BETWEEN THE WARS by Aldous Huxley

BETWEEN THE WARS

Essays and Letters

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In time for the centennial of Huxley's birth, a journalistic miscellany--of pieces delivered over the radio, at the podium, and in magazines and newspapers--from the same period as Brave New World (1932). In addition to a voracious intellect, Huxley possessed a talent for inhabiting the Zeitgeist. In the pessimistic 1930s he became increasingly concerned with the issues of his times, such as mass society and political instability. This transitional period fell between his early career in the English country-house literary circles he satirized in Crome Yellow (1921) and his later status as expatriate mescaline mystic in California, where he wrote The Doors of Perception (1954). In this era in England and Italy he wrote the pieces collected here for the first time. The ideas in flux are the same as those he played with in Brave New World or earnestly advocated in his semi-mystic political tract, Ends and Means (1937). Huxley's early fascination with Pavlovian conditioning, Communist industrial planning, Fascist social order, and eugenics emerge in disquieting relief but are counterpointed with his later punditry for economic reform, pacifism, and sociological realignment. All these pieces were intended for immediate consumption, however, and seem more dated than his novels and serious essays. Still, his keen perception comes through with the unique immediacy of journalism, whether describing mines in northern England or four dull hours listening to Parliamentary speeches, and his polymathic wit entertainingly skewers fraudulent industrialists and fascist potentates alike. Editor Bradshaw, who is writing a biography of Huxley, includes his own essays on the influences on Huxley's work of H.L. Mencken's social satire and of H.G. Wells's political ideology. This idiosyncratic pendant to his major works reveals Huxley in a phase state between his more familiar roles.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1994
ISBN: 1-56663-055-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Ivan Dee/Rowman & Littlefield
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1994




MORE BY ALDOUS HUXLEY

NonfictionCOMPLETE ESSAYS by Aldous Huxley
by Aldous Huxley
FictionJACOB'S HANDS by Aldous Huxley
by Aldous Huxley
NonfictionTHE DOORS OF PERCEPTION by Aldous Huxley
by Aldous Huxley

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