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
The paperback version will be published in April 2022. The book is presently translated by Dörte Fuchs into German and will appear in October 2022 by Springer VS, Wiesbaden.