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More's Utopia
     

More's Utopia

by Dominic Baker-Smith
 

ISBN-10: 0802083765

ISBN-13: 9780802083760

Pub. Date: 08/28/2000

Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division

"Utopia" has a strong claim to be the most misunderstood book ever written; its name has been hijacked by countless idealistic schemes having little in common with More's own assessment of social possibilities. For although it contributes to a line of argument that can be traced from Plato to Marx, "Utopia" is first and foremost a literary work that appeals to the

Overview

"Utopia" has a strong claim to be the most misunderstood book ever written; its name has been hijacked by countless idealistic schemes having little in common with More's own assessment of social possibilities. For although it contributes to a line of argument that can be traced from Plato to Marx, "Utopia" is first and foremost a literary work that appeals to the imagination and seeks to question us rather than to proffer answers.

This study prepares the reader for these challenges, placing the work in the context of early sixteenth-century Europe and the intellectual preoccupations of More's own humanist circle, and clarifying those sources in classical and Christian political thought that provoked his writing.

"Utopia" is presented as a penetrating reflection on political idealism, one that has lost none of its relevance in an age that has witnessed the collapse of Marxists aspirations to social control. Dominic Baker-Smith also surveys the varied critical reception accorded to "Utopia" over the last four centuries, providing an intriguing look at "Utopia's" role in cultural history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802083760
Publisher:
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Series:
RSART: Renaissance Society of America Reprint Text Series , #11
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
5.53(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.78(d)

Table of Contents

Prefacevii
Texts and abbreviationsxi
1Origins1
2"The sceptre of the rulers'23
3Platonic Satire38
4The Sanction of Custom56
5Narrative Credentials75
6The Dialogue of Counsel104
7The Best State of a Commonwealth?151
8Words and Deeds201
9In Search of Utopia228
Bibliography245
Index261

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