- Series: Belknap Press
- Hardcover: 912 pages
- Publisher: Belknap Press; 1st edition (October 31, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674931858
- ISBN-13: 978-0674931855
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,972,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Utopian Thought in the Western World (Belknap Press) 1st Edition
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A masterwork of impeccable scholarship--brilliant, profound, extraordinarily wide-ranging, and altogether engrossing. Bound to be the definitive book on its complex subject for a long, long time. (Robert K. Merton)
A magnificent achievement in the history of ideas, combining sharp historical analysis with vivid intellectual portraits and elegance of style. (Max Lerner)
A masterwork of impeccable scholarship--brilliant, profound, extraordinarily wide-ranging, and altogether engrossing. Bound to be the definitive book on its complex subject for a long, long time. (Robert K. Merton) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
In chronicling what they call "the utopian propensity of mind," the Manuels essentially create a new genre, at once literary and philosophical. At its broadest, it would reach into the religious sphere - the "utopian moments" of Eastern Enlightenments, the Revelations of St. John on the island of Patmos. But the Manuels, wisely, pull back from the cosmic view to the generally secular, social, visions of a better world on earth.
The best utopians are realists, in that they focus the fire of their vision on the concrete specifics of this world, transporting them into the framework of an ideal universe. The vision, to quote a poet, is that of "real toads in imaginary gardens." Setting out from points of contact in the real world, they move into uncharted territories and terrains, places where no one has yet gone. Etymologically, "Utopia" is the Great Good Place which is No Place. Chimerical, fantastic, improbable, and motivating, Utopias are the engines behind our evolutionary imaginations.
At 900 pages and 17 pounds, this beautifully written, erudite and witty book from the 1970s is an unrecognized national treasure, waiting, like some ancient artifact of utopia itself, to be uncovered and released to the world.
Like the imaginary voyages of the 18th century, like science fiction, and like the virtual realities of the Worldwide Web, the visionary landscapes of utopia startle, wake up, and propel us towards the creation of our own future. Go buy this from your nearest Amazon used-book dealer, and start creating your own future!
Note: The Manuels' map of utopia is a map of the human imagination at its richest, and actually could become a roadmap for the Worldwide Web as well.