As humanity confronts the climate crisis, it has become increasingly clear that science alone cannot save us. Official reports based on the natural sciences “fail to analyze critically the value systems, power relationships, and institutional processes that have resulted in climate change.”1 If we are to meet the moment and create a truly sustainable society, it is imperative that the humanities and social sciences join the conversation. Therein lies the importance of this book, which argues that utopian thought can help humanity envision the transformations necessary to construct a sustainable world.

The bulk of this lengthy tome traces the history of utopian ideas though four ages: the early modern period, during which spatial concepts, particularly the idea of the Americas, occupied humanists’ minds; the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century, when writers turned their attention to the future; the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century, the age of...

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