09/25/2011 08:34 EDT | Updated 11/25/2011 05:12 EST

<i>Brave New World</i>, Aldous Huxley


In honour of Banned Books Week: the Huffington Post Canada and Indigo have teamed up to bring our readers' attention to books that have been banned or challenged, both in North America and around the world. Whatever your opinion, remember that in Canada you are free to read a book, judge it on its merits, and discuss it openly.

Brave New World, a perennially challenged classic, was nearly booted off the Seattle High Schools list this year: A parent complained about the books alleged "high volume of racially offensive derogatory language and misinformation on Native Americans," "stereotype views," and a lack of "literary value which is relevant to today's multicultural society."


The astonishing novel Brave New World, originally published in 1932, presents Aldous Huxley''s vision of the future -- of a world utterly transformed. Through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, people are genetically designed to be passive and therefore consistently useful to the ruling class. This powerful work of speculative fiction sheds a blazing critical light on the present and is considered to be Huxley''s most enduring masterpiece.

Following Brave New World is the nonfiction work Brave New World Revisited, first published in 1958. It is a fascinating work in which Huxley uses his tremendous knowledge of human relations to compare the modern-day world with the prophetic fantasy envisioned in Brave New World, including threats to humanity, such as overpopulation, propaganda, and chemical persuasion.