A compelling history of a perennially powerful idea: the quest for the ideal society
We have always dreamed of better societies. Philosophers, poets, reformers, architects and artists have imagined them in intricate detail, from Asia to the Americas, across Europe, Africa and the Arab world. Here, Gregory Claeys explores the origins, evolution and influence of utopian thinking, taking in creation myths and religious archetypes, voyages of discovery and new worlds, revolutions social and technological, model communities and dystopian regimes, science fiction and space travel.
From classical times to the future, he traces the enduring human need to imagine and construct ideal worlds.
Table of Contents
The Search for Utopia The Classical Age Christian Archetypes Extra-European Visions of the Ideal Society Thomas More s Utopia Voyages of Discovery to the New World and Beyond The Age of Defoe and Swift Revolution and Enlightenment Ideal Cities: Medieval to Modern Utopia as Community: From Shakers to Hippies Socialism, Communism and Anarchism Rationalism, Technology and Modernity as Utopia The Emergence of Science Fiction Varieties of Dystopia: Totalitarianism and After Utopia, Science Fiction and Film: The Final Frontier Conclusion: Paradise Lost?