Skylar Burris's Reviews > Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Aug 04, 14

bookshelves: speculative-fiction
Read in January, 2006

In Brave New World, first published in 1932, Huxley paints the picture of a world that is willing to surrender true joy for a bland happiness free of suffering, that is willing to abandon truth for comfort, that is willing to eschew heights in order to avoid depths, and that is quick to surrender human ambition and individual personality for the sake of societal harmony. It is a frightening presentation, precisely because it does not seem too improbable. Even in the United States, which is one of the freest societies, people have come to rely increasingly upon the state. "Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism," writes Huxley in his foreword to Brave New World. "A really efficient totalitarian state," continues Huxley, "would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned . . . to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors, and schoolteachers." This is a picture that sounds all to familiar to the modern day libertarian.

Huxley's writing is not particularly impressive in and of itself; he has no special flowery gift when it comes to use of the English language, but he tells a mesmerizing story. Brave New World is a quick read, and it has a strong impact.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Christie Balistrieri well said!


Tracey Madeley I think the genetic manipulation is more responsible for the lack of ambition and personality. People are made to feed the system and their genertic make up depends on societies needs. Freedom has been sacrificed for a utilitarian stability.
In contrast the savage reservation is more primative, superstitious and prejudice, but also more engaged, committed to each other and the tribe, as well as being in harmony with nature.
Huxley is not in the 'romantic' school of Keats and Shelly, having more of a non fiction style of writing. His creative genius is in his arguement and imagination.


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