“THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MR. BOOTH MAY SAVE SOULS, BUT IT WILL HARDLY SAVE SOCIETY”: THOMAS HUXLEY’S SOCIAL DISEASES AND WORSE REMEDIES, 1891
HUXLEY, Thomas Henry. Social Diseases and Worse Remedies. London: Macmillan, 1891. Small octavo, original printed cream wrappers; pp. 148. $300.
Second edition of Huxley’s objections to William Booth’s system of “Social Selection and Salvation”—the Salvation Army—which Huxley called “autocratic Socialism, masked by its theological exterior.”
Known primarily as the protagonist of evolution in the controversies immediately following the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species late in 1859, zoologist Huxley studied and wrote on a wide range of subjects, including education, philosophy, evolution and religion. Social Diseases is a collection of letters Huxley wrote to the editor of the London Times in opposition to William Booth’s organization of the Salvation Army and his “Scheme of Social Selection and Salvation.” Huxley charges that: “Shutting his eyes to the necessary consequences of the struggle for life,… Mr. Booth tells men, whose evil case is one of those consequences, that envy is a corner-stone of our competitive system. With thrift and self-respect denounced as sin, with the suffering of starving men referred to the sins of the capitalist, the gospel according to Mr. Booth may save souls, but it will hardly save society.” “Professor Huxley’s attack upon William Booth, the Salvation Army, and the Darkest England Scheme made but a small impression upon the General, who had, it seems, less compassion and sympathy for an infidel than for any other creature” (Salvation Army).
Light soiling and rubbing to original wrappers. A near-fine copy.