Utopias: A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities - eBook  -     By: Howard P. Segal
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Utopias: A Brief History from Ancient Writings to Virtual Communities - eBook

Wiley-Blackwell / 2012 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Wiley-Blackwell
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 9781118234402
ISBN-13: 9781118234402

Publisher's Description

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

Editorial Reviews

"Segal does not shy away from bold definitions and delineations to separate utopias from millenarianism and science fiction, from abstract utopias and daydreams. ...Utopias is an accessible and thought-provoking introduction to utopias and utopianism and will appeal to scholars, students, and the general reader alike."  (Utopian Studies, 1 October 2015)

"In the capable hands of Howard P. Segal, professor of history at the University of Maine, technology rightfully has an important role in the imagination of alternative societies. His concise, well-written book covers utopias ancient and modern, Western and non-Western, and it is not limited to fiction conventionally labeled utopian but includes world’s fairs, social science, digital media, prophecies, millennial movements, and science fiction."  (Technology and Culture, 1 October 2015)

"To conclude: Segal’s book on utopias is a well-made treatise on an important aspect of European and American history. He convincingly shows that utopias had a political, as well as an economic, relevance. The view on the interaction between different cultural systems, such as art, politics, religion, technology, and economics, is a great strength of the book. It shows how complex processes around utopian visions have been, and how relevant they are for the implementation and change of different cultural spheres."  (Religion, 30 May 2015)

"Segal does a good job of surveying the history of utopias, particularly focusing on the connections with science and technology. Histories of this topic tend to highlight the religious or cultural motivations for writing about or creating utopian societies, but here the author expands the discussion to include virtual communities … This text provides a unique approach for teaching history and the history of science. Highly recommended: general readers; lower-division undergraduates and above." Choice (1 February 2013)

"Segal brings considerable scholarship and experience to bear, particularly on the historical intersections between technology and utopia ... [He] covers several continents and many centuries, addressing key texts and thinkers ... [and] supplies impressive coverage and thoughtful interpretations." Times Higher Education (12 July 2012)


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