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A Modern Utopia

H. G. Wells

Book Overview: 

H. G. Wells's proposal for social reform was the formation of a world state, a concept that would increasingly preoccupy him throughout the remainder of his life. One of his most ambitious early attempts at portraying a world state was A Modern Utopia. A Modern Utopia was intended as a hybrid between fiction and 'philosophical discussion'. Like most utopists, he has indicated a series of modifications which in his opinion would increase the aggregate of human happiness. Basically, Wells' idea of a perfect world would be if everyone were able to live a happy life. This book is written with an intimate knowledge of former ideal commonwealths and is a conscious attempt to describe a utopia that is not utopian. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The explanation of these proposals involves an anticipatory glance at the local administration of a Modern Utopia. To anyone who has watched the development of technical science during the last decade or so, there will be no shock in the idea that a general consolidation of a great number of common public services over areas of considerable size is now not only practicable, but very desirable. In a little while heating and lighting and the supply of power for domestic and industrial purposes and for urban and inter-urban communications will all be managed electrically from common generating stations. And the trend of political and social speculation points decidedly to the conclusion that so soon as it passes out of the experimental stage, the supply of electrical energy, just like drainage and the supply of water, will fall to the local authority. Moreover, the local authority will be the universal landowner. Upon that point so extreme an individualist as Herbert Spence. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Part fever dream, part intellectual proposal, part inter-dimensional adventure, H.G. Well's Utopia is described by an eloquent narrator arguing with his 'naysayer' botanist colleague.

Strangely unlike most such explorations, Wells does not rely overly heavily on technology, (hence the 'modern' Utopia

Updated 2015-01-07
Although I originally read this book two years ago, I wanted to re-read it before I give it away. (I often do that with books I didn't like the first time around. Sometimes my opinion changes.)

I enjoyed the book more, this time around, and I think I learned something from it. Th

Unlike the Classical and Ancient Utopias, Wells's vision of a Modern Utopia consciously does not consist of a perfect and static society but one where technological innovation means things change and not everyone is satisfied.

The Utopia of Thomas More was just an island. The Modern Utopia is a proto

More like thoughts

Well, this is a fiction but seems like a thought on the new utopia for men lives. The narrative was so bored, though in the preface the author try to made this fiction interesting.

Always interesting to read ideas from anyone who imagines how the world could be different than it is.

Funky! Interesting in form and ideas, well worth considering alongside the other utopian novels (and political tracts since it’s both?). Also, some doubling going on, both narratively and conceptually, with Utopia as a double of Earth or something. Revisits the idea of Utopia as a place, not just a

This is a somewhat muddled fusion of two types of writing at the same time. On the one hand, it is an exposition of a utopian vision for humanity. On the other hand, it is the adventure of “The Voice” (who is explicitly introduced as not Wells, but seems to be a lot like Wells), as he visits an alte

Prophetic and horrific, this utopian vision is a warped mixture of samurai castes, mass extinction of inferior races, and totalitarian World States, outlined in a series of turgid intellectual meanderings.

This idea of a utopia had some good aspects, but others involved very dated ways of thinking that most defiantly wouldn't work today.
Some good points were everyone getting a liveable minimum wage and help if they didn't have a job etc. Although if that applied to you, you were discouraged from marr

This is the most frightening utopia I've ever read. It makes me think that Aldous Huxley and George Orwell must have based their dystopias to some extent on H.G. Well's idea of what a utopia would look like.

The book is written more as non-fiction than fiction. Mostly, Wells outlines what he thinks w

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