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Searching For Utopia: The History of an Idea

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Aspirations for a better—even a perfect—society have existed throughout history. Utopias have been imagined in intricate detail by, among others, philosophers, poets, social reformers, architects, and artists. Gregory Claeys, a leading scholar in the field, surveys the influence of the idea of utopia on history, literature, art, architecture, and religious and political thought. Central to his exploration of ideal worlds are creation myths; archetypes of heaven and the afterlife; new worlds and voyages of discovery; ages of revolution and technological progress; model communities and kibbutzim; political and ecological dystopias; space travel and science fiction. The most significant utopias throughout history—whether envisaged or attempted—are covered, including visions of the ideal society in Asia, Africa, the Arab world, and the Americas, as well as the ancient and Western worlds. Complete with a wealth of photographs, paintings, engravings, maps, documents, posters, and film stills, as well as comprehensive notes and a bibliography, this volume is a compelling and insightful exploration of the rich diversity of the utopian imagination.

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • ISBN: 0500251746