Utopias: A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities

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John Wiley & Sons, Mar 2, 2012 - Religion - 224 pages
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This brief history connects the past and present of utopian thought, from the first utopias in ancient Greece, right up to present day visions of cyberspace communities and paradise.
  • Explores the purpose of utopias, what they reveal about the societies who conceive them, and how utopias have changed over the centuries
  • Unique in including both non-Western and Western visions of utopia
  • Explores the many forms utopias have taken – prophecies and oratory, writings, political movements, world's fairs, physical communities – and also discusses high-tech and cyberspace visions for the first time
  • The first book to analyze the implicitly utopian dimensions of reform crusades like Technocracy of the 1930s and Modernization Theory of the 1950s, and the laptop classroom initiatives of recent years
 

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Contents

A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities Introduction
1
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 1 The Nature of Utopias
5
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 2 The Variety of Utopias
16
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 3 The European Utopias and Utopians and Their Critics
47
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 4 The American Utopias and Utopians and Their Critics
74
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 5 Growing Expectations of Realizing Utopia in the United States and Europe
89
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 6 Utopia Reconsidered
139
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 7 The Resurgence of Utopianism
186
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities 8 The Future of Utopias and Utopianism
234
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities Further Reading
261
A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities Index
269
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About the author (2012)

Howard P. Segal is Bird Professor of History at the University of Maine, where he has taught since 1986. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. His previous books include Technological Utopianism in American Culture (1985), Future Imperfect: The Mixed Blessings of Technology in America (1994), Technology in America: A Brief History (1989, 1999, with Alan Marcus), and Recasting the Machine Age: Henry Ford's Village Industries (2005). He also reviews for, among other publications, Nature and the Times Higher Education.

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