by Jay Winter - £17.00 Yale University Press (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780300126020 | ISBN 10: 0300126026
In the wake of the monstrous projects of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and others in the twentieth century, the idea of utopia has been discredited. Yet, historian Jay Winter suggests, alongside the “major utopians” who murdered millions in their attempts to transform the world were disparate groups of people trying in their own separate ways to imagine a radically better world. This original book focuses on some of the twentieth-century’s “minor utopias” whose stories, overshadowed by the horrors of the Holocaust and the Gulag, suggest that the future need not be as catastrophic as the past.
The book is organized around six key moments when utopian ideas and projects flourished in Europe: 1900 (the Paris World's Fair), 1919 (the Paris Peace Conference), 1937 (the Paris exhibition celebrating science and light), 1948 (the Universal Declaration of Human Rights), 1968 (moral indictments and student revolt), and 1992 (the emergence of visions of global citizenship). Winter considers the dreamers and the nature of their dreams as well as their connections to one another and to the history of utopian thought. By restoring minor utopias to their rightful place in the recent past, Winter fills an important gap in the history of social thought and action in the twentieth century.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)