In the moral vacuum and world of shifting values following World War I, Aldous Huxley was both a sensitive refl ector and an articulate catalyst. This work provides a highly illuminating analysis of Huxley’s evolution from skeptic to mystic. As Milton Birnbaum shows, in a perceptive interpretation of Huxley’s poetry, fi ction, essays and biographies-what evolved in Huxley’s moral and intellectual pilgrimage was not so much a change in direction as a shift in emphasis. Even in the sardonic Huxley of the 1920s and 1930s, there is a moral concern. In the later Huxley, there are traces of the satirical skepticism which delighted his readers in the decades preceding World War II. A man of letters, a keen observer, seeker of new ways while profoundly knowledgeable in the truths of ancient wisdom, Huxley tried to achieve a symbiotic synthesis of the best of all worlds. In clarifying and interpreting Huxley’s intellectual, moral, and philosophical development, Birnbaum touches upon all the subjects that came under the scrutiny of a singularly encyclopedic mind. This book is of great worth to those interested both in Huxley the brilliant satirist and in Huxley the seeker of salvation. In his search, Huxley typifi ed the modern quest for values. Milton Birnbaum’s study is an invaluable guide in that journey. His new introduction takes account of research and analysis of Huxley that has occurred since this book’s original publication.
Aldous Huxley A Quest for Values