Last Exit to Utopia: The Survival of Socialism in a Post-Soviet Era

Last Exit to Utopia: The Survival of Socialism in a Post-Soviet Era

by Jean Francois Revel
     
 

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Here is a tasty paradox: How did the Leftist legions regroup after history delivered its fatal blow to the Soviet system? Simple, argues Jean-Francois Revel: the Left retreated to the impregnable fortress of the Utopian ideal. After all, socialism incarnate was always vulnerable to criticism. Utopia, on the other hand, lies by definition beyond reproach.

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Overview

Here is a tasty paradox: How did the Leftist legions regroup after history delivered its fatal blow to the Soviet system? Simple, argues Jean-Francois Revel: the Left retreated to the impregnable fortress of the Utopian ideal. After all, socialism incarnate was always vulnerable to criticism. Utopia, on the other hand, lies by definition beyond reproach. With the demise of the Soviet system, there is no longer a vast and flailing embodiment of their vision, and Utopia’s haughty champions can again rage boundlessly.

In Last Exit to Utopia, the latest English language translation of one of Europe’s most controversial intellectuals, Jean-Francois Revel takes aim at socialist apologists who have attempted to erase or invert the manifest failures of socialist ideology. As the tide of Big Government rises in America, Revel’s forewarnings here are as prescient as they are frightening.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“[T]he book, at last available in English in this fine translation, ought to command close attention because it was written by Jean-François Revel, who—unlike such bien-pensant idols as Jean-Paul Sartre (an admirer of Stalin) and Michel Foucault (a cheerleader of the Ayatollah Khomeini)—deserves to be ranked as the pre-eminent French political philosopher of the second half of the 20th century. What’s more, the book’s themes continue to resonate today, when murderous ideologies still compete for legitimacy and “enlightened” understanding by the Western intelligentsia.”

&mdash The Wall Street Journal

“Jean-François Revel was among the most distinguished intellectual dissenters of the last half-century. He was uniquely capable of disentangling the strands of misguided modernism, greed for power, and simple mendacity that led to the political collapse of the radical left. This book, his examination of the global attempt by survivors of the devastated edifice to perpetuate the influence of totalitarianism, as well as of its terrible antecedents, is bright with his characteristic perceptions. Revel’s much-admired, and much-feared, polemical style is brilliantly displayed in Last Exit to Utopia. This volume is an indispensable guidebook for those seeking to avoid the revived immoralities prevalent among the ideological elite.”

&mdash Stephen Schwartz, author of The Two Faces of Islam

“Scary erudition, an unwavering commitment to reason, an urbane wit, literary brilliance—Jean-François Revel put all of his considerable talents into the noble project of defending freedom and democracy. In Last Exit to Utopia, he offers his testament: a reflection on the dangers of left-wing social hallucinations that will take its place in the canon of political thought.”

&mdash Brian C. Anderson, editor of City Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594032646
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
12/15/2009
Pages:
300
Sales rank:
1,156,025
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

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