LD : This is vintage American TV . . . the year 1958. Even the quaint accents belong to a bygone era. This was well before my time, but let me travel back in imagination. . . . This was an age to which many Americans now look back with infinite nostalgia. How they’d love to go back and relive the glorious 1950s when all the world lay at America’s feet.
The beatnik movement, originating in California, had spread across America and recently made its way to Europe.
The US had launched its first moon rocket.
The European Common Market had just come into being.
Boris Pasternak, who had received the Nobel Prize for Literature that year, had just seen the publication of his masterpiece Dr Zhivago.
The complete works of Tolstoy in 90 volumes had appeared in the Soviet Union.
In America they were reading a new novel called Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.
In movie houses they were showing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring Elizabeth Taylor.
A new dance called the cha-cha-cha was all the rage.
In the world of pop music, a 23-year-old heart throb called Elvis Presley had begun to make waves, rubbing shoulders with the Everly Brothers, Perry Como, Dean Martin and Nat King Cole.
This was the year in which the Supreme Religious Center for World Jewry was dedicated in Jerusalem. World Zionism had begun its long and steady march.
Huxley here talks about the “brave new world” he saw developing over the next century . . . it’s all coming to pass. Shades of Orwell, shades of Huxley. Which is the scarier vision: Orwell’s or Huxley’s? Take your pick.
This video is well worth watching, if only for the intellectual stimulation. For half an hour, you will find yourself in the company of a world-class genius. Men like Huxley are almost impossible to find nowadays. [LD]