He is the author of Thomas More’s Magician: A Novel about Utopia. It tells the story of Vasco de Quiroga, who used Thomas More’s Utopia as a guide to build a commune on the outside of Mexico City.
Republic by Plato
Plato’s Republic isn’t always thought of as a utopian book, but it was the first work of world literature to think about an ideal state and set rules for how each class in society should act.
When Plato wrote his book, the Republic, he set out how he would like to live in an ideal world (famously, no poets were allowed). The Republic shows Socrates and a lot of other people having a debate about what justice is and what a good city-state should be like. The book also talks about different types of government, and it talks about the good and bad things about each one.
Utopia by Thomas More
Certainly! Founder of the genre: A brilliant blend of satire, political ideals, and the author’s own views. More’s book has been seen by some as an attempt to justify the colonization of the Americas, by others as a dreary state of Catholic doctrine, and by his supporters as a vision of a kind of pre-communist utopia that could be built. The book’s very vagueness is proof that it is always coming up with new ideas.
We got the word “utopia” from this book, which was written in 1516. It means “no place,” but with a play on words with eu-topos, which means “good place.” This implies that an ideal society is too good to be true, because it doesn’t seem real. People have seen More’s island utopia in different ways. Some think it’s a real description of the perfect world, while others think it’s a satirical work that makes fun of people who are too idealistic. People might wonder if More’s Utopia isn’t more dystopian than anything because in Utopia adulterers are taken into slavery and repeat offenders are killed.
The City of the Sun by Tommaso Campanella
In the same idealistic vein as More’s book, I believe in religious harmony and real community. Like More, Campanella put his ideal state in a faraway place, like near Ceylon. He also thought of a society run by a group of people who were kind. A book that sounds like the high point of the humanist utopian ideal.
New Atlantis by Francis Bacon
Bacon’s book is from the early enlightenment period, even though it was written only 25 years after “The City of the Sun.” This is how Bacon saw a world where scientific experiment could be the heart of the progress of an advanced country. This is how Bacon saw the world. As a result, the book shows how ideas about the world changed in the early 17th century. Like Campanella and More, Bacon set his ideal state in a remote place, this time the South Pacific.
It’s worth reading, even though he didn’t finish it. This utopian novel was written by one of the great philosophers of the Elizabethan and Jacobean times. It was written after his death in 1627 and describes a perfect society called Bensalem, which is named after Jerusalem. It is based on peace, knowledge, and public spirit. It comes in three Early Modern Utopias. It includes Thomas More’s Utopia and Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, as well as Henry Neville’s The Isle of Pines, which is also a utopian book.
Erewhon by Samuel Butler
One of the best utopian novels ever written. It uses a mix of devastating satire and compelling narrative to show how society could be better run. Butler was afraid that machines would rule the world in the future, so he was wary of any model of perfection. He mocked people who “really do know what they say they know.”
News from Nowhere by William Morris
The most imaginative of the many socialist utopias that were thought up at the end of the 19th century, this one was the most imaginative. Beautifully written, it imagines someone from this time coming back to life in the future and finding an earthly, pastoral, and socialist paradise when they wake up.
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
People like Huxley and Orwell would later write more famous books about totalitarianism, but this antidote to totalitarianism, written by someone who had been there, is the best anti-Stalinist dystopia of them all. Even Brave New World and 1984 and Darkness at Noon aren’t as good as this one.
Island by Aldous Huxley
Huxley’s last book in the utopian genre, and one of the best of that genre. It makes real suggestions for better ways to live, like more agricultural work, mutual adoption clubs for kids, and societies that are mostly vegetarian. But it also stays realistic about how likely it is that these ideas will be adopted.
The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin
Le Guin’s book is a brilliant utopian satire and exploration of a capitalist planet called Urras and its ecotopian satellite, Anarres. Urras and Anarres are described with heart and realism in this book. In Urras, “propertyism” has turned it into a bad place. On Anarres, individual creativity is stifled, and nothing changes, so things are not perfect there.
Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach
Imagines an ecostate that broke away from the United States in 1980 and lives in a kind of emotional relationship with nature. The working week is cut to 20 hours, the bus is free, and trees are planted on old boulevards. A plan for a green future.
Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World.
As you read Cavendish’s work, you’ll see that she often talks about utopias, like the all-female university she imagines in The Female Academy and The Convent of Pleasure, where a group of women leave society in order to live a life of pleasure. But her most famous utopian work is The Blazing World, which was written in 1666, when London was literally on fire because of the Great Fire. It’s a story about a young woman’s fantastic journey to another world, which she gets to by going to the North Pole. Cavendish’s utopia is a lot like the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books in a lot of surprising ways.