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The Concept of Utopia (Utopianism & Communitarianism) [Hardcover]

Ruth Levitas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

15 April 1996 Utopianism & Communitarianism
In this highly influential book, Ruth Levitas provides us with an excellent introduction to the meaning and importance of the concept of utopia, and explores a wealth of material drawn from literature and social theory to illustrate its rich history and analytical versatility. Situating utopia within the dynamics of the modern imagination, she examines the ways in which it has been used by some of the leading thinkers of modernity: Marx, Engels, Karl Mannheim, Robert Owen, Georges Sorel, Ernst Block, William Morris, and Herbert Marcuse. Utopia remains the most potent secular concept for imagining and producing a 'better world', and this classic text will be invaluable to students across a wide range of disciplines.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press; New edition edition (15 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815625138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815625131
  • Product Dimensions: 23.3 x 15.1 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,482,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in utopia. (Professor Lucy Sargisson, School of Politics, University of Nottingham) Writing with clarity and grace, Levitas offers a sustained, intelligent, and critical examination of major definitions of utopia ... a strong and significant book. (Professor Peter Stillman, Department of Political Science, Vassar College) A thorough introduction to utopian studies that expertly treads a line between depth, breadth and accessibility, this is an excellent first stop for any student on the road to (and through) utopia. (Dr Nathaniel Coleman, School of Architecture, Newcastle University) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ruth Levitas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol. She is co-founder and former chair of the Utopian Studies Society (Europe) and vice-chair of the William Morris Society. Her books include The Ideology of the New Right, The Interpretation of Official Statistics (co-edited with Will Guy), The Inclusive Society? Social Exclusion and New Labour, and Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain (co-edited with Christina Pantazis and David Gordon). Utopia as Method: The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society, the sequel to this book, is forthcoming. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible introduction to an expanding area 31 Jan 2004
By ldxar1
Utopian studies is one of the fastest-growing fields of contemporary critical analysis, and Levitas has established herself as one of the leading commentators. Although some of the activities and texts associated with utopianism have been around for centuries, the field of study is quite new and is still plagued with the definitional conflicts and crossed purposes so common in any new area. In this context, an accessible introduction for people new to the field is a real necessity, and Levitas fills the space very well. This is an accessible book, despite the relative difficulty of the subject-matter. Levitas provides commentaries on theorists associated with utopianism. In addition, she uses the book to make important points about the boundaries and methodologies of utopian studies. This makes the book an important contribution to the field as well as an excellent introduction, and ensures that there is plenty here for established utopian scholars as well as for newcomers.
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