Utopianism for a dying planet : life after consumerism /

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Claeys, Gregory, author.
Imprint:Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2022]
Description:xvi, 584 pages ; 25 cm
Utopian socialism.
Utopian socialism.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/12934552
Hidden Bibliographic Details
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (pages 517-559) and index.
Summary:"How the utopian tradition offers answers to today's environmental crises. In the face of Earth's environmental breakdown, it is clear that technological innovation alone won't save our planet. A more radical approach is required, one that involves profound changes in individual and collective behavior. Utopianism for a Dying Planet examines the ways the expansive history of utopian thought, from its origins in ancient Sparta and ideas of the Golden Age through to today's thinkers, can offer moral and imaginative guidance in the face of catastrophe. The utopian tradition, which has been critical of conspicuous consumption and luxurious indulgence, might light a path to a society that emphasizes equality, sociability, and sustainability. Gregory Claeys unfolds his argument through a wide-ranging consideration of utopian literature, social theory, and intentional communities. He defends a realist definition of utopia, focusing on ideas of sociability and belonging as central to utopian narratives. He surveys the development of these themes during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries before examining the twentieth- and twenty-first-centuries debates about alternatives to consumerism. Claeys contends that the current global warming limit of 1.5°C (2.7°F) will result in cataclysm if there is no further reduction in the cap. In response, he offers a radical Green New Deal program which combines ideas from the theory of sociability with proposals to withdraw from fossil fuels and cease reliance on unsustainable commodities. An urgent and comprehensive search for antidotes to our planet's destruction, Utopianism for a Dying Planet asks for a revival of utopian ideas, not as an escape from reality, but as a powerful means of changing it"--Dust jacket flap.
Other form:ebook version : 9780691236698
Review by Choice Review

As catastrophic environmental breakdowns across the globe make climate change denialism impossible, Claeys (history, emer., Univ. of London, UK) issues a dire warning while also insisting that all is not yet lost. The source of his hopefulness arises from one of the more surprising corners of human thought--Utopianism. Readers may find themselves a bit skeptical of Claeys's proposal to revive Utopian thought in this current predicament. However, by taking a capacious view of the Utopian tradition and its intellectual history, Claeys demonstrates how the main impulses of Utopian thought hold the key to changing attitudes and behaviors around consumerism, which he identifies as the main source of ecological unsustainability. By prompting readers to rethink modern identity and the destructive consequences of contemporary life, Claeys encourages them to see alternative futures that could more responsibly manage human consumption and its consequences for the planet. In both timing and tone, this work could not be more needed. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduates through faculty and general readers. --Thomas Wheatland, Assumption University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review