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Utopia

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3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  31,805 ratings  ·  1,300 reviews
First published in 1516, Thomas More's Utopia is one of the most important works of European humanism. Through the voice of the mysterious traveler Raphael Hythloday, More describes a pagan, communist city-state governed by reason. Addressing such issues as religious pluralism, women's rights, state-sponsored education, colonialism, and justified warfare, Utopia seems rema ...more
Paperback, 135 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published 1516)
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Betsy Willing Yes! I totally remember it, and after reading the book I find it comical that Drew Barrymore's character acts like she's so all about Utopia because…moreYes! I totally remember it, and after reading the book I find it comical that Drew Barrymore's character acts like she's so all about Utopia because it doesn't really fit with the her character or the plot of the movie.
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Paul Bryant

Thomas More's life blah blah feudalism, in which virtually all power resided with enormous white ducks while the peasants had to wear roller skates even in bed. The late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries blah blah Renaissance, a flowering of platform heel shoes and massive shagging blah blah Italy blah blah large glands. Aspects of this blah blah the ducks. Blah blah discovery of smaller ducks, at first denied by Pope Barbary VII. Vasco da Gama proved ducks were American not from Byzantium
...more
Ryan
The term 'utopia' in the way we use it today, to refer to an ideal but unattainable state, comes from this book, which More wrote in 1516. The form is political critique disguised as fantasy disguised as travelogue. More casts himself as the recorder of Raphael Hythloday's travels to the island of Utopia, where, despite their lack of Christianity, the people are closer to realizing the Christian ideal society through rational government than Europe ever was. Today serious criticism doesn't have ...more
Mahdy
Thomas More is traveling in the Low Countries when he sees his friend, Peter Giles. Giles introduces him to a well-traveled friend of his, Raphael Hythloday.

Raphael speaks of many countries and their policies and laws, and freely criticizes the laws of their own countries.He then begins speaking of a country, Utopia, which he thinks is ruled very well and is a perfect country.

More begs Raphael to speak more of Utopia, and he does. He first tells of their towns, which are all as identical as poss
...more
Madeline
Interesting, mostly just because it's cool to see what people (or at least Thomas More) considered to be an ideal society back then. Because really, it isn't.

There's a lot that I thought was really strange about Utopia (Latin for "no place"), but here's what I remember most: when parents are considering marrying their children off, they have the two teenagers stand naked in front of each other (accompanied by dependable chaperones, of course) so they can make sure neither of them has any weird
...more
Cheryl
Thomas More attacked the chief political and social evils of the early sixteenth century in his classic book, UTOPIA. His purpose was to give practical suggestions largely based on Plato's "Republic" and written as dialogues between the worldly intellectual, Raphael Hythloday, and others.

More became a Catholic Saint in nineteen thirty-five. He was a friend of Erasmus of Rotterdam, a student of the ancient Greece, and an advocate of the northern Renaissance movement. His focus was to wed the Chr
...more
El
(I read this book as part of a reading project I have undertaken with some other nerdy friends in which we read The Novel: A Biography and some of the other texts referenced by Schmidt.)

In 1516, some guy called Thomas More put out this little book describing a fictional place called Utopia. What kills me about this little book is that More wrote it in Latin. Latin. I can barely write in English most days.

So this island of Utopia shows a completely organized society where everyone seems to be exc
...more
Emadeddin
description

كلنا نحلم بذلك المكان الجميل، المليء بالفراشات!
إذا كنت تعتقد أن مثل هذا المكان غير موجود على أرض الواقع، فأنت مخطىء تماماً! إنه موجود! وهناك شخص واحد زاره وعاد قبل مدة كي يخبرنا عن مباهجه وعن مدى روعته وإبهاره! هذا الشخص هو رافائيل هايثلوداي، راوي قصة :: يوتوبيا:: :)

description

يوتوبيا (المدينة الفاضلة) ليست كالمدن الأخرى!
تخيل فقط، مكانا لا حروب فيه، لا فقر، لا قهر. تخيل مكاناً فيه تُمطِر السماء مارشميللو :) باختصار، تخيل مكانا معاكسا بشكل أفضل للمكان الذي تعيش فيه أنت حالياً. ممتاز، هذا المكان الذي تخيلته
...more
Miriam
More's fusion of Christianity, socialism, and republicanism reflects his humanist conception of an ideal society, and in so doing constitutes criticism of contemporary English society. More argues that virtue is natural and something for which all humans have an innate desire. He characterizes virtue more concretely than most philosophers of his day, defining it as doing the utmost to increase happiness (found primarily in simple pleasures) for all. The state should remain minimal and intervene ...more
Robb
This was a fantastic book. I am really surprised I hadn't heard of this author or this book before. It has been quite a while since a book was able to affect and stimulate me on an intellectual level. Utopia is a great work that touches on so many ideas that were surprisingly well ahead of his time. He developed theories on Communism, capitalism, philosophy, religion, social justice centuries before big names such as Marx, Engles, Smith, Locke, Rawls, etc came onto the scene and told us the best ...more
David Sarkies
Apr 02, 2015 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Social Reformers
Recommended to David by: Star Trek
Shelves: philosophy
The perfect society as a critique of Tudor England
30 November 2013

I was going to open this commentary with 'where no man has gone before' until I realised that the opening to Star Trek is actually 'Space, the final frontier' and then rambles on a bit more before saying 'to boldly go where no man has gone before'. You may be wondering why I am connecting a book written by a 16th century clergy man with a very popular science-fiction series from the 1960s, and in some cases I may be asking that q
...more
Deborah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda
I very much enjoyed this classic piece of literature. Unlike some other reviewers, I don't think it is meant to be a model for a real society. It is in fact a quixotic idea of what a perfect society might look like, but I am not going to criticize a work of fiction just because it is not necessarily a realistic plan for a real state/country/world.

That being said, I do believe the purpose of More's work is to make people seriously consider some of the things that are wrong with our culture and ho
...more
A.J.
If you need a reason to be a pinko communist sissy, I imagine you can do a little better than this. The Greek word for utopia actually means "no-place" or "nonsense". For the two or three of you who still haven't figured out why people use Marx's Manifesto as toilet paper, you might actually appreciate the ideas presented here, but bear in mind that it's likely not even Thomas More himself was taking it seriously.

You could call this a work of fiction as much as one of philosophy or political th
...more
Ryan
Jun 06, 2008 Ryan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Commies, socialists, naive suburban kids

This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Poorly written, annoyingly condescending, ridiculously simplistic and more than anything, stupid.
No wonder why the commies (Lenin and others) commemorated More in the early days of communist Russia. his ideals are to "get rid of the beggars" by forced labor, allow no private ownership of anything, no specialization of labor, (yet still have a highly artistic/agrarian society, everything totally equal, (except for the "temporary" ruling class) a b
...more
James
Oct 06, 2007 James rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: European History Interests...maybe
Shelves: classical
Thomas More was better at being a martyr then being an engaging writer. Probably going to hell now, but with all the science fiction out there, all the utopia/dystopia motifs oozing out of everything, and this version not even being the first example of a literary Utopia (not to mention that this "Utopia" is clearly no utopia at all), this book is better left to Medieval literature classes or on the shelf all together.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This is not going to be an easy review to write, and in fact I'm dreading it and have already put it off for a day. I've tried to create some structure by first talking about the book, and then More himself, because you can't really discuss one without the other, and they'll be all tangled up otherwise.

Still, I shall probably get lost amongst all the ideas and things I wanted to say, anyway, and forget everything else I meant to include.

THE UTOPIA

While in Antwerp with his friend Peter Giles, Th
...more
Riley
I enjoyed this book, which shows how long social questions of class have been topics of conversation. Given that this book appeared in 1516, consider this passage: "In fact, when I consider any social system that prevails in the modern world, I can't, so help me God, see it as anything but a conspiracy of the rich to advance their own interests under the pretext of organizing society. They think up all sorts of tricks and dodges, first for keeping their ill-gotten gains, and then for exploting t ...more
Andrew Obrigewitsch
Some very interesting ideas presented here, and this book was much easier to read than I had thought it would be. For some reason I thought this would be very obtuse philosophical work, but it read more like Gulliver's Travels.

In fact I found it to be very similar to Gulliver's Travels in many ways, both are told as travel logs about strange societies which represent an idea or show something that needs to be changed in our society.
Ténzom
So once upon a time, Thomas More says to Raphael Hythloday, "Yo man, tell me more about this place, this Utopia." And so Hythloday's like:

"Oh my god, Utopia's like the coolest, most awesomest country in the Universe ever. Me and my friends crashed there for like some time and we had such a bomb time getting to know the rad Utopians and how they did what they did, the way they lived and cool shit like that. The things they do are like soooo different from what the rest of us are used to! Oh like,
...more
Jeniann
I read this in high school, but of course I didn't really appreciate it then. What made this book even more interesting to me was reading about how it's been interpreted over time, probably incorrectly in many cases. Although people have interpreted it as More writing about what the ideal society looked like and it has been promoted by communists as such, Sir Thomas More probably didn't really write this book about an ideal society, and he intentionally made things about it that weren't ideal. C ...more
Vivi Vocat
Utopia was written by one of the finest minds of his time. Written some 500 years ago the commentary on politics is still very modern and there are many truths about human nature that still apply. The idea behind the book is amazing (as long as one understands the context in which it was written)a wish for humans to work together, so that all might prosper.

More is contrasting society of his time with an invented one, in a three person dialog. I found it enlightening and ahead of its time and I l
...more
Brianna
As much as I enjoy reading 16th century ideas (or rather, ideals), this book is pretty unforgiving.

It's safe to say that I enjoy the idea of this book more than the book itself. I love the importance of this book, but have a semi-difficult time plodding through it (especially on a re-read, when the ideas itself aren't new).

I am fascinated by Sir Thomas More's legend, and the time period this book was written in. I'm also astonished that the ideals he put forth didn't result in him being barred
...more
Greg
"We've got rules and maps and guns in our backs
but we still can't just behave ourselves
even if to save our own lives, so says I, we are a brutal kind.

Cause this is nothing like we'd ever dreamt
tell Sir Thomas More we've got another failed attempt
cause if it makes them money they might just give you life this time."
Dulce María
Thomas Moro desafía a su época y lucha por lo que el creía correcto sin importar las consecuencias, sin duda un idealista. Crea su perfecta utopía y digo "su" por que por lo menos yo no viviría en ese lugar ni aunque me pagaran y es que aunque estaba de acuerdo en alguna de las cosas que proponía no cabe duda de que la brecha generacional nos hace desear cosas diferentes, una utopía que debió parecer sumamente esperanzadora para su época pero que en el presente no escogería.
Me gusta su manera de
...more
Owlseyes
Mar 30, 2015 Owlseyes marked it as to-read
Shelves: utopia, british-lit



Notes collected:

"you [Raphael] neither desire wealth nor greatness"



More had been assigned by King Henry VIII to get to Flanders. In Brussels he's got a dear friend named Peter,who introduces More to this philosopher/traveller called Raphael Hythloday. His four voyages have been published; he's Portuguese by birth and knows a lot about nations and countries.He's been to Ceylon, India and many other places.

But More is puzzled :how such a man is not serving under a monarch....why not to apply his
...more
Juli Rahel
University has started again which means I am not only buried in essays I need to hand in and format but also means I have to read books for the next couple of weeks. One of those books was 'Utopia' by Thomas More. I spent about 20 minutes in the bookstore looking for it until I had the bright idea to check out the philosophy aisle. I have nothing against reading philosophical works, I quite enjoyed Plato's 'The Republic' so I thought I would enjoy this too. How wrong I was. This is what Goodrea ...more
Yasser
هى حلم الفلاسفة عبر العصور ,الفردوس الارضى ,المجتمع المثالى بلا شر او قهر حيث تعلو قيم العدل والانسانية وتتحقق للانسان السعادة. هى جمهورية افلاطون وآراء اهل المدينة الفاضلة للفارابى ومدينة الله عند القديس اغسطينوس حتى استطاع توماس مور ان يعطيها الاسم التى اشتهرت به عبر التاريخ يوتوبيا.

استطاع توماس مور المفكر والفيلسوف والسياسى والقديس ان يقدم يوتوبيا كعمل روائى وليس مجرد نظريات او افكار مجردة ليرسى بذلك ماعرف باسم قواعد الرواية اليوتوبيةحيث يستطيع ان يضع الكاتب افكاره الاجتماعية والسياسية فى عال
...more
Florencia
This book was published in 1516 and it is divided into two parts. The first one made my eyes feel exhausted, so I can sum up all that, just by saying that More found his friend Peter and this one introduced him to a fella named Raphael, a man that visited several countries to satisfy his desire of seeing the world. He shared some opinions on the political scenario of his time (a bit familiar; whether you are talking about yesterday's kingdoms or today's democratic governments, some things never ...more
Jeske
Wonderful book that, especially speaking of the second half, made me feel quite dreamily happy (i always feel that way, imagining a healthy and happy society). Of course there were definitely things i frowned upon, like the checking of every person's whereabouts and having to carry a passport. I myself have a very strong need of the freedom to be anonymous when i want to be. Otherwise i would feel like somebody or some system owned me. But on the whole, and definitely considering the time in whi ...more
YaQuB OneR
Birinci bölümü ikinci bölümünden sonra yazılmıştır bundan dolayı eser daha sağlam bir yapıya bürünmüştür.İlk bölümde real sistem ve toplumsal ilişkileri yere çarpıp sonra ikinci bölümde alın size sistem ve toplumsal ilişki deyip 'ütopia'yı önümüze atmıştır..Ve okurken 'hadi oradan' deyip biraz ufkumuzu etkileyen bir baş yapıt olduğunu düşünüyorum.
İş bankası yayınları tavsiyemdir.Dili ve kitabın sonundaki önemli incelemeler açısından gayet faydalı olmuştur.
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Sir Thomas More also known as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, scholar, author, and statesman. During his life he gained a reputation as a leading Renaissance humanist, a violent opponent of the Reformation of Martin Luther, and a government official. For the last six years of his life he was Lord Chancellor.
More about Thomas More...
Three Early Modern Utopias: Thomas More, Utopia; Francis Bacon, New Atlantis; Henry Neville, The Isle of Pines The History of King Richard III The Sadness of Christ: And Final Prayers and Instructions The Last Letters of Thomas More A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation

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“For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.” 416 likes
“A pretty face may be enough to catch a man, but it takes character and good nature to hold him.” 139 likes
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