Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Why is it that you come across some classics over and over again through school, personal life and more, and others you somehow never read? Brave New World was the latter for me–and now I’m wondering how I missed it all these years. It is staggering to think that this book was written in 1932. How do you write a futuristic novel in 1932 and still have it seem applicable, fresh and potentially real 80 years later? You do it by weaving together Shakespeare, fear of commercialism and mass production, and loss of identity to group political ideals and a doped-up existence (in more ways than one).

Huxley argues against the ideas of utopia, the ideas of Henry Ford and the ideas Americanism and “progress.” Seeing as it is so many years later, some of what he vilifies (promiscuity, oh dear!) does seem obsolete or based in the culture and social ideals of the early 1900s, but these ideas do not keep this book from being understandable and a little scary. This book is considered a classic for a reason.