Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World

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Little, Brown, Mar 14, 2017 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe's leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today.
"A more politically radical Malcolm Gladwell." --New York Times
After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don't need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn't be this way-and in some places it isn't.

Rutger Bregman's TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It's just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.

Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he champions ideas whose time have come.

Every progressive milestone of civilization-from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy-was once considered a utopian fantasy. Bregman's book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.

 

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User Review  - ericlee - www.librarything.com

I admit to being a bit of a latecomer to this party, having only discovered Rutger Bregman following his extraordinary non-interview on Fox News recently. This is his best-selling book laying out the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fizzypops - LibraryThing

A work that challenges you to critically examine the status quo, and your part in it. Bregman's bold ideas about the feasibility of a better society and a brighter future made me feel more positive ... Read full review

Contents

The Return of Utopia
Why We Should Give Free Money to Everyone
The End of Poverty
The Bizarre Tale of President Nixon and His Basic
New Figures for a New
A FifteenHour Workweek
Why It Doesnt Pay to Be a Banker
Race Against the Machine
Beyond the Gates of the Land of Plenty
How Ideas Change the World
Epilogue
Acknowledgements

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About the author (2017)

Rutger Bregman is a journalist at The Correspondent, and one of Europe's most prominent young thinkers. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics. His History of Progress was awarded the Belgian Liberales prize for best nonfiction book of 2013, and Bregman has twice been nominated for the European Press Prize.

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