Focused on the life and work of Francis Huxley (1923–2016), this book offers an exploration of the search to understand the human condition, one which is simultaneously biographical, philosophical, cultural, historical, political and epistemological.

A 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. His story reveals how the production and dissemination of ideas can be understood in an intergenerational context which is familial and sociological. The book reflects on the contemporary relevance of Huxley’s work, forging links between the central philosophical, cultural, scientific and political themes that dominate the turbulent early 21st century and the enduring questions that have driven human beings in the search to understand themselves and their place in the world. It will be of interest to scholars from across the social sciences and humanities.

part Part I|7 pages


chapter 1|5 pages

Chronology and family tree

part Part II|65 pages

Family life, ancestry and haunting

chapter 2|19 pages


chapter 3|19 pages

Uncle Aldous

chapter 4|24 pages


part Part III|65 pages

The facts of life

chapter 5|11 pages


chapter 6|5 pages

In the Royal Navy

chapter 7|15 pages


chapter 8|32 pages

Love and history

part Part IV|72 pages

Social anthropology

chapter 10|4 pages

The Ka'apor

chapter 11|16 pages


chapter 12|7 pages

Haiti fieldwork

chapter 13|14 pages

St Catherine's Oxford

chapter 14|7 pages

Survival International

Anthropology and social justice

chapter 15|18 pages

Cosmology and the sacred

part Part V|60 pages

The human condition