In his 1932 classic dystopian novel, 'Brave New World', Aldous Huxley depicted a future society in thrall to science and regulated by sophisticated methods of social control. Written when the western world was poised on the brink of immense change, this brilliantly-conceived nightmare vision was a strong antidote to unwavering faith in the benefits of scientific advance and mass industrialisation.
Nearly thirty years later in 'Brave New World Revisited' Huxley checked the progress of his prophecies against reality and argued that many of his fictional fantasies had grown uncomfortably close to the truth. Science was not only transforming the fundamental social and economic structures of society but was also swiftly gaining the ability to manipulate the genetic code of life itself. Government control had penetrated all levels of the community and the "hidden persuaders" of advertising and propaganda were inducing a creeping acquiescence in uncontrolled consumerism. For Huxley, the "brave new world" of the future had already arrived.
A vigorous, astute analysis of the nature of power and authority in modern society, this is an urgent and powerful appeal for the defence of individualism.