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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
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Many of Huxley's other books are worth reading. Listed here are those that provide particular additional insights into Brave New World. Crome Yellow, 1921.

Point Counter-Point, 1928. Like Crome Yellow, this book gives you an earlier view of some of the ideas developed in Brave New World and provides characters to compare with those of the Utopian novel. The Perennial Philosophy, 1945.

The Doors of Perception, 1954. In this book and in The Perennial Philosophy, Huxley explores the ideas of mystic communion and drugs.

Brave New World Revisited, 1958. Huxley treats in essay form many of the same topics he explored 25 years earlier in his novel: overpopulation, overorganization, propaganda, and chemical conditioning, among other subjects. "The nightmare of total organization... has emerged from the safe, remote future and is now awaiting us, just around the next corner." The book ends with two chapters on what people can do to prevent the nightmare from becoming reality. Huxley wanted to lower the world birth rate, increase food production, renew the environment, and decentralize political and economic power. He also wanted to create a system of education that would make propaganda and conditioning more difficult to abuse.

Island, 1962. This novel about a good Utopia shows that Huxley never gave up his belief in the benefits of science or of a drug that would enable man to transcend the limits of the self and know God, despite the warnings he gave against the misuse of science and drugs in Brave New World. The people of Pala, a fictional island in the Indian Ocean, enjoy a stable population, healthy agriculture, marvelous preventive medicine, no heavy industry, and an economy that is neither capitalist nor socialist. They also use moksha-medicine, a perfected version of LSD, to have religious visions that enable them to achieve a union with God. And, as in Brave New World, they use chemicals to condition babies-but with a major difference: on Pala such techniques are employed only to eliminate aggression or to raise the intelligence of retarded children to within normal range.


Three novels by other writers can be compared to Brave New World.

Orwell, George. 1984 (1948). A novel of an even grimmer future than that portrayed by Huxley.

Wells, H. G. Men Like Gods (1923). The novel Huxley intended to satirize in his own Utopia.

Zamyatin, Yevgeny. We (1959). A portrayal of the future inspired by the repression within the Soviet Union, the book bears some resemblances to Braze New World and influenced George Orwell.


Bedford, Sybille. Aldous Huxley: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974. Essential to understand how Huxley's life related to his writings.

Bowering, Peter. Aldous Huxley: A Study of the Major Novels. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. One of the more useful critical studies.

Brander, Laurence. Aldous Huxley: A Critical Study. Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1970. Another useful study.

Firchow, Peter. Aldous Huxley: Satirist and Novelist. Minneapolis, Mn.: University of Minnesota Press, 1972. One of the more useful critical studies.

Kuehn, Robert E., editor. Aldous Huxley: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Meckier, Jerome. Aldous Huxley: Satire and Structure. London: Chatto and Windus, 1969.

Watts, Harold H. Aldous Huxley. New York: Twayne, 1969.

©Copyright 1984 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. Electronically Enhanced Text ©Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc.

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Barron's Booknotes-Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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