A fourth-generation member of the illustrious Huxley dynasty, Francis Huxley forged an unusual and innovative career making key contributions to social anthropology, mental health care, and the protection of indigenous peoples. Through an examination of his life and work, this book comprises an unorthodox exploration of the human condition, one which is simultaneously biographical, philosophical, cultural, historical, political and epistemological. Huxley’s story tells us enables us to see how the production and dissemination of ideas can be understood in an intergenerational context which is familial and sociological. In assessing the contemporary relevance of his work, links are forged between the dominant philosophical, cultural, scientific and political themes which dominate the turbulent early 21st century and the enduring questions which have driven human beings in the search to understand themselves and their place in the world. Readers from across the humanities and social sciences as well as those interested in biography per se will find much of interest.
A thorough and fascinating portrayal of my Uncle Francis, warts and all, which well convey his mercurial character together with a sure-footed appraisal of his life’s work and writing.
Victoria Huxley, Niece
This study of Francis Huxley is welcome and overdue, because he was one of the greatest anthropologists of Amazonian indigenous peoples. His observations were thorough and scientifically accurate, to the highest standards of his discipline. But Francis was exceptional in two other ways. His delightful writing style communicated his passion to general readers as well as academics. And he was a warm friend, almost a compatriot of the indigenous peoples he studied. He was fascinated by and empathised with mythology and their spirit and spiritual worlds, so that he almost thought as one of them.
John Hemming, Author of People of the Rainforest
This is an immensely engaging and absorbing book. Thoughtful and well written, it skillfully conveys the many fascinating layers of Francis Huxley and his rich and varied life, loves and philosophy with great empathy.
Fiona Watson, Survival International
Dieses Buch über das Leben und Werk von Francis Huxley (1923–2016) zeichnet zugleich die Suche nach dem Verständnis der Conditio humana nach und nimmt seine Leserinnen und Leser mit auf eine biografische, philosophische, kulturelle, historische, politische und epistemologische Erkundungsreise.
Als Mitglied der berühmten Huxley-Dynastie leistete Francis Huxley wichtige und innovative Beiträge zur Sozialanthropologie, zur Pflege der psychischen Gesundheit und zum Schutz indigener Völker. Seine ungewöhnliche Laufbahn und Lebensgeschichte zeigen, wie die Produktion und Verbreitung von Ideen in einem intergenerationellen und soziologischen Kontext verstanden werden kann. Das Buch reflektiert die zeitgenössische Relevanz von Huxleys Werk und stellt Verbindungen her zwischen den zentralen philosophischen, kulturellen, wissenschaftlichen und politischen Themen des turbulenten frühen 21. Jahrhunderts und den überdauernden Fragen, die die Menschen auf der Suche nach dem Verständnis ihrer selbst und ihres Platzes in der Welt antreiben. Dieses Buch ist für alle Studierenden, Forschenden und Lehrenden der Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften von Interesse.
Francis Huxley (1923 – 2016) was a social anthropologist, traveller to unmapped lands of the mind, a mythologist, known for his ground-breaking narrative anthropology. After early research in the Brazilian Amazon, he ventured to Haiti to investigate the role of Voodoo in the healing of mental distress. From his time there he produced a widely read sympathetic text of the social-psychological functions of Voodoo and accrued a large collection of personal photographs (1072) of the people he encountered, both in their everyday and ritual settings. This album is a companion volume to our previous biography; Francis Huxley and the human condition; Anthropology Ancestry and Knowledge, as well as being a visual record of Francis’ time in Haiti and a testimony to his ability to enter open-mindedly into the world of a people who have been much misunderstood.
Le Centre International de Documentation et d'Information Haitienne,
Caribéenne et Afro-Canadienne