Story of Utopias: 100th Anniversary Edition

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Story of Utopias: 100th Anniversary Edition

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The Story of Utopias was first published in 1922, in the aftermath of a world war and global pandemic, by a young writer. Berkshire’s 100th anniversary edition is designed for the reader of today. In a preface to the 50th anniversary edition, Lewis Mumford explained that The Story of Utopias began with an awareness “that the impetus of the great nineteenth century, with its fund of buoyant idealism and robust social enterprise, had come to an end. If we were to cope with the new age before us, whose grim outlines had long been visible to sensitive, probing minds, we would have to overcome the massive aberrations that had in fact led to the debacle of the First World War. . . . When I started to explore the historic utopias, I was seeking to discover what was missing, and to define what was still possible.” This book is in some ways the essential Lewis Mumford, an introduction to a man who had worldwide influence, and whose thinking is directly relevant to the challenges we face today.

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“The first study of utopias I read was Mumford’s The Story of Utopias, and while there have been many surveys of Western utopian literature since then, several of which argue with Mumford, it remains an excellent introduction. Since he struggled with the idea throughout his life, it is also essential reading for anyone interested in his thought.”  –Lyman Tower Sargent, author of OUP’s Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction

The Story of Utopias was first published in 1922, in the aftermath of a world war and global pandemic, by a young writer. Berkshire’s 100th anniversary edition is designed for the reader of today. In a preface to the 50th anniversary edition, Lewis Mumford explained that The Story of Utopias began with an awareness “that the impetus of the great nineteenth century, with its fund of buoyant idealism and robust social enterprise, had come to an end. If we were to cope with the new age before us, whose grim outlines had long been visible to sensitive, probing minds, we would have to overcome the massive aberrations that had in fact led to the debacle of the First World War. . . . When I started to explore the historic utopias, I was seeking to discover what was missing, and to define what was still possible.” This book is in some ways the essential Lewis Mumford, an introduction to a man who had worldwide influence, and whose thinking is directly relevant to the challenges we face today.

In this edition, we have added chapter titles for the convenience of the reader:

  • The Other Half of the Story
  • Plato’s Republic
  • More’s Utopia
  • Christianopolis
  • City of the Sun and New Atlantis
  • Utopias of the Industrial Revolution
  • Land and Utopia
  • Bellamy’s Looking Backward
  • William Morris and H. G. Wells
  • Country Houses and Coketowns
  • Partisan Utopias
  • Eutopias of the Future
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