Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World


Product Details

Bold Type Books
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.2 X 1.0 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author

Jamie Bartlett is the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at Demos and a technology columnist for the Telegraph. His first book, The Dark Net was longlisted for the Orwell Prize, nominated for the Debut Political Book of the Year and the Transmission Prize, and was named a best book of the year by NPR, the Washington Post, the New Statesman, the Independent, and Flavorwire. He has appeared on NPR and has written for Salon, The Spectator, the New York Times, the Guardian, and Aeon.


"Radicals Chasing Utopia sets out to describe and understand this new spirit of radicalism... Throughout, Mr. Bartlett is a friendly guide, with a reporter's eye for detail and a willingness to engage with his subjects."--Wall Street Journal
"Bartlett is an accomplished journalist: careful, dispassionate and willing to put the time in. And once again he does the work, spending time with people whom less committed reporters might wish to avoid. And he does so with a degree of sympathy that is as impressive as it is rare."--The Guardian
"Enlightening and unnerving...Bartlett, ever the knowledgeable guide through murky political and technological waters...embeds himself with these groups and approaches each with a commendable balance of genuine open-mindedness and healthy skepticism...A highly recommended read, Radicals Chasing Utopia could influence you to chase after some of these utopian organizations and ideas, or make you want to flee from them just the same."--New York Journal of Books
"Eye-opening...enlightening."--The Huffington Post
"Bartlett is right to remind us that democracies are not necessarily the natural order, and that they need fresh ideas to survive some very scary emerging challenges."--The Evening Standard
"The disparate groups of modern-day utopians Bartlett presents here include Islamophobic Europeans, political parties that reject the label and mission of political parties, free-love practitioners in a Portuguese ecovillage, and a group of crypto-currency enthusiasts trying to create the world's most libertarian country in a Balkan swamp. The author's portraits sometimes find these activists at less than their best, whether it is the group of transhumanists careening along in an odd, decidedly whimsical campaign for U.S. president or the shambolic machinations of the U.K. branch of the anti-Islam Pegida movement. The most striking feature of the radicals portrayed, though, is that the rejectionist, exclusionist movements mostly featured seem far more likely to catch on with broader followings than the exception, a psychedelic society dedicated to open-mindedness. Bartlett notes the amplifying effect of the Internet as an echo chamber for affirming beliefs that may not be widely accepted in broader society, and keeps his general observations upbeat, even in an age of angry political populism. He leaves readers with the observation that liberal societies are inherently risky and unstable, but their ability to accommodate radical views is also what allows them to change, and that change is generally for the better."--Publisher's Weekly