This novel won the 1974 Nebula Award and the 1975 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year as well as the 1975 Jupiter Award. It is centered about a complex society that is founded upon anarchism: an ordered society without laws. The "dispossessed" in the novel are the millions of the inhabitants of Anarres, an arid moon of the lush planet of Urras. Two centuries earlier, the followers of an anarchist philosopher had fled Urras to forge a new society, a society that has done away with the concept of "possession." There is no property on Anarres, no money, no marriage (I hope that Le Guin is not meaning to suggest that marriage is a possession by one or other of the participants), no government, no laws, no prisons. Even the language reflects this attitude. Possessive pronouns are even avoided. Instead of saying "My hand hurts," one would say "The hand hurts me." A mathematical genius of Anarres, who has made a conceptual breakthrough that allows for the development of the ansible (an instantaneous communication device that other science fiction authors will begin to use), travels to Urras. He had been having difficulties with the philosophical ideas of his home world but the social structure of Urras baffles him. The cultures of both world cause problems for the protagonist Shevik. This is one of the best science fiction novels of all time. However, I'm surprised at some of the comments by earlier reviewers. It appears that some reviewers are really offended at more cerebral type of novels. I gave this book five stars. And, I also gave "A Princess of Mars" five stars. Both books have their place within the genre. Perhaps we should be not so narrow in our tastes so that we exclude valuable works. Both of these novels should be read by any serious student of science fiction literature.