Utopia Ltd.: Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England 1870-1900

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Product Details
Haymarket Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.6 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
Matthew Beaumont is Senior Lecturer in English, University College London, UK. His previous books include The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue.
'Utopia Ltd." is remarkable for its detailed historical grasp of the late-nineteenth century. Beaumont operates at a high conceptual level, demonstrating a sophisitcated understanding of Marxist cultural theory, which is most effectively put to use as an explanatory framework. There is much impressvely original work here, both in terms of ideas and in the bringing to light of hitherto little-discussed texts. There is also a good balance between original research on the one hand, and, on the other, a fresh approach to more canonical works such as Morris's News from Nowhere." The book is full of illuminating insights, lucidly and coherently argued.'
Terry Eagleton, Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow, University of Manchester.
'"This is a very convincing, often original, and lucidly written reading of late-nineteenth century utopian literature that makes a fine contribution to the ever-growing field of fin-de-sihcle "studies.'
Sally Ledger, Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature, Birkbeck College, University of London.
'Utopia Ltd. "presents us with a new constellation of the field under inquiry, or -- as one of Beaumont's masters of thought, Benjamin, would say -- with a dialectical image which on the one hand makes some common features of late-nineteenth century utopian literature stand out, and on the other does not neglect the single stars. I recommend it warmly.'
Darko Suvin, Emeritus Professor of English and Comparitive Literature, McGill University.
'"What I find particularly valuable about this book is the way in which it provides a new framework for understanding well-known texts such as Bellamy's Looking Backward," and especially Morris's Newsfrom Nowhere," by situating them in relation to the large output of utopian and "cacatopian" literature produced in the late nineteenth century. This phenomenon is an ideological episode worthy of attention in its own right, as a symptom of the widely-perceived crisis of bourgeois culture around the fin de sihcle," and Beaumont does a convincing job of explaining it, thereby making it interesting to the reader. But I suspect that many on the left will be drawn to this study by the way it helps us towards a fuller understanding of Morris's News from Nowhere "and issues around Marxist utopianism.'
Andrew Hemingway, Professor of Art History, University College, London.