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Utopia (Norton Critical Editions) by Thomas…

Utopia (Norton Critical Editions) (1516)

by Thomas More

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Utopia is presented in two sections. The first is a long introduction to the second, where Rafael Hytholoday explains the land of Utopia. This place was designed to cause the avoidance of greed and corruption and promote real public service. There was a great deal of uniformity throughout the Utopian cities and "reason" is presented as an organizing principle. Examination of Utopia shows a less pleasant implementation of the ideal for some individuals, including slavery and only limited toleration (and certainly not acceptance) of a more varied set of religious beliefs. What remains interesting to me is that (according to the included criticism) More was noted for making his presentation of humor in a serious manner, making the serious tone part of what was intended to be funny. This makes it difficult to determine at points what is intended as the genuine ideal and what is intended as mocking particular views of "ideal." Overall this was interesting material presented in a creative and original manner. It is foundational reading for understanding the concept of utopia as we view it now. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 7, 2015 |
What a great book with so much good advice. Substitute Iraq and Afghanistan from Book !
" Suppose I said the King should leave Italy alone because the single kingdom of France all by itself if almost too much for one man to govern".

One wonders in this day of foreclosures Book 2 might not have an idea ..not serious...

"Every year they change houses by lot " ( )
  carterchristian1 | Nov 15, 2011 |
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Please keep the Norton Critical Edition books un-combined with the rest of them - it is significantly different because of all the critical essays and it needs to be separate in order to be part of the "Norton Critical Editions" series. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393961451, Paperback)

Robert M. Adams’s celebrated translation of Utopia has been meticulously revised for the Second Edition of this Norton Critical Edition as have the accompanying annotations.

"Backgrounds" is designed to assist student readers in an appreciation of Utopia by shedding light on the different points of view contemporary with More’s work. Included are new selections from Saint Benedict and Tasso, as well as a medieval satire on the land of Cockayne. "The Humanist Circle", a carefully chosen selection of letters, includes another important contribution by Erasmus.

"Criticism" includes five new thought-provoking essays by Alistair Fox, Edward L. Surtz, G. R. Elton, Northrop Frye, and Robert M. Adams. Also new are selections from two modern anti-utopias or quasi-utopias—Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and B. F. Skinner’s Walden Two—plus a selection from Edward Bellamy’s once futuristic but now almost contemporary Looking Backward, which may be compared and contrasted with More’s masterpiece.

An updated Selected Bibliography is also included.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:23 -0400)

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First published in Latin in 1516, Utopia was the work of Sir Thomas More (1477-1535), the brilliant humanist, scholar, and churchman executed by Henry VIII for his refusal to accept the king as the supreme head of the Church of England. In this work, which gave its name to the whole genre of books and movements hypothesizing an ideal society, More envisioned a patriarchal island kingdom that practiced religious tolerance, in which everybody worked, no one has more than his fellows, all goods were community-owned, and violence, bloodshed, and vice nonexistent. Based to some extent on the writings of Plato and other earlier authors, Utopia nevertheless contained much that was original with More. In the nearly 500 years since the book's publication, there have been many attempts at establishing "Utopias" both in theory and in practice. All of them, however, seem to embody ideas already present in More's classic treatise: optimistic faith in human nature, emphasis on the environment and proper education, nostalgia for a lost innocence, and other positive elements. In this new, inexpensive edition, readers can study for themselves the essentials of More's utopian vision and how, although the ideal society he envisioned is still unrealized, at least some of his proposals have come to pass in today's world.… (more)

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