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Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions

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Print: ADU-IMP | ISBN 978-1-939014-20-7 | Softcover | 480 pages
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Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions

Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions

The selections in Imperfect Ideal: Utopian and Dystopian Visions illustrate the best and worst of what can happen when we attempt to mold the complex communities in which we live into our vision of a perfect state. All 23 selections in this anthology challenge readers to question how society should be structured and governed, as well as what kinds of communities are most conducive to human fulfillment, both privately and in the civic arena. To complement Imperfect Ideal, we have developed discussion guides for the following seven utopian and dystopian novels and films. These free discussion guides are downloadable from our web site.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Republic by Plato
  • Alphaville directed by Jean-Luc Godard
  • Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott
  • Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang

What Else Belongs?

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
Ursula K. Le Guin
Utopia (selection)
Thomas More
Wislawa Szymborska
Iliad (selection), The Shield of Achilles
Homer / W. H. Auden

The Yearning Remains

A Paradise Built in Hell (selection)
Rebecca Solnit
Riichi Yokomitsu
On the Cannibals
Michel de Montaigne
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Best Life Possible

Mencius (selection)
The Politics (selection)
A Framework for Utopia
Robert Nozick

Of Which He Is a Citizen

The City of God (selection)
Saint Augustine
The Jewish State (selection)
Theodor Herzl

Our Incomplete State

A New View of Society (selection)
Robert Owen
The Soul of Man Under Socialism
Oscar Wilde
The Economic Basis of the Withering Away of the State
Vladimir Lenin
We (selection)
Yevgeny Zamyatin

Unrest in the Soul

The Machine Stops
E. M. Forster
Black Box
Jennifer Egan
George Saunders
Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet, Silent Spring (selection)
Margaret Atwood / Rachel Carson