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Utopia Paperback – April 25, 2013
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More's "Utopia" is the longest and best of the three works presented in this book, at least as far as fleshing out the details of how a utopian civilization would really look, particularly when situated among other civilizations. But, since most people are familiar with it to some degree, I'll discuss the other two writings in more detail.
Bacon's "New Atlantis" is the least satisfying of the three utopian civilizations. First, it isn't complete, barely beginning before it ends. Second, it seems to be more about scientific specialization (i.e. how the New Atlantic culture has made great strides in various fields of science [e.g. agriculture, astronomy]) than about utopian society per se. It is interesting how Bacon relates these islanders, far from Europe, to the famed ancient Atlantean society.
Neville's "Isle of Pines" is an interesting tale of shipwreck and discovery. A ship sinks near the coast of a faraway island, killing everyone except a man with the last name "Pine" and a few women, one of whom is black. What follows is a fascinating story of old/new-world racism and debauchery. Basically, the Pine fellow starts bedding ALL the women (two of whom, if I recall, are sisters) because, you know, they're not getting rescued any time soon and they've got to keep civilization going. Eventually, they all dispense with the wearing of clothes. Then ALL the women get pregnant and turn into baby factories and everyone breeds like rabbits until there are hundreds of people within one or two generations. The interesting tack that Neville takes is that Pine only sleeps with the black woman at night, she "craftily" sneaking into his bed. In addition, her progeny happen to be the bad apples of the island, which is discussed from the perspective of some visiting sailors many years after the shipwreck. Fascinating view into the European mind from several centuries back.
There is much about Utopia which we would today consider progressive. Utopian society is democratic, with elected rulers and officials; it is also what we would call socialist, with no private property and all possessions communally owned. (The word "socialist" did not exist in More's day, but he clearly anticipated the concept). The inhabitants live simple lives and disdain luxury. Utopia is a welfare state with free education and healthcare. Euthanasia and divorce are permitted. Gambling is discouraged, as is hunting (on animal welfare grounds). All religions are tolerated; there is no single state religion. Some features of Utopian life would, from a twenty-first century perspective, seem less attractive, such as the penal system which permits slavery as a punishment for various offences including adultery. It should be borne in mind, however, that the system More describes here is less harsh than the one which prevailed in sixteenth-century England, where the death penalty could be imposed for relatively trivial offences against property.Read more ›
Interesting thing but the word "utopia" came from this book as we know it now. Thomas created it in this book by describing in his mind the ideal society, ideal place and ideal life. Utopia is written in a story style and that makes it very easy to read and understand. Recently I've read some other books describing opposite to utopia, which is called anti-utopia. It was very interesting to see the differences between all of them.
Utopia is a fictitious place and the author describes it as an ideal place for society to live. Based on fictitious story teller he describes many different aspects of life like cities, authorities, crafts, communication, relationships, trips, slaves, war and belief. What I didn't like is that through my eyes many things are based on Christianity or has some color of it. That makes me to think that basically this utopia society is based on emotional and not reasonable aspects.
Me personally I'm not admiring the idea of utopia. I think it has many disadvantages. What caught my eye is that in this book there is not mentioned some really important aspects like passion (in any ways like sexual, activity and even life). Sometimes this book reminded me Brave New World. It's similar that in utopia nobody possess nothing and in Brave New World everyone else belongs to everyone else. It doesn't really much differ in mindset, just in surface. What I really doesn't admire in utopias is that they deny personality and destroys character only leaving human as a small part of society.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This historic text may be of great interest to historians, who research what life and attitudes were like in former times. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Eldon K. Van Vliet
It is very good. It's a new one and I like it. The delivery is relatively fast.Published 12 months ago by zhiyanwang
Well, here goes.
Thomas Moore created the term utopia through this work. It explores a fantastical society that has achieved a state of utopia, explaining every aspect... Read more
If anyone ever explained a utopia, St. Thomas More did just that. It appears that the idea of an ideal world is in every generation of man. Read morePublished 24 months ago by CJ Swindell
i got this book for my husband because he loves the movie ever after and i thought he would love to read her favorite bookPublished on November 8, 2013 by Marion
I ordered this book a second time after I opened the first package. What I found was a condensed thrift edition, not the one shown in the photo or the description. Read morePublished on July 18, 2013 by Kim Kent
This book is a fictional account of a discussion between Thomas More (the author) and Raphael H.
In it Raphael H. tells him about land of Utopia.... Read more