Brave New World

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

This book is another masterpiece of dystopian fiction. Unlike 1984, Huxley’s focus is conformity within a set of boundaries that most of his characters seem more than willing to accept. Bad feelings got you down? Take drugs. Looking for passion or intimacy? Have meaningless sex. Huxley’s vision of a totalitarian culture dominated by orgy porgy hours and soma addiction is not generally taught in Bible Belt high schools. The sex scenes just aren’t grim enough.

The Origins of Totalitarianism

The Origins of Totalitarianism – Hannah Arendt

A masterpiece of 20th century political analysis by a first rank philosopher and political theorist. Hannah Arendt answers a series of key questions about how totalitarianism arises and how it is maintained. She focuses on the nitty gritty details of Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany. Arendt taught at Berkeley, Princeton, and the University of Chicago. A must read.