Stephanie's Reviews > Ecotopia

Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
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's review
Mar 30, 2010

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bookshelves: 2010
Read in March, 2010

(Read this book for my Environmental Literature class) I was pleased to read a novel that I probably would have never found on my own. I got through it fairly quickly, but was disappointed to find that the sexual themes interested me most in comparison to any of the others. My major criticism is that this book clearly has an environmental agenda, which could explain why my mind resisted getting stolen by it.

At the same time, I like what Callenbach did. The alternating between Weston's official reports and personal journal writing made the text credible. I also like that Callenbach did not just fabricate many of the features of Ecotopia--he based it on the science and cultural discussions going on at the time (1970s I believe). In a way, it seems Ecotopia is a novel that reflects the 1970 cultural mind, especially that of hippiedom--so it's nice to see a text that can legitimately bring the reader back in time (as opposed to a more artificial time-travelling through novels that incorporate historical fiction). I knew I was getting the real deal.

Certainly, Callenbach does create a certain Utopia that is pretty realistic, though I don't think many people would be willing to make the sacrifices Ecotopians do. Nevertheless, readers can discern that we should use Ecotopia as a model for future sustainability movements, though adjusting them as we see fit.

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