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In this highly influential book, Ruth Levitas provides an excellent introduction to the meaning and importance of the concept of utopia, and explores a wealth of material drawn from literature and social theory to illustrate its rich history and analytical versatility. Situating utopia within the dynamics of the modern imagination, she examines the ways in which it has been used by some of the leading thinkers of modernity: Marx, Engels, Karl Mannheim, Robert Owen, Georges Sorel, Ernst Bloch, William Morris, and Herbert Marcuse. Utopia remains the most potent secular concept for imagining and producing a ‘better world’, and this classic text will be invaluable to students across a wide range of disciplines.
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Ruth Levitas is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bristol. Her books include The Ideology of the New Right, The Interpretation of Official Statistics (co-edited with Will Guy), The Inclusive Society? Social Exclusion and New Labour, and Poverty and Social Exclusion in Britain (co-edited with Christina Pantazis and David Gordon). Utopia as Method: The Imaginary Reconstitution of Society, the sequel to this book, is forthcoming.Review:
«This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in utopia.» (Professor Lucy Sargisson, School of Politics, University of Nottingham)
«Writing with clarity and grace, Levitas offers a sustained, intelligent, and critical examination of major definitions of utopia ... a strong and significant book.» (Professor Peter Stillman, Department of Political Science, Vassar College)
«A thorough introduction to utopian studies that expertly treads a line between depth, breadth and accessibility, this is an excellent first stop for any student on the road to (and through) utopia.» (Dr Nathaniel Coleman, School of Architecture, Newcastle University)
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