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Utopia (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – 1 Jan 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; New edition edition (1 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486295834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486295831
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.3 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A classic -should be read by all thinking people who are interested in politics and/or history.. This is cheap edition - mediocre quality paper, but still represents good value for money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
somewhat difficult to get into but thats the challenge! :D a great, intellectual read! would highly recommend!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Utopia is satire 11 Dec. 2003
By Maryellen O'brien - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Please, please understand: Utopia is not Thomas Moore's philosophy or dream of perfect world, or something unbearably cruel that he believed was right in real time. Utopia is SATIRE. Entirely satire. Political lampooning.
It is unsettling to read reviews by people who have completely missed this, which is precisely the kind of thing Moore was satirizing.
Read it for the brilliant piece that it is - do not take it literally for heaven's sake!
This is akin to taking Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" seriously, and failing to see the social and political satire - Swift proposes eating Irish children to stop the overpopulation. Satire!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Utopia: Not As Free As You Might Think 19 Aug. 2006
By Martin Asiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When Thomas More wrote UTOPIA in 1516, he attempted to postulate how human beings could create a society that would be as nearly perfect as possible. At least that is what is commonly believed that he tried to do. For those who have read his book, they immediately see some troubling issues. The first sticky point is to define what he meant by the term "utopia." Did he mean a totally democratic state; such as the ancient Greeks had, in which each citizen had direct voting in all issues? Or perhaps More was simply updating Plato, who saw his Republic as a society governed by a carefully selected breed of rulers who would rule an equally carefully selected brood of subjects? Or again, was More attempting to strike an impossible balance between the burgeoning rise of Renaissance humanism with a stifling set of conflicting Christian religions? It is too easy for moderns to suggest that he was merely holding up Utopia as a fun-house type mirror by which he wished his contemporaries could see themselves reflected as zigzag images and perhaps be ashamed enough--or exhorted enough--to alter their behavior for the better. We today are tempted to judge his meaning by 20th century standards, which do not always draw a clear distinction among the virtues that More's Renaissance contemporaries took for granted but today we dismiss as outdated, or worse, irrelevant.

The book itself has two parts. The first includes More, who places himself in the book as a traveler to Antwerp who meets Peter Giles, who in turn introduces him to Raphael Hythloday, a name that Moore punningly notes that in Greek means "nonsense speaker." Hythloday mentions that he journeyed with Amerigo Vespucci to America and along the way encountered the mythical land of Utopia. This first part is slow reading in that More does little more than discuss some general reforms of potential benefit to England, most of which involved agrarian, economic, judicial, military, and criminal justice matters, all of which obliquely suggest that what worked in Utopia might work in England as well. It is the second part that has generated considerable controversy as to what More really meant his readers to grasp.

For those who come to the second part of UTOPIA and expect a 16th century version of Eden, the results are profoundly shocking. When More details the basic government setup as one in which its citizens are living in a ruthless police state with the death penalty meted out for a variety of reasons, readers suddenly grasp that Utopia may not be all that different from Plato, who similarly envisioned his society as one free from the degenerating influences of poetry and the basic tenets of free speech. When this sobering concept sinks in, then the term "utopia" begins to lose its cache as a synonym for a land of unrivalled happiness. But if these readers look at Utopia through the eyes of More and not their own, then a different Utopia arises. As an educated classicist fully versed in traditional Christian orthodoxy, More was trained to evaluate any social structure according to the non-Christian but humanistic Cardinal Virtues of wisdom, fortitude, temperance, and justice, and then compare these to the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and charity. More made it clear that both sets of virtues were needed to make Utopia an enduring entity. More was not optimistic enough to truly believe the social inequities in England (or Utopia for that matter) could be so easily eliminated merely by rearranging the pieces of the social pie. What humans of any society needed to ensure genuine freedom from tyranny was mastery of the far more unmanageable Seven Deadly Sins. Of these More suggests that by downplaying the importance of gold, by limiting the nature and amount of material wealth, and by forcing all citizens from the highest to lowest to share in all types of drudgery, that the worst of the sins, Pride, will be vanquished, thus leaving Utopia as ready to endure in the face of what to other and less advanced societies would be tantalizing but deadly temptations.

What emerges then in Utopia is a mythical land based on equally mythical virtues that can house a citizenry such as never existed in human history nor is likely to. But More felt that even if his contemporaries managed to alter for the better their profligate ways, then a small sliver of Utopia might result. For More and perhaps for us today, that might be good enough.
21 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Don't Bother With This Edition 7 Jan. 2006
By Brandon Abraham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have always been a tremendous fan of More; however, I would recommend not approaching "Utopia" with this edition. Although this is the cheapest version out there, I find it entirely lacking in footnotes, annotations, and other "tools" that help explain some of the nuances of More's argument.

Instead of purchasing this edition, go for the Norton Critical Edition, which also contains some essays which help illuminate the text.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful (Cheap) Product 18 Mar. 2014
By Zweig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received the product in a hurry. Everything checked out. I love Dover Thrift Editions (DFEs). DFEs are a great way to save a few bucks when reading canon literature.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Companion to Bolt's A Man for All Seasons Study 11 Feb. 2014
By Ann Radebaugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
used as a precursor to teaching the play to 10th grade English II Pre AP--gave students some background on More
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