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Utopia [Hardcover]

Saint Sir Thomas More
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

18 Aug 2008
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 116 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife (18 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0554370190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0554370194
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 23.4 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,956,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Students who use this edition will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary contexts out of which Utopia emerged." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Thomas More's Utopia is one of the supreme achievements of Renaissance humanism. His complex and ironic account of an imaginary communist society has not only given rise to the genre of utopian fiction but has been an inspiration to generations of political reformers. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking wonderment 30 Mar 2007
Sir Thomas More's Utopia is a hugely ambiguous, evocative and thought provoking book. It relays a conversation between Thomas More and Raphael Hythloday, who tells the story of a kingdom he has recently spent a number of years living in, Utopia. Raphael gives the details of this nation, a natiion where everyone is equal, where they all wear the same clothes, there is no money, everyone works for the good of the nation, everyone gets the same education, and so on, in short a perfect communist society.

However, even though Raphael Hythloday says throughout that there is no better system of government in the world than the Utopian way, the book in no way makes it apparent the author feels this, the charachter Thomas More in the book is sceptical of some of the Utopian ideals, and we are left ourselves to decide, and even though it is a utopia filled by equality, the image of the nation is quite a creepy one, everyone looks the same, all of the cities are identical, people are only allowed to visit other cities with a special permit and even when they are in other cities they still have to work. Criminals are forced into slavery rather than imprisoned, but even the "free" citizens appear to be slaves to an extent.

A critique of English Tudor government, of the role of the monarchs privy council and the running of England is also offered in book which is quite interesting. But this book will make you think about government and the ideals of a perfect society, and how in the end, the utopian ideal is flawed.

Wonderful book, read it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A More Perfect Plan... 6 July 2004
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Thomas More, executed by Henry VIII (one of his best friends) for treason, led an illustrious career of politics and letters. Under his friend the King, he served in many capacities - Speaker of the House of Commons, Master of Requests, Privy Councillor, etc. - culminating with the trust of the position of Lord Chancellor, a position in those days matching the prominence (if not the definition) of Prime Minister in these days. More's strong integrity and resolute mind caught the attention of scholars, political and church leaders internationally; it was this same integrity that most likely was his undoing, refusing to assent to the King's divorce and severance of ties binding the English Church with the Roman overlordship of the Pope. Indeed, More was, if not the actual ghostwriter, then certainly an inspiration and editorial aide to the document produced by King Henry VIII against the continental protestants, earning for Henry (and his heirs ever after) the title of Defender of the Faith (historical irony is that this title, most likely not intended to be hereditary, now declares the defense of a faith separated from the one for which the title was bestowed).
While an Ambassador to Flanders, More spent spare time writing this book, 'Utopia'. The very title is a still a by-word in the English language (as well as others) of a state of bliss and peace; it is often used with the context of being unrealistic. 'Utopia' is More's response to and development from Plato's 'Republic', in that it is a framework for a perfect society, or at least perfect according to More's ideas of the time. Penned originally in Latin, 'Utopia' has been translated widely; one of the better translations is by H.V.S. Ogden, in 1949, still reprinted in various editions to this day.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I would hate for people to get the wrong impression of what for me is a first rate book. In this particular edition one even gets a superb and in many ways indispensible introduction from Paul Turner.
The great thing about this book is the nuances and element of irony that runs throughout. At first glance much of More's writing does in fact appear naive and incredulous. A more careful reading and one is left with a feeling of ambiguity as to what More's own motives for writing this book were. The most interesting part is seeing how More's writing compares to his own life and how often the two stand diametricaly opposed to one another. A good example of this is the question of how religion should be practiced.
The beauty of this book, therefore, is that one is left not entirely sure whether More is writing the first utopian novel or whether he is in fact writing a dystopia something that it is generally thought only came about much later. Remember More used the word utopia which means 'no place' to mean just that, it is only our present-day use of the word that attaches the idea of perfection to it, not his.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bold ideas, but no easy read 8 May 2004
By A Customer
While short, this book is rich with radical ideas: Absence of private property, absence of currency, deposition of the prince if suspected of tyranny, freedom of religious belief, female priests, euthanasia, divorce by mutual consent.
I am not sure I would like to live in Utopia. It is definitely a more tolerant, free and equal society model than early 16th century England, but the excesses of Communism (e.g. forced work on farms for townsfolk) are just around the corner.
I would recommend this book, if only for its historical interest. However, it is not an easy read - especially if you are not a native English speaker. The convoluted Latin sentence structure is difficult enough without having to deal with the obsolete vocabulary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal society
I'd give this 11/10. What a book and written in the 15th Century as well. An idealized society living off the land, 6 hour days with 2 hour lunches. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tracey Madeley
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
Reminded why I loved this book though its a wordy piece but inspiring and thought provoking. Recommended for any budding politics student.
Published 4 months ago by Graeme McKellan
3.0 out of 5 stars A classic read
Well I struggled through just to prove to myself that I could read something that has been so revered. Did I enjoy it? No. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Miss Read
5.0 out of 5 stars gift
my son asked for this as a gift he enjoyed it and wanted this book as it was the original book face
Published 12 months ago by linda grundy
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not understand the book.
I got very lost through the book, I tried my best to read a lot but I just did not understand it at all.
Published 15 months ago by Linda Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Help to understand the world power games
If you like to read on politics and philosophy, this is a must. You'll understand why Stalin liked him and also why the Church made him a Saint. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Luiz Ribeiro
5.0 out of 5 stars Thomas
I have always wanted to read this book and now its done. A brilliant book which everyone should read and read again.
Published 18 months ago by Rebecca Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars cover awful picture but book perfect and on time
this man died for this views and beiliefs. Sadly he does not say how one changes to utopia just what it would be like. Read more
Published 19 months ago by EDWARD
4.0 out of 5 stars Plato Meets Marx
I saw the Penguin: Great Ideas copy in the shop and thought it might have been an abridged copy. I mean, it's not a long book, but the Great Ideas copy seemed too small. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Conor
5.0 out of 5 stars Utopia Sir Thomas More
Gave 5 star rating as i was well pleased with the book.came very quick and would recommend this to my friends
Published 20 months ago by krysia
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