Aldous Huxley composed Brave New World in the context of the Depression and the eugenics movement in Britain. Today his novel is best known as satirical and predictive, but an additional interpretation emerges from Huxley's nonfiction writings in which the liberal humanist expressed some surprising opinions about eugenics, citizenship, and meritocracy. He felt that his role as an artist and public intellectual was to formulate an evolving outlook on urgent social, scientific, and moral issues. His brave new world can therefore be understood as a serious design for social reform, as well as a commentary about the social uses of scientific knowledge.
Designing a Brave New World: Eugenics, Politics, and Fiction
R.A.R. EDWARDS is an associate professor of history at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she teaches deaf history and disability history. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, in 1997. Author of “Sound and Fury, Or Much Ado About Nothing? Cochlear Implants in Historical Perspective” (Journal of American History 92, no. 3 [December 2005], 892–920), she is now at work on a manuscript on nineteenth-century Deaf culture.
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JOANNE WOIAK; Designing a Brave New World: Eugenics, Politics, and Fiction. The Public Historian 1 January 2007; 29 (3): 105–129. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2007.29.3.105
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