Blurbs

“J.C. Hallman has thought deeply about human utopias and the impulses that originate them, and he has taken his curiosity on the road with the liveliest results.  In Utopia is impassioned, anecdotally exploratory, and alert with an insight and wit. Hallman’s non-judgmental gaze registers at every turn the eternal face-off between the pure products of idealistic imagination and the implacable gravity pull of human nature.” Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age

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, from hippie communes to shooting ranges to a massive floating city. We could hardly ask for a better guide: Hallman is an erudite but humble writer, 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

“J.C. Hallman is a superb hunter of contemporary utopias, those systematic efforts at improving humanity that still move us, despite the spectacular failures of the last century. Deep in the American psyche there lives a striving for perfection, and the dreamy traveler in this saga uncovers it with vigilant affection. From still-extant hippy communes to floating islands and multi-billion dollar new cities, this is a breathless and hard to put down adventure.” Andrei Codrescu, author of The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess

“Who doesn’t want to stand in paradise on earth?  The first time I saw the likes of it, it was in its Mexican village remains of Paracho and Tzintzuntzán, where Bishop Vasco de Quiroga’s utopian experiment played out in the 16th century.  In In Utopia, J.C. Hallman travels to all its living historical worlds, taking notes, getting the botany, the biology, the geography, touching the divine and the dingy.  An enviable journey and read.” Dagoberto Gilb, author of The Magic of Blood and The Flowers

“The dream of utopia, though only actually attempted by a few, springs from the longings of all who contend with modern life.  In Utopia is a witty, thoughtful journey around the world and into these realms of idealism and dashed hopes.” Paul Collins, author of The Book of William and Sixpence House