inability to know what oppression is. Anyhow, this was a great book explaining Brave New World and I do think that it was a good idea of Huxley's to write this!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert Zverina

    No doubt about it, Brave New World is an important book. When I first read it in high school it was a revelation and a lot more accessible than 1984, which seemed kind of dark, dreary, and difficult at the time. Twenty years later, I find myself rereading 1984 almost annually because it does what great literature can do so well: get under one's skin in a way that is uncomfortable yet illuminating. The world Orwell creates in 1984 is somehow more consistent and believable, the characters more "re No doubt about it, Brave New World is an important book. When I first read it in high school it was a revelation and a lot more accessible than 1984, which seemed kind of dark, dreary, and difficult at the time. Twenty years later, I find myself rereading 1984 almost annually because it does what great literature can do so well: get under one's skin in a way that is uncomfortable yet illuminating. The world Orwell creates in 1984 is somehow more consistent and believable, the characters more "real" and sympathetic, their motives and fears more palpable. I picked up BNW for the first time since high school and found it unreadable after a certain point. The characters are caricatures, the situations absurd, and the stabs at humor stilted and unfunny in that way only a towering intellect can be. When I was younger I didn't understand Nabokov's horror of the "novel of ideas," but after trying BNW after so long I finally got it. BNW just doesn't hold up on aesthetic grounds. Which is why I'm glad Huxley wrote Brave New World Revisited. In it he basically strips the novel of its fictional elements and compares his predictions (or, perhaps more accurately, observations and extrapolations) to the industrial world of the 1950s (and, again presciently, beyond). In the end I suppose Huxley was a better social commentator than artist.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    I am pleasantly surprised. This book was a series of essays about certain social institutions that are slowly making the world more closely align with the future Huxley predicts in Brave New World. I am not sure why Huxley is trying so hard to prove that his predictions are more likely to come true than George Orwell's 1984. Here are some of the main ideas that I thoroughly enjoyed: "That so many of the well fed young television-watchers in the world's most powerful democracy should be so complet I am pleasantly surprised. This book was a series of essays about certain social institutions that are slowly making the world more closely align with the future Huxley predicts in Brave New World. I am not sure why Huxley is trying so hard to prove that his predictions are more likely to come true than George Orwell's 1984. Here are some of the main ideas that I thoroughly enjoyed: "That so many of the well fed young television-watchers in the world's most powerful democracy should be so completely indifferent to the idea of self-government, so blankly uninterested in freedom of thought and the right to dissent, is distressing, but not too surprising" "To be under no physical constraint and yet to be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national State, or of some private interest with the nation, want him to think, feel and act" "Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and never dream of revolution".

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chinook

    If you can get past the first couple of chapters, where Huxley's remarks about Africans, Asiatics and the illiterate masses leaves me thinking he was a pretty big jerk, you'll proceed through some fascinating (and fairly spot on) commentary about totalitarianism and propaganda and democracy, to a final paragraph that bemoans kids these days and their lack of dedication to freedom. So, it's overall a useful and interesting read, while being the product of its time. If you can get past the first couple of chapters, where Huxley's remarks about Africans, Asiatics and the illiterate masses leaves me thinking he was a pretty big jerk, you'll proceed through some fascinating (and fairly spot on) commentary about totalitarianism and propaganda and democracy, to a final paragraph that bemoans kids these days and their lack of dedication to freedom. So, it's overall a useful and interesting read, while being the product of its time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elagabalus

    This book reminds me of the suggestion to not get to know one's heros. He isn't my hero, but his writings here are reminiscent of the kind of surprisingly reactionary viewpoints not expected of someone who seemed lucidly critical of dystopic possibilities. BNW seemed to imply a certain criticism of permissive dogma, had an opposition to eugenics, and analysis of insidious and subtle positive reinforcement in authoritarian societies. But in reading this, he focuses multiple times on scare-mongeri This book reminds me of the suggestion to not get to know one's heros. He isn't my hero, but his writings here are reminiscent of the kind of surprisingly reactionary viewpoints not expected of someone who seemed lucidly critical of dystopic possibilities. BNW seemed to imply a certain criticism of permissive dogma, had an opposition to eugenics, and analysis of insidious and subtle positive reinforcement in authoritarian societies. But in reading this, he focuses multiple times on scare-mongering McCarthyism eg. scapegoating communism as the Ultimate Threat to Freedoms. He also rants about the decline of society due to "allowing" disabled people to live, that society "allows" people with low IQs to breed, he talks of purity as if disabled population and sympathy for others is the problem, as if this way of thinking is not the very same dystopian conditions he wrote about and criticized in his book. I would like to note that the IQ system was developed for the primary purposes of presenting people of colour as innately less intelligent than white people. Huxley is advocating for the eradication of all "impure" peoples who are not actively breeding a supreme race. This includes people of colour, disabled people, homosexuals, infertile people, transgender people, people with mental illness and/or neurodivergence, "illerates", political dissidents, and so on. Huxley doesn't seem to notice the shocking irony that he would advocate for the same dystopian system he portrayed satirically in brave new world. He seems to not notice the connection between how he thinks of abnormal people, and how nazis thought of abnormal people. He also has no problem trying to justify systems of oppression and propaganda as committed by the western world, on the basis that anything the western world does is for the purposes of improving the species and spreading democracy, and is therefore justified. At times he has some compelling statements about societal and individual struggles for freedom, and analysis of various methods of propaganda and control, which suggest there was still at least nominal lucidity to critique societies, but it is often overshadowed by obvious hypocrisy and an authoritarian, genocidal advocacy. When his opinions are not shown, and instead he remains focused on analyzing propaganda, he makes compelling points that are far more legitimate and important to know than the opinionated points he tries to put forth as a Final Solution.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stela

    Quis custodiet custodes? Mankind has always dreamed of the perfect society, just as it has always feared the oppressive one. From this dream has been born the fantasy of Utopia and from this fear the nightmare of Dystopia. But is Utopia truly the antithesis of Dystopia, and is it really an egalitarian society possible? From Thomas More to Karl Marx and H. G. Wells and many others, this perfect society generally abides by some rigid, unimaginative and sometimes implausible rules, the main one b Quis custodiet custodes? Mankind has always dreamed of the perfect society, just as it has always feared the oppressive one. From this dream has been born the fantasy of Utopia and from this fear the nightmare of Dystopia. But is Utopia truly the antithesis of Dystopia, and is it really an egalitarian society possible? From Thomas More to Karl Marx and H. G. Wells and many others, this perfect society generally abides by some rigid, unimaginative and sometimes implausible rules, the main one being the austerity caused by the absence of personal property. But, as it has already been seen in all Communist countries, this invests the State with an incredible power over the individual, denying the latter its importance whilst overstressing the importance of the community. And because there is nobody left to sanction its actions (that is, nobody to answer the question which is the title of this review), the State is prone to become, sooner or later, a dictatorship of the enforced good, a hell paved with good intentions, like in that old joke in which a young man eagerly helps an old woman get on a tram she didn’t want to climb. How easily Thomas More’s Utopia becomes George Orwell’s 1984. The other way around is the decadence caused by overindulgence. The hunt for happiness at any cost leads to another type of totalitarian society: the New Brave World’s one, in which the mankind is programmed to listen to its instincts and not to its reason. Apparently so different, the two societies are in fact very similar: In 1984 the lust for power is satisfied by inflicting pain; in Brave New World by inflicting a hardly less humiliating pleasure. Inclined to think the future will belong to the second, much more persuasive in his opinion than the first, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New world Revisited tries to find a way to escape its Siren song. Using the same premise as Freud in Civilization and Its Discontents, that the man is in search of happiness at all costs, the author denounces the major perils of our civilization, either of biological, social or psychological nature. A first danger is the over-population that menace to consummate the resources, undermining the well-being of the individuals and therefore the social stability. He grimly foresees (in 1958!) a future where all over-populated and underdeveloped countries will be communist. His prophecy was partially true and even though communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, it continues to flourish elsewhere. Moreover, another form of totalitarianism, the Islamic terrorist State menaces to take over. Another danger results from the fight of the humankind with the natural selection: the medical discoveries reduce the mortality rate and overcrowd the Earth with flawed individuals: in his opinion, the decline of average healthiness may lead to a decline of average intelligence and this ethical dilemma is not easy to solve. The technology is another good thing that turned bad in our civilization, for the technological progress leads to the concentration and centralization of the economic power. Although organization is important, over-organization transforms people into automats, suffocating the creative spirit and robbing them of freedom. Then there is the power of the mind control, from propaganda to chemical and subconscious persuasion that brainwash people into believing everything. In a democratic society the force of the propaganda consists mainly in a combination of Dr. Jekyll (a propagandist of the truth and reason) with Mr Hyde (an analyst of human weaknesses and failings), so that the nowadays politicians appeal to the ignorance and irrationality of the elector. The same is true for dictatorship, which successfully uses “herd-poisoning” – the intoxication by the crowd: Mindlessness and moral idiocy are not characteristically human attributes; they are symptoms of herd-poisoning. But as the human being, as Huxley justly observes, is not fundamentally a gregarious being, society is, or should be, not an organism (like a hive or a termitary) but an organization. An organization where three values should be always respected: the value of individual freedom, the value of charity and compassion and the value of intelligence. This is why the final chapter, What can be done?, is a pleading for creating a society as a form of “self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.” This is the only way for the individual to assert his freedom. And even though mankind sees less and less the intricate relation between humanity and freedom, maybe all is not lost: The cry of “Give me television and hamburgers, but don’t bother me with the responsibilities of liberty”, may give place, under altered circumstances, to the cry of “Give me liberty or give me death.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robson Castilho

    In this short book, Huxley talks about the fears of a future similar to the book "Brave New World", where there is no freedom and all human beings have no individuality. Topics such as overpopulation, propaganda and brainwashing are treated in detail, illustrating as a "dictator of the future" could use various elements of the book "Brave New World" to keep people under control. Beautiful food for thought about politics, social aspects and freedom. However, I found the book a bit tiring and repeti In this short book, Huxley talks about the fears of a future similar to the book "Brave New World", where there is no freedom and all human beings have no individuality. Topics such as overpopulation, propaganda and brainwashing are treated in detail, illustrating as a "dictator of the future" could use various elements of the book "Brave New World" to keep people under control. Beautiful food for thought about politics, social aspects and freedom. However, I found the book a bit tiring and repetitive. ------------------------------------------------------------ Neste pequeno curto, Huxley discorre sobre os medos de um futuro semelhante ao do livro "Admirável Mundo Novo", onde não há liberdade e todos os seres humanos não possuem individualidade. Temas como superpopulação, propaganda e lavagem cerebral são tratados em detalhe, exemplificando como um "ditador do futuro" poderia usar vários elementos do livro "Brave New World" para manter as pessoas sob controle. Belo assunto para refletir sobre política, aspectos sociais e liberdade. No entanto, achei o livro um pouco cansativo e repetitivo.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Venky

    In 1931, Aldous Huxley wrote his magnum opus 'Brave New World' - a prescient masterpiece dealing with what the author termed as 'a fable dealing with de-humanization employing techniques of over organisation'. This prophetic anti-utopian novel ranks alongside George Orwell's '1984' as one of the most influential books penned on the swift and forced erosion of independent thought and freedom of choice. Using a combination of centralised control of reproduction and neo natal programming, a dictato In 1931, Aldous Huxley wrote his magnum opus 'Brave New World' - a prescient masterpiece dealing with what the author termed as 'a fable dealing with de-humanization employing techniques of over organisation'. This prophetic anti-utopian novel ranks alongside George Orwell's '1984' as one of the most influential books penned on the swift and forced erosion of independent thought and freedom of choice. Using a combination of centralised control of reproduction and neo natal programming, a dictatorial regime in 'Brave New World' deprived an entire subservient mass of human beings of their free will and usurped their freedom of choice, thereby gaining their unquestioned loyalty and devotion to the workings of the regime. Twenty eight years after the publication of 'Brave New World', Huxley undertook a searing examination of the world affairs to identify glimmers (if any) of the disquieting phenomena which he has predicted would be the woes of the world in the distant future; a future he termed 7A.F (7th century After Ford). To his astonishment and chagrin, Huxley realised that the age of mental coercion and dangerous proselytization was already upon our age much faster than the rate at which Huxley had predicted it to happen. In this lucidly thought out review Huxley leads us through a range of options employed by many dictators such as Hitler and Stalin to win over the minds of vulnerable people with the sole aim of furthering discord and disharmony. Taking advantage of economically weak factors such as an uncontrolled growth of population and acute food shortages, many regimes exploited a depraved populace to channel their angst and anger towards violent acts and attitudes. Huxley also introduces us to the methods prescribed by various Communist regimes to brainwash Luddites and break their mental reserve before finally succeeding in making them succumb to the tenets of the Communist Manifesto and Marxist ideologies. This objective was achieved without having a need to take recourse to physically assailing or torturing the unfortunate victims. Indoctrination through spiritual subjugation and mental humiliation were the chosen weapons of conversion. Novel methods such as Chemical persuasion (making available the use of certain drugs that act on the chemical properties of the brain, akin to the famous drug 'Soma' of 'Brave New World') and sub conscious persuasion such as influencing the sub conscious of the target by continuously emitting a drone of propaganda just before she dozes off into a state of deep sleep are also discussed by Huxely in startlingly clear fashion to demonstrate the plethora of tools that are available in the arsenal of a dictator to wield with wanton indiscretion and frequency. The beauty of this book lies in its understated practicality. Huxley with a calmness that is terrifying and with a clarity that is frightening, lays out the irreversible perils that imperil mankind as the a rampant progress of technology, engulfing all that appear in its wake, threatens to make mere automatons of mankind and in the process, bestowing a portentous opportunity to aggressive political aspirants for assuming unopposed control over a weak and intoxicated mass of citizens. Huxley also frequently draws parallel to George Orwell's '1984' to point out the direction in which the world is heading and concludes that the more rigorous and uncompromising methods adopted by Orwell's ubiquitous 'Big Brother' would not even be needed in an age where the ends may be accomplished by resorting to more sophisticated and ingenious means. Huxley concludes by arguing that the only means to nip this insidious trend in its bud would be through an education that lays emphasis on furthering one's free will. The concluding passage in the book strikes a dire note of warning as Huxley encouragingly exhorts us to believe that all is not lost - yet! He says "Meanwhile there is still freedom left in the world.....But some of us still believe that without freedom human beings cannot become fully human and that therefore freedom is supremely valuable. Perhaps the forces that now menace freedom are too strong to be resisted for very long. It is still our duty to do whatever we can to resist them". United States of America and Mr. Donald Trump, are you listening? If 'Brave New World' was one for the ages, 'Brave New World Revisited' goes even beyond!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rumi

    As expected from Huxley, this is a brilliant collection of essays on our society and its future. I consider it a great supplement to any anti-utopian novel, to be read when initial shock is soothed and there is more room for clear thought. The fact that it was published in 1959 and sounds, for the most part, like the work of a modern-day social philosopher, doesn't surprise me any more. What continues to impress me is the author's ability to stay away from imposing his own leanings on his prose. As expected from Huxley, this is a brilliant collection of essays on our society and its future. I consider it a great supplement to any anti-utopian novel, to be read when initial shock is soothed and there is more room for clear thought. The fact that it was published in 1959 and sounds, for the most part, like the work of a modern-day social philosopher, doesn't surprise me any more. What continues to impress me is the author's ability to stay away from imposing his own leanings on his prose. Of course, as a presentation of personal thoughts, this book is slightly more partial than Brave New World, but largely the author stays true to his analytical self and does not judge. He discusses, ever so eloquently, what is happening to the world (including the world in 2011), and what might happen from now on. Another fact I greatly enjoyed is that, in Brave New World Revisited, Huxley has made such clear statements and has explained them so well that hardly any historical background is needed to understand his points. Yet again, it seems that neither pretentiousness nor confusing language is a condition for a powerful mind. Which is always good to know. This book is a must-read for everybody, even if they're not too interested (like me) in politics or big bad global issues.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lucie Goroyan

    "Meanwhile there is still some freedom left in the world. Many young people, it is true, do not seem to value freedom. But some of us still believe that, without freedom, human beings cannot become fully human and that freedom is therefore supremely valuable. Perhaps the forces that now menace freedom are too strong to be resisted for very long. It is still our duty to do whatever we can to resist them." "Meanwhile there is still some freedom left in the world. Many young people, it is true, do not seem to value freedom. But some of us still believe that, without freedom, human beings cannot become fully human and that freedom is therefore supremely valuable. Perhaps the forces that now menace freedom are too strong to be resisted for very long. It is still our duty to do whatever we can to resist them."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I liked this collection of essays about the issues raised in BNW and 1984 better than I liked the novel itself.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1931) transported readers to a deeply creepy nightmare-vision of the future, in which man had disappeared as an independent being, instead becoming the raw materials for a new, engineered hive creature. In Brave New World Revisited, Huxley shares his fear that the technocratic domination of society is proceeding much more quickly than he had anticipated, and then outlines reasons for concern and the vectors by which free minds could be compromised and manipulated Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1931) transported readers to a deeply creepy nightmare-vision of the future, in which man had disappeared as an independent being, instead becoming the raw materials for a new, engineered hive creature. In Brave New World Revisited, Huxley shares his fear that the technocratic domination of society is proceeding much more quickly than he had anticipated, and then outlines reasons for concern and the vectors by which free minds could be compromised and manipulated. The crux of the problem, says Huxley, is overpopulation. Viewing a global population of 3 billion in horror, Huxley anticipated not only only mass starvation, but the rise of tyranny across the world. Rising population would crowd more of humanity in cities, where disease both physical and mental would become an ever-greater threat. The rising misery, he believed, would have the effect of fraying civil society so much that Communist orders promising food for all would be imposed. Though not a libertarian, Huxley takes Lord Acton's appraisal of power and human nature to heart. Even an innocent desire for order, he argues, can carry the controlling authority away, resulting in creeping and then quickly-hardening tyranny. Eugenics is an obvious example, and the subject of his second chapter. The bulk of the book, after the opening essays on population crises and eugenics, examines ways in which technology might begin to subjugate human psychology. His original novel was published in 1931, two years before Adolf Hitler took power and achieved the closest thing the world had seen to total technological command of a people; Hitler not only grasped how mob mentalities could be manipulated, he used the latest in communications technology to constantly convey his message. Huxley examines the tools of Hitler's trade, as well as others introduced in the decade after World War 2 that might be the stuff of future empires. These include chemical agents, sleep conditioning, emotional propaganda, and different forms of torture. In each section, Huxley mentions precursors of them already in-use, like pervasive advertising and the attempted creation of consequence-free feel-good drugs. I knew nothing about Huxley before starting this, but he proves to have been a thoughtful and well-read man. Some of his concerns about overpopulation obviously seem dated, given that the global population is presently 7.6 billion, with consistent declines in starvation rates.Overpopulation means increased demand for everything, not just food, so it's still an issue to be concerned about -- whether your concern is resource wars or global warming. The pressure these populations put on governments to "do something" -- about a great many things -- has resulted in declining self-determination across the board, with all levels of government. Huxley's view of the city as a profoundly unnatural environment, one that induces mental diseases, is still argued -- see Desmond Morris' The Human Zoo. Modern readers of this will find, then, some of it dated but a great deal still relevant, as far as human psychology goes; whatever one makes of shifts in our mores, human nature has not changed since 1958.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jake Danishevsky

    If you enjoyed "Brave New World", only because it is a fiction, this book, which is psycho-analysis, if you will, of the Brave New World and our World in general, might not be for you. I personally enjoyed this one, because I didn't look at the Brave New World as strictly a fiction novel, but a warning sign, an example and explanation of scientifically induced soft tyrannical society. The world is painted in the bright lights and happiness, but at the same time lack of individual decision making If you enjoyed "Brave New World", only because it is a fiction, this book, which is psycho-analysis, if you will, of the Brave New World and our World in general, might not be for you. I personally enjoyed this one, because I didn't look at the Brave New World as strictly a fiction novel, but a warning sign, an example and explanation of scientifically induced soft tyrannical society. The world is painted in the bright lights and happiness, but at the same time lack of individual decision making, choices or freedom. You are expected, as per your preconditioned state, to act, work, live and play a certain way according to you caste. Since I saw Brave New World through a lens of reality, the Brave New World Revisited was a must read for me and anyone who saw it in the same light, with the pinch of reality. I do recommend that if you haven't read Brave New World, do that first, to understand what Revisited (collection of assays packaged into a book) is all about and also, read 1984, since Huxley does reference it here as well, so that you can draw your own conclusions better. Brave new world vs 1984. Both draw distinct definition of "Utopian" society. Where social structure, conditioning and interaction is controlled. Even though one is "beautiful" at a first glance and the other is very despotic and dark, they are not much different in the outcome or "social justice" forced upon centralized ruling body. Moral of both is that an individual freedom is discouraged and suppressed, which is the utmost source of basic human nature. To be him/her person is one thing that pro "Utopian" writers tend to dismiss or choose to suggest that can be controlled, but not negative "Utopian" writers, like Huxley and Orwell, who point out that eventually a human spirit tends to search to be distinct and FREE. Any other society, whether painted in fake Utopian colors or forced on everyone, is the same and carries the same meaning, hence outcome. Whether it is soft tyranny, as in "Brave New World", or it is despotic tyranny as in "1984", the human spirit is contained which begs to search for it's path to freedom. Every person defines freedom in his or her way, so which ever way the forced tyranny is induced, the human spirit wants something else and something that will provide way out of that tyranny. I know, it is not a big book, but it took me a bit slower to read it, because I want to devour every word. It is brilliant. I didn't know what to expect, but I was just amazed on how remarkable it is. Huxley points out that in the more modern world, the tyranny and take over would be more likely like "Brave New World", rather than "1984". Through "this is good for you" notion, tyranny will flourish / sort tyranny. In laments turns Huxley compared that "you can catch more bees with honey than vinegar", not in so many terms. He also analyzes ways and methods in which the governments already have, at the time of him writing this book, and eventually will, as we see now in the current time, will use propaganda, induced conditioning and methods to sway the public opinion. He was so close on many levels when he wrote "Brave New World" only 27 years prior to this book, that he points out what he has predicted, what he hasn't foreseen, but thought of and what came true faster than he even expected, in his wildest "fictional Utopian" dreams. Over all, I am fascinated with this book and analysis he has provided to that and more, which I describe in this review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    In July it will have been two years since I read Huxley's Brave New World (see my review here). Like Orwell's classic dystopian book (1984), Huxley's was a real eye-opener. And it seems that both authors were clairvoyant, as we're currently living in an age where both principles are applied. Big Brother (via smartphones, cctv, Windows, etc.) is watching our every move. Not only for so-called security measures, but also for commercial reasons (Big Data), which is what Brave New World was about, to In July it will have been two years since I read Huxley's Brave New World (see my review here). Like Orwell's classic dystopian book (1984), Huxley's was a real eye-opener. And it seems that both authors were clairvoyant, as we're currently living in an age where both principles are applied. Big Brother (via smartphones, cctv, Windows, etc.) is watching our every move. Not only for so-called security measures, but also for commercial reasons (Big Data), which is what Brave New World was about, to a certain extent. Keep the masses happy through consumption of goods, instead of punishing them for not following the rules. Hence, a.o., the smartphones, the gazillion apps, the sh*t that's played on the radio and television (numb the minds instead of stimulating them). So many years after BNW, Huxley wrote a non-fiction book on certain themes that were used in his fable. My edition has a foreword, about Huxley's life and works, by David Bradshaw. In the introduction, Huxley wrote that one should read his commentary - and I quote - "against a background of thoughts about the Hungarian uprising and its repression, about the H-bombs, about the cost of what every nation refers to as 'defence', about those endless columns of uniformed boys, white, black, brown, yellow, marching obdiently towards the common grave." The chapters are to be read in order, as Huxley sometimes referred to a previous chapter when talking about a next theme. Discussed themes: 1) Overpopulation 2) Quantity, Quality, Morality 3) Over-organization 4) Propaganda in a Democratic Society 5) Propaganda under a Dictatorship 6) The Arts of Selling (also discussed in Philippe Breton's La parole manipulée) 7) Brainwashing 8) Chemical Persuasion 9) Subconscious Persuasion 10) Hypnopaedia 11) Education for Freedom 12) What Can Be Done? No matter when Huxley wrote his afterthoughts, each subject is still of importance today, perhaps more than ever. Overpopulation (now there are x-times mores people on the planet than several decades ago, thank to better hygiene, better nutrition, better medicine, ...), but this also has its consequences (both positive and negative). Depending on who's in power, each discussed item can be handled for good or for worse. However, one can't deny that in today's day and age, there's manipulation everywhere; in the food industry, in the media, in marketing, ... We are constantly bombarded with (flashy) ads, news, bright colours, loud sounds, censoring, and more, which makes it hard to think critically and not accept everything blindly. But in some regions, the situation is improving for the better, little by little. To cut things short, whether you liked Brave New World (the story) or not, read Huxley's afterthoughts and compare them with how we're living today and have been living for the last x-years. For some, it may confirm what they've been thinking for so long, for other it may indeed be an eye-opener. Orwell and Huxley were visionaries, that's a fact. Heavily recommended!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Samir Rawas Sarayji

    A profound and insightful extended essay by Huxley that I had to read in one sitting. Written in 1958 and yet so very relevant today. That is truly exceptional, but it is a testament to its accuracy of analysis to the problems plaguing mankind and the suggested mechanisms or thoughts in how to go about resolving them. In light of the ridiculous successes of populist governments, this book is a wakeup call for all those sleeping to the demise of our humanistic heritage. Written at a time when com A profound and insightful extended essay by Huxley that I had to read in one sitting. Written in 1958 and yet so very relevant today. That is truly exceptional, but it is a testament to its accuracy of analysis to the problems plaguing mankind and the suggested mechanisms or thoughts in how to go about resolving them. In light of the ridiculous successes of populist governments, this book is a wakeup call for all those sleeping to the demise of our humanistic heritage. Written at a time when communism was on the rise, as well as social control and propaganda, Huxley does not only accuse the eastern sphere, he equally demonstrates the faults of western capitalism, consumerism, oligarchical power of media and wealth... Do you see the brilliance? There is no right or wrong to our human situation as it was and as it is... it is just simply wrong. Abusing the Earth, abusing fellow humans, and abusing oneself, that is simply wrong. This amazing insight, so eloquently explained and argued, in just over 100 pages, was actually his thoughts on his own novel A Brave New World. But like all honest and timeless literature, it is as relevant today as it was 80-something years ago. While I would say that is a mark of genius, I equally say it is a marker of sadness that our species fails to evolve into an ethically conscious whole.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    While Brave New World was a fantastic book, one may not fully appreciate the amount of detail that had gone into it before reading Brave New World Revisited, an explanation from Aldous Huxley on what each part of the original novel had meant and to what purpose each detail served. Brave New World Revisited is practically a how-to manual on running a dystopian city and distributing propaganda and enforcing the law. The work of Huxley in Brave New World Revisited is nearly as brilliant as the fir While Brave New World was a fantastic book, one may not fully appreciate the amount of detail that had gone into it before reading Brave New World Revisited, an explanation from Aldous Huxley on what each part of the original novel had meant and to what purpose each detail served. Brave New World Revisited is practically a how-to manual on running a dystopian city and distributing propaganda and enforcing the law. The work of Huxley in Brave New World Revisited is nearly as brilliant as the first book itself. In this book, Huxley explains how and why people respond to certain events, making it almost a tour through the human brain and human behavior. It goes into detail on what makes us happy and what makes us fear—and clearly shows that it can easily be manipulated. Huxley’s excellence in Brave New World Revisited almost emits a feeling of intelligence simply from reading his words. While the book happened to get stale and boring every once in a while, the ideas portrayed and the reasons behind them make Brave New World Revisited nothing to be ignored after reading the original novel, making it a great novel that I would recommend to fans of dystopian literature.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sourya Dey

    Many of the concepts in this book are relevant today - 61 years on - such as brainwashing by advertising and propaganda, mob mentality, reduced attention spans and too much TV, mind-altering drugs, etc. However, the writing style is not very interesting and the essays get repetitive pretty fast. I got the feeling that the author's tone was more of "What I think is right", rather than trying to be thought-provoking. There is also a substantial amount of condescension and ignorance towards 'other' Many of the concepts in this book are relevant today - 61 years on - such as brainwashing by advertising and propaganda, mob mentality, reduced attention spans and too much TV, mind-altering drugs, etc. However, the writing style is not very interesting and the essays get repetitive pretty fast. I got the feeling that the author's tone was more of "What I think is right", rather than trying to be thought-provoking. There is also a substantial amount of condescension and ignorance towards 'other' cultures, 'other' meaning outside of Western Europe and North America.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marconi Lenza

    "There seems to be no good reason why a thorougly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown." Reading Brave New World nowadays in more important than ever. The unsuspecting reader would think Huxley was merely describing the 21st century as he saw it, but then would come to know that the book was published in 1958. Aldous Huxley writes in a series of essays about his prospects for the future, how technology will develop to concentrate power in the hands of few and how information media an "There seems to be no good reason why a thorougly scientific dictatorship should ever be overthrown." Reading Brave New World nowadays in more important than ever. The unsuspecting reader would think Huxley was merely describing the 21st century as he saw it, but then would come to know that the book was published in 1958. Aldous Huxley writes in a series of essays about his prospects for the future, how technology will develop to concentrate power in the hands of few and how information media and related methods of mind-control will be used to standardize the individual to the benefit of a Power Elite (C. W. Mills). "Whenever the economic life of a nation becomes precarious, the central government is forced to assume additional responsibilities for the general welfare. (...) and if, as is very likely, worsening economic conditions result in political unrest, or open rebellion, the central government must intervene to preserve public order and its own authority. More and more power is thus concentrates in the hands of the executives and their bureaucratic managers." I had longed to read this book since I've read Brave New World for the first time, in 2009. I have read the book thrice since then. Lately, I heard that Olavo de Carvalho saying that Brave New Word Revisited was the most important book to understand the state of things in which we currently live. In times of the so-called "experts", Big Tech censoring dissident voices and governments curbing the freedom of its subjects in the smoothest manner possible, I was sure that Olavo was right. One fact standa out: people are not educated for freedom. The great majority would prefer someone to think for it. As the saying goes: "give us unlimited pleasure, but don't bother us with responsibility". It has never been easier to conform the minds of the majority to a single thought. In opposition to the world of 1984, which is in a permanent state of war, in the dystopia described in Brave New World, war does not exist; people live in a constant state of euphoria and, hence, do not bother with matters of State or public freedom. In its world, "the Soma habit was not a private vice; it was a political institution, it was the very essence of the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness guaranteed by the Bill of Rights". Since thinking for oneself has become rare these days, most authoritarian regimes will take the form of democracies with all of its institutions, but power will be increasingly concentrated and individual liberties will be, so often, "delegated" to fewer individuals. For something to be, it will have to be named properly and confirmed by a few specialist hither and tither. For instance, which of the two would you think has an authoritarian government: The Republic of Korea of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea? Even when governments restrict personal freedoms in the name of life and public health, they will still be called democracies. Petting and smooth-talking have never been so effective. Does it ring a bell? "Even if communism has never been invented, this would be likely to happen. But communism has been invented."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Classic reverie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. * spoiler alert ** When I read again I will review here but I am adding my commentary about We and The Brave New World here because I compared the books. * So when I heard about "We" while reading the preface of Doctor Zhivago, I knew I had to read "We". Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote his book in 1921 but was received by the Russian audience because of Stalin. Yevgeny who asked permission to leave Russia & that was granted. Having read Huxley's Brave New World & Orwell's 1984 which I notice has many simi * spoiler alert ** When I read again I will review here but I am adding my commentary about We and The Brave New World here because I compared the books. * So when I heard about "We" while reading the preface of Doctor Zhivago, I knew I had to read "We". Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote his book in 1921 but was received by the Russian audience because of Stalin. Yevgeny who asked permission to leave Russia & that was granted. Having read Huxley's Brave New World & Orwell's 1984 which I notice has many similarities but 1984 having much more than Brave New World. I will compare & contrast later. I have always enjoyed dystopian books since I first read "1984" in HS. I am amazed at how over 30 years how much closer we are to these books than ever before. The Big Brother (guardian) who knows all about us via the Internet & other sources. Our writings are not truly for limited eyes but can be see by those who deem it their right not our public writings but our private too. I might be one whose emails are deemed flagged, a housewife like me is no longer immune. So what is one to do limit your freedom of speech, I say no & will speak freely & hope those eyes reading are proud of themselves!!! I never thought that I would have these thoughts but it is a reality in this age. We, Brave New World & 1984 are must reads IMO. There is so much in all these books & one could delve deeper into them & see the dangers of group think verses individual thinking. A government needs to be unified & a group of people with common language & ideas to make it into a functioning system but when one is sniffled & individuality is not looked as something revered but shunned for the greater good which may not be an actual greater good at all. All these books make religion a thing of the past & ancient and something unnecessary in their society. How much has our country moved away from freedom to worship over the years. I just saw an article on the Internet about a girl in Charlotte suspend for saying "God Bless you" to someone sneezing in class. The teacher told her this is not church. I think I would not survive the school system of present day. This is just the skim of the top of these prolific books in many ways & if you have not read any I would think it is worth the read. "We" takes place in a glass city of the future, where secret police (guardians) & the Well Doer (the dictator) control the people to promote a monolithic conformity. People run like clockwork on eating, working, marching in step with the same unif (uniform) with a yellow badge with their number. The main character is named D-503 (he is a mathematician who is told the square root minus 1 is a reality) & female I-330. The men names have a consonants with an odd number where the females are vowels with even numbers. D-503 who is the builder of the spaceship that is called The Integral. He begins writing to the unknown in space who will read his journal & try to understand their society doing this without anyone's knowledge. The reason for the spaceship is to increase the United State into new areas in space & confirm to the One State or United State not States. D-503 decides to include the history of how the United State had perfected its society so the other worlds will understand. He writes this book in private but like the main character in 1984 Winston unknown to him his writing is read. He mentions the great Two Hundred Years' war & how finally after petroleum food was invented only 20% of the people survived with this food & achieved happiness in the United State. Also the good in some many deaths because less people to change their behavior to conform. The food seems drab. The ideal of society is when nothing occurs but the lockstep of the clockwork of the people & dreams are not dreamed but abnormal. The thought that human liberty is equal to zero since there is none & man does not commit crimes or at least that is the thought until someone defies the state & the Bureau of Guardians are informed & the enemies of the state are tortured & disappear. Where the Department of Operations is equated by some with the ancient Inquisition. People are meant to move like machines. Individual thought is not keeping with a good citizen but group think. Fancy is an illness. The concept of might is right and an individual is just nothing compared to all of the masses. D-503 is someone that sees the uselessness of one person fight against the system. He goes unwillingly to the wishes of I-330 who needs the government to change. He is conflicted between her & his life long thoughts of the system. D-503 sees I-330 who is a girl out to destroy the One State. D-503 & is changed in some repects & he develops a soul as well as a mad desire for I-330. He starts to want for himself & not the group. She brings him closer & closer to helping her destroy the OneState. As the story involves he starts to increase his pity for O-90 who loves him but he has no love for her. His treatment of her changes over time where he shes her as a child & he the parent. The glass city has houses built with walls of glass & all is seen except during times of sexual time which needs to be applied for & the curtains lower. D-503 continues to write in his book & calls it "We" unknown to him others are reading all his thought written down which includes his encounters with his need of I-330 who desire for D-503 is unknown. So the State is confronted with a protest never seen before & the idea of the Operation on fancy is the states remedy. The operation is equivalent to a frontal lobotomy. After an attempt to take over the spaceship by the rebels of the OneState they are found out because of the book D-503 writes. In the end the glass city's wall to the outside is destroyed by the rebels. Birds are something not present in the city but after the explosion the wild life & nature (clouds) appear in the once so called perfect city. I-330 is tortured but does not inform on her fellow rebels. D-503 is given the operation & states "Smiling is the normal state for a normal human being". He sees I-330 on trail but does not remember anything but sees the crazy thoughts in his book & thinks he must have been mad. He is happy now being an automaton. We. - Control with punishment & guardians. Children are not kept by parents. Detachment & automaton society with limited pleasures. No privacy. No religion except Well Doer is their god. No need for actual elections but a predetermined but show of hands. Brave New World - no parents - children are test tube with certain traits devolved in the test tubes drugs & sex keep people entertained & no need of anything intellectual because the masses are quieted with these activities. No religion. No books except state books. If one is a troublemaker they are generally put together on an island away from others. 1984- children spy on parents, no religion, big brother, outside wars keep people from looking at government problems, enemies of state vilified, no encouragement of sex or pleasures. Sports keep lower masses busy so not to look within. Mind control & brainwashing, torture to change ways. History is changed to suit the needs of the government. The story line with We similar except the couple likes one another.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dody Eid

    It is remarkable how an author’s analysis of his own work can be so divergent from the reader’s. In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley diagnoses society’s illnesses (overpopulation and over-organization), explains their freedom-crippling effects (propaganda, brainwashing, mass-manipulation), and suggests some vague remedies (education! Birth control!). These are, for the most part, not the first things that come to mind after reading Brave New World and looking around at our culture today. It is remarkable how an author’s analysis of his own work can be so divergent from the reader’s. In Brave New World Revisited, Aldous Huxley diagnoses society’s illnesses (overpopulation and over-organization), explains their freedom-crippling effects (propaganda, brainwashing, mass-manipulation), and suggests some vague remedies (education! Birth control!). These are, for the most part, not the first things that come to mind after reading Brave New World and looking around at our culture today. Take sex. In Brave New World, sex is cheapened as a means - not an end - to serve the immediate pleasure of the citizenry, with no regard for the full humanity of those who partake in it. Partners come and go. In fact, it is even frowned upon to have any sort of commitment whatsoever. It’s all in an effort to make society more “open” and make sex less “taboo.” What it has done in our own society, of course, is just the opposite : everyone is dehumanized, cheapened, and confused as the porn industry, sex-trafficking, out of wedlock birth, divorce, and, yes, selfishness grow out of control. Surely, a family society cannot coexist with such a negligent attitude toward the genesis of families. That’s why they’re abolished in Brave New World, and soon enough we’ll arrive at that point, not under any coercion, but by our own free choices. Huxley’s portrayal of sex in his dystopia has been prophetic. Yet, there is little to no discussion of this in his analysis. I could write similar thoughts on a number of subjects - faith, friendships, and family, for example - that Huxley seems to ignore from his very own work! Granted, at the time of his writing, the issues of broken families, a sex-crazed (and ironically sex-devaluing) culture, loss of faith, cheapening of friendship, and so on, were probably nowhere near the levels they are today. It is ironic, though, that one of his remedies to overpopulation (birth control, I said it!) is in all likelihood one big contributor to the cheapening of sex as a means, not an end in itself. Huxley’s entire thesis rests on overpopulation. Overpopulation leads to authoritarianism leads to loss of freedom, so he claims. Those less developed nations are out of control with their reproduction. How dare they stink up our earth. And who will feed them? There isn’t enough food to go around. I won’t go into it here, but this is one area where Huxley’s predictions not only reek of racism at times but have also proven to be flat out false. These same trite arguments have been touted before (Malthus in the early 19th century being the obvious case), all to no avail. Food has not run out, but rather grown to unthinkable proportions as a result of human ingenuity. Cities are actually far cleaner than the suburbs (see Glaeser’s work on cities!). And resources predicted to run out have continued and even grown. The economic principles as to why Malthus’ (and Huxley’s) predictions have fallen flat is straightforward. Any shortage induces prices to rise, which incentivizes further exploration and creativity. As humans explore and create more, we produce at a level previously unimaginable. Overpopulation is both a myth and, in it’s more pernicious form, an excuse to be anti-human and anti-family. Again, it shocks me Huxley is touting the very idea that leads to the kind of society he depicts in Brave New World: a society that is anti-human at its core and that seeks to control reproduction artificially in the name of some greater good. If you’ve read this far and sat through my crazy rantings , congratulations. My advice: read his fiction, but avoid his analysis. After finishing Brave New World, look around at our modern culture, and you’ll have done all the analysis needed. If you’re really curious, Huxley’s arguments are as good as they appear in the table of contents. Just reading that will give you the gist of this let down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luminița Gabura

    In an attempt to purchase "Brave New World" I purchased the revisited edition, by mistake. Ending up with this book, I nevertheless read it and it will serve as an "introduction" to the novel. From a time-line perspective they should be read the over way around, as the revisited version includes notes and observations made almost 30 years from the publishing of the book. It also contains comparisons here and there, with other dystopian novels published after 1932. The themes touched in the novel In an attempt to purchase "Brave New World" I purchased the revisited edition, by mistake. Ending up with this book, I nevertheless read it and it will serve as an "introduction" to the novel. From a time-line perspective they should be read the over way around, as the revisited version includes notes and observations made almost 30 years from the publishing of the book. It also contains comparisons here and there, with other dystopian novels published after 1932. The themes touched in the novel are pretty actual even now, regarding the limitation of resources, controlling of people, drugs etc. It is a nice reading to see how far (or not) we have evolved since 1958 and whether the subjects raised at that point were addressed at a global level. Fortunately not all predictions have materialized in this century, and hopefully they never will, but it seems that there is not all SF, reading it nowadays.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Hogg

    This wasn't an easy read. I appreciate Huxley looking back a few years later to see how society has changed, and assessing whether it has moved closer to his vision in Brave New World. I found this approach inconsistent at times, as he also focused on why society was closer to Brave New World than 1984, as well as describing his philosophical thoughts and observations in general. I felt that the book was weakest when building a case for Brave New World over 1984. I am reading this with the benefi This wasn't an easy read. I appreciate Huxley looking back a few years later to see how society has changed, and assessing whether it has moved closer to his vision in Brave New World. I found this approach inconsistent at times, as he also focused on why society was closer to Brave New World than 1984, as well as describing his philosophical thoughts and observations in general. I felt that the book was weakest when building a case for Brave New World over 1984. I am reading this with the benefit of an extra 60+ years of history having passed, but many aspects of Huxley's imaginary society still seem farfetched, while we see hints of 1984 on an almost daily basis. I enjoy Huxley's novels, but I didn't find his philosophy and historical observations as engaging. The highlight of the book was definitely the discussion of propaganda. It's interesting to see the direct quotations from Hitler interspersed throughout the chapters and to see this linked to dystopian novels. This is the section that has aged the best in this book, as we can see many continued uses of similar tactics from other leaders. The discussion of brainwashing and chemical persuasion was somewhat interesting, although Huxley acknowledges their limitations in most societies. Other sections, like the chapter on overpopulation and speculating about what the end of the twentieth century will look like, or the novelty of subliminal messages, obviously would have been more relevant in 1958. Overall, the book had its strong points, but it's definitely not for everyone.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elena Sullivan

    strange, but a good lesson in the end

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Brave New World: Revisited is half "meh" and half mind blowing. Huxley’s treatment of propaganda in democratic societies, Big Business' impact on liberty through technology, and totalitarianism as most effectively instituted through pleasure rather than pain are worth considerable mulling. Brave New World: Revisited is half "meh" and half mind blowing. Huxley’s treatment of propaganda in democratic societies, Big Business' impact on liberty through technology, and totalitarianism as most effectively instituted through pleasure rather than pain are worth considerable mulling.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert Bedard

    I hadn’t looked into this book before reading it and thought it was a follow up novel to the original Brave New World. Not even close. It was a collection of thoughtful essays that addressed the central themes of his original work and that of Orwell’s 1984. I purchased this book and will be adding it to my collection.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    My bad... I really thought this could be another stage or something like a protraction of the Brave New World but to my 'meh' there they were! essays! ideas, quotes, argues oh my oh my! I like Aldous Huxley, I am about to read his collection of essays, he has logical points of view... sometimes and undoubtful arguments... sometimes (I do not actually have a great relationship with what you call 'history' at the moment either... just with those parts cointaining diseases and some reigns, fun mani My bad... I really thought this could be another stage or something like a protraction of the Brave New World but to my 'meh' there they were! essays! ideas, quotes, argues oh my oh my! I like Aldous Huxley, I am about to read his collection of essays, he has logical points of view... sometimes and undoubtful arguments... sometimes (I do not actually have a great relationship with what you call 'history' at the moment either... just with those parts cointaining diseases and some reigns, fun maniac facts). Despite everything this left me like my geography teacher leaves me all the time:' No fucking shit!' Yes, I did find it gripping at times, yes I think that those were revelations, points to start from of a great deal for almost everyone by then but 'Coulda, woulda, shoulda' does not actually fit me at the moment. He could have written something more subjective therefore with a greater power, not essays of how everything should be done but yeah you know... they aren't. I am still grateful that I could find out more informations about drugs, psychoanalytic studies, Hitler's ingeniosity (bravo mate! my compliments), some facts that sounded like 'secret files' (thank you Huxley, may we thee and thou?), nations, politics, ways of distraction, experiments, dope stuff. Yeah well... I think that he shrimped almost everything. Everytime when he got to that information part not on the 'DO SOMETHING!' he put an end to the whole chapter. He reminds me of myself, somehow chaotic in his own order (I bet it all sounded nice at first), cramping too much in too little. Bending, stretching, cutting, everything just to get from one thing to another, to show something that he wants everyone to see and look where we are. I would have loved to talk with Huxley probably not in pages and probably with more questions, without prolonged sentences but with more explanations with dots and sips of water. Flying from one topic to another but at least keeping it less rethorical. I really think you were smart, dear. Moreover, I am interested now more than ever in reading Russell and probably William James. That's because my love, Huxley, could not put a bigger quote there but one so cropped that I was left with a 'Sounds interesting... mayyyybe' on my tongue. Anyway, I bet they sound more realistic and more like smart asses in different 'less cropped' circumstances. Did I say that this is only my opinion and that I might change it as well? Yeah.

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