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Brave New World Revisited [Paperback]

Aldous Huxley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 12 1989

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.

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“One of the most important books to have been published since the war.”
—Daily Telegraph

“Such ingenious wit, derisive logic and swiftness of expression, Huxley’s resources of sardonic invention have never been more brilliantly displayed.”
—The Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley's vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley's most enduring masterpiece.

Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned in Brave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dictatorial Happiness Feb. 27 2004
I would like to keep this short. We all know what the book is about: the bankruptcy of the individual. It's just that most people seem to miss a point: the society depicted in this book is obsessed with being happy and banning every form of discomfort out of their lives. Now there are certain people in this novel who rise up against this society but, I think, their motives are misunderstood: most people seem to think these dissenters are fighting for the right to be free so they can be happy in their own individual way. Actually they are fighting for the right to be unhappy, to suffer. For the greatest freedom you can enjoy as an individual is the right to be your miserable self.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't get much better than this! Aug. 20 2001
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)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant April 9 2002
By A Customer
Aldous Huxley brings up a lot of interesting points about our society. He also conveys some realistic visions for the future. It is not outdated at all. Only some of the facts, and its scary because a lot of his predictions came true faster than he guess. The main thing i noticed was his prediction of the world population. It is really out of control and is growing exponentially. If you look at graphs on websites of world population it honestly looks like a backward .L. anyways, its a good read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is it called Brave New World REVISITED? Aug. 10 2004
By A Customer
After much confusion I determined to look at this copy and find out why it has Revisited in the title. I found that the there was a Forward with Huxley's personal reflections and he considers this novel and what he might change if he re-wrote it. Other than that, I can not see the difference between this and the original.
I hope that helps. Happy reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Follow Up to Brave New World Jan. 6 2001
Brave New World Revisited was a very good book. It is terrifying to have Huxley methodically tell of how to virtually inslave mankind. The way Huxley says lines like "a smart dictator will..." it kind of reminds me of "The Prince." And it is kind of like the Prince, only he's not telling the dictator he's telling us. Unfortunately, since there aren't many reviews, not many people are listening on how to save their freedom. He writes the book so well and leaves no idea without thought. This book nicely explains over-population, over-orginazation, propaganda, sleep-teaching, drugs, and more. Throughout the book he uses his own knowledge, as well as nice passages by Freud,Hitler and others. Don't think this book is not relevent to America and only relevent to third world nations. Because the book explains how people in a government and society like the U.S.'s can also become brainwashed and enslaved. A good book that should be read by everyone who wants too think for themselves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars cautionary Oct. 30 2000
Welcome to a future where everybody's happy. Independent thought and feelings have been banished and genetic engineering, brain washing and drugs keep the population docile and comfortable. But several characters dare to ask the question, "Wouldn't you like to be free to be happy in your own way?"
Huxley has isolated the fundamental conflict in Human History--the conflicting impulses towards Security and Freedom. In the Brave New World, the impulse towards Security has won and there is no Freedom.
The problem for advocates of Freedom is that it includes the freedom to be unhappy. For this reason, many find it unattractive and the fight for Freedom is always an uphill struggle. At the time that Huxley and George Orwell were writing, it seemed entirely possible that Socialism, Communism & Fascism and all of the ism's that promise Security would vanquish Freedom. We are fortunate to live at a time when Freedom is resurgent, but Brave New World is a cautionary tale about what's at stake in the struggle.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An insightful look at oppressive society April 27 2000
In "Brave New World" (BNW) Aldous Huxley describes a controlled, class-structured society that uses eugenics, mental control by sleep conditioning, sexual freedom without attachment, and the euphoric drug "soma" to mold its members into bland compliance. Huxley writes with a fine dry humor, but BNW's overall tone is oppressive.
There are similarities between Huxley's BNW and today's society: eugenically-controlled population classes versus today's racial classes; mental control by sleep conditioning versus today's social conditioning by music, movies, and television; and soma versus today's drug Ecstasy. Yet Huxley's BNW description is incomplete. BNW lacks an economic basis. Huxley discusses no BNW societal goals beyond survival of *society*. Poverty exists in BNW but Huxley presents society from an affluent viewpoint -- the lives of BNW's poorer members are not chronicled. And although BNW was written before the existence of HIV/AIDS, Huxley does not discuss syphilis and gonorrhea (the sexually transmitted diseases in 1931) when he presents BNW's sexual freedom without attachment.
In "Brave New World Revisited" (BNWR) Huxley reexamines BNW in terms of society in 1958. Here Huxley examines the methods used by Hitler, Stalin and psychology to mold and control human minds and behavior. Huxley predicts that overpopulation will require excessive control of individuals in order to ensure society's existence. Huxley also predicts that excessive control will replace individual initiative and freedom with (universally medicated) compliant mentalities. Based upon 1958's society, Huxley states that society *is* unstoppably headed toward the excessively controlled Brave New World.
Huxley's tone within BNWR is pedantic.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One helluva dystopian novel
Warning: The English in this book will be tough to digest if you were born after the 1980's. No survey on dystopian fiction is complete without Huxley's special variation on the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by elginblatherford
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Future
Much of the comment about this classic look into the crystal ball concerns its place in literature alongside its rival masterpiece, 1984. Read more
Published 19 months ago by David M. Goldberg
3.0 out of 5 stars Brave New World
Nothing about this book really caught or held my attention. The premise of the novel is of course very original and a thought provoking idea, but the novel just didn't live up to... Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by K. Simmons
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of work
This book is a terrefic piece of work and it always amazes me when I think that this book was written nearly 70 years ago. Read more
Published on March 13 2002 by Ivan Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars A historial look at the current world
Although this book was written over 40 years ago, and is a reflection on a book written over 60 years ago the issues it covers are surprisingly relevant in today's society. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2001 by Jim Richards
5.0 out of 5 stars humanitarian totalitarianism
Written over 40 years ago, the book hardly showed me anything that I didn't knew already. Everyone with an above ape intelligence is able to minutely aknowledge manipulative... Read more
Published on Aug. 28 2001 by Popescu Lucian
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent
And prophetic, are the words that best describe Huxley's work in "A Brave New World". When you read the explanation to all psychological, economical, philosophical and... Read more
Published on March 27 2001 by Roberto Macías
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