"In Utopia is funnier, wiser, sadder, and, surprisingly, more hopeful than Thomas More's misunderstood classic. J.C. Hallman brilliantly explores the idea of utopia and its application in the real world…with the skepticism, wit and compassion necessary for these close encounters with the distant possibility of a perfected world." Jeff Sharlet, New York Times bestselling author of The Family.
"Drifted Toward Dragons: Utopia Today" The Millions
"Ayn Ran, Rand Paul, and Utopian Schemes" The Millions
"Jurassic Park and the Utopian Wars" Bookslut
"Paradise for Pagans" Killing the Buddha
"Utopian Fiction" Bookforum
“BookNotes” Largehearted Boy
“Interview with J.C. Hallman” Bookthink
“The Best of All Possible Worlds: An Interview” Publisher’s Weekly
In 2005, J.C. Hallman stumbled across a scientific paper about “Pleistocene Rewilding,” a peculiar proposal from conservation biology that suggested repopulating bereft ecosystems with endangered “megafauna.” The plan sounded utterly utopian, but Hallman liked the idea as much as the scientists did—perhaps because he had grown up on a street called Utopia Road in a master-planned community in Southern California.
Pleistocene Rewilding rekindled a long-standing fascination with utopian ideas. From there, Hallman set out to document the history of utopian thought and literature and to visit a handful of modern utopian projects. He lived three weeks at the world’s oldest “intentional community.” He sailed on the first ship on which it’s possible to own real estate. He trained at the world’s largest civilian combat school. He toured a $30 billion megacity being built from scratch on an artificial island off the coast of Korea. The book that resulted looks backward as often as it looks forward. Utopia, Hallman claims, should no longer speak only to naive, impossible plans.
Combining rollicking intellectual history and playful journalism, In Utopia explores and interprets a concept as influential as any in the history of mankind.