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A Modern Utopia (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 31 Mar 2005

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (31 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141441127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141441122
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

H.G. Wells was a professional writer and journalist, who published more than a hundred books, including novels, histories, essays and programmes for world regeneration. Wells's prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction, but later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress. His controversial views on sexual equality and the shape of a truly developed nation remain directly relevant to our world today. He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'.


Francis Wheen is a journalist, author and broadcaster. He has written for most British national newspapers and was Columnist of the Year in 1997. His biography of Karl Marx won the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Prize, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. He is deputy editor of Private Eye.

Gregory Claeys is a historian at the University of Royal Holloway, London.


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
H.G. Wells has to be re-evaluated fast. He is seen as a myth that has little to do with the reality of what he is.

Only a few of his novels are well known and have been over-used in the cinema: The Time Machine, The War of The Worlds, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Invisible Man. His 1936 film, Things to Come, has been re-mastered on DVD. But all his non-fiction has disappeared in print. Luckily you can find it on the Internet.

This 1905 book is essential to get rid of the myth.

First of all, and above all, H.G. Wells is against any form of racialism, racism and racial discrimination. It is clearly expressed in the tenth chapter of the book. We cannot repeat it enough and mot people get trapped by the overuse of the word "race" in phase with that period when people decided to call the human species the human race, and to use race in all intellectual concoctions that could be invented about man and humanity.

But second H.G. Wells is a deep and intense eugenist. In the fifth chapter of this book he enumerates the people that should be "eliminated," the word is his: "congenital invalids, idiots and madmen, drunkards and men of vicious mind, cruel and furtive souls, stupid people, too stupid to be of use to the community, lumpish, unteachable and unimaginative people." You cannot be more systematic in the elimination of people who are a burden to society. They have to be eliminated not by being killed but isolated in islands, one category in each island and sexes separated for each category in two different islands.

Even worse. He advocates in 1905 a minimum wage for those who are out of work.
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So, H.G.Wells decided to write a novel about his view of a Utopia.
Well, the finished book is nothing like a Utopia I have ever come across.
The book should be called 'A Modern Authotarian World'. There is nothing at
all Utopian in this novel. Wells thought that the only way to end wars was to
have a world government. But that most certianly doesn't mean it will be Utopian.
This book is his vision of a world government. And where you have government,
naturally have control. Of all the Utopian books I have read, the most possible is
'News from Nowhere' by William Morris. Basically an Anarchist Utopia.
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This was a present for a 15 year old boy who has read all teenage dystopias popular right now.
Still waiting to hear what he makes of it.....
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Ordering and delivery easy, good. Glad to finally find an old classic at a reasonable price.
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You should clearly state in the title description this is a computer generated copy. I didn't know they even existed until this garbled rubbish turned up.
I really do not understand why someone would think this is a good idea, the technology is clearly not up to it, so why bother.
Just because computers exist, it doesn't mean we have to create jobs for them.
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