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Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach

Ecotopia (1975)

by Ernest Callenbach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ecotopia (1)

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...Ecotopia is very much a novel of its time. I suspect that if it had been published as little as five years later it would have sunk like a stone. This is likely true for many successful novels though. As a novel I wouldn't rate it too highly. The characterization in particular is not very well done. His struggle is obvious from the beginning and not particularly well portrayed. The society Callenbach describes, despite the obvious problems with it, is a fascinating one though. I can see why people would want to try it. I can also see that with a world population of more than seven billion - that's 3 billion more than in 1975 - it would not stand much of a chance. So read it as a source of inspiration and you may well get something out of it. Look for a roadmap to Ecotopia and you'll be disappointed.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | May 29, 2016 |
Groundbreaking -- very important. ( )
  clifforddham | Nov 6, 2015 |
An intriguing epistolary novel, the combination of official articles and private diary entries give the reader the dual perspectives of the narrator's experience in the environmentally-friendly state of Ecotopia. Obviously this book is written with a particular platform in mind, and though sometimes verging towards outright moralising, overall it is good read. The characters, though mouthpieces for the author's views, are not solely defined by them and are allowed to develop some aspects of a personality. Ultimately though, whether one enjoys this novel lies in whether one agrees with Callenbach's philosophy presented herein. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
had to stop when I got to "Soul City" and the whole love affair thing, my jaws were seizing up from clenching my teeth too hard. but it's not all that badly dated, there are still some great ideas there. everybody else complains that it's too much like a tract--I say the tractiness was the best part. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
Stemming in method from "Erewhon" by Samuel Butler, the book, describing a 70's version of an ecologically sound future, moves right along and is competently written. I'm not sure that society will eventually resemble Callenbach's ideas, but it has been a very influential book. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 14, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Callenbachprimary authorall editionscalculated
Margolin, MalcolmForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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from the Greek oikos
(household or home)

from the
Greek topos (place)

In nature, no organic substance is synthesized unless there is provision for its degradation; recycling is enforced.
--Barry Commoner
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The Times-Post is at last able to announce that William Weston, our top international affairs reporter, will spend six weeks in Ecotopia, beginning next week.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553348477, Paperback)

A novel both timely and prophetic, Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia is a hopeful antidote to the environmental concerns of today, set in an ecologically sound future society. Hailed by the Los Angeles Times as the “newest name after Wells, Verne, Huxley, and Orwell,” Callenbach offers a visionary blueprint for the survival of our planet . . . and our future.

Ecotopia was founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a “stable-state” ecosystem: the perfect balance between human beings and the environment. Now, twenty years later, this isolated, mysterious nation is welcoming its first officially sanctioned American visitor: New York Times-Post reporter Will Weston.

Skeptical yet curious about this green new world, Weston is determined to report his findings objectively. But from the start, he’s alternately impressed and unsettled by the laws governing Ecotopia’s earth-friendly agenda: energy-efficient “mini-cities” to eliminate urban sprawl, zero-tolerance pollution control, tree worship, ritual war games, and a woman-dominated government that has instituted such peaceful revolutions as the twenty-hour workweek and employee ownership of farms and businesses. His old beliefs challenged, his cynicism replaced by hope, Weston meets a sexually forthright Ecotopian woman and undertakes a relationship whose intensity will lead him to a critical choice between two worlds.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:06 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ecotopia was founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a ?stable-state? ecosystem: the perfect balance between human beings and the environment. Now, twenty years later, the isolated, mysterious Ecotopia welcomes its first officially sanctioned American visitor: New York Times-Post reporter Will Weston. Like a modern Gulliver, the skeptical Weston is by turns impressed, horrified, and overwhelmed by Ecotopias strange practices: employee ownership of farms and businesses, the twenty-hour work week, the fanatical elimination of pollution, mini-cities that defeat overcrowding, devotion to trees bordering on worship, a woman-dominated government, and bloody, ritual war games. Bombarded by innovative, unsettling ideas, set afire by a relationship with a sexually forthright Ecotopian woman, Westons conflict of values intensifies-and leads to a startling climax.… (more)

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