Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World

Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World

by Rutger Bregman

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Universal basic income. A 15-hour workweek. Open borders. Does it sound too good to be true? One of Europe's leading young thinkers shows how we can build an ideal world today.

"A more politically radical Malcolm Gladwell." —New York Times
After working all day at jobs we often dislike, we buy things we don't need. Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian, reminds us it needn't be this way-and in some places it isn't.

Rutger Bregman's TED Talk about universal basic income seemed impossibly radical when he delivered it in 2014. A quarter of a million views later, the subject of that video is being seriously considered by leading economists and government leaders the world over. It's just one of the many utopian ideas that Bregman proves is possible today.

Utopia for Realists is one of those rare books that takes you by surprise and challenges what you think can happen. From a Canadian city that once completely eradicated poverty, to Richard Nixon's near implementation of a basic income for millions of Americans, Bregman takes us on a journey through history, and beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he champions ideas whose time have come.

Every progressive milestone of civilization-from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy-was once considered a utopian fantasy. Bregman's book, both challenging and bracing, demonstrates that new utopian ideas, like the elimination of poverty and the creation of the fifteen-hour workweek, can become a reality in our lifetime. Being unrealistic and unreasonable can in fact make the impossible inevitable, and it is the only way to build the ideal world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316471916
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 03/27/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 40,801
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Rutger Bregman is a journalist at The Correspondent, and one of Europe's most prominent young thinkers. He has published four books on history, philosophy, and economics. His History of Progress was awarded the Belgian Liberales prize for best nonfiction book of 2013, and Bregman has twice been nominated for the European Press Prize.

Table of Contents

1 The Return of Utopia 1

2 Why We Should Give Free Money to Everyone 25

3 The End of Poverty 51

4 The Bizarre Tale of President Nixon and His Basic Income Bill 77

5 New Figures for a New Era 101

6 A Fifteen-Hour Workweek 127

7 Why It Doesn't Pay to Be a Banker 153

8 Race Against the Machine 177

9 Beyond the Gates of the Land of Plenty 203

10 How Ideas Change the World 233

Epilogue 253

Notes 265

Index 307

Acknowledgements 315

What People are Saying About This

Brian Eno

"Rutger Bregman is part of a new generation of thinkers who are suggesting exciting alternatives to the orthodoxies of the last forty years. In this surprising, accessible, and often counterintuitive book, Bregman explores some brilliant but simple ideas for making a better world."

author of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger - Richard Wilkinson

"This book is brilliant. Everyone should read it. Bregman shows us we've been looking at the world inside out. Turned right way out, we suddenly see fundamentally new ways forward. If we can get enough people to read this book, the world will start to become a better place."

co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network - Philippe van Parijs

"Learning from history and from up-to-date social science can shatter crippling illusions. It can turn allegedly utopian proposals into plain common sense. It can enable us to face the future with unprecedented enthusiasm. To see how, read this superbly written, upbeat, insightful book."

author of The Vertigo Years and A Wicked Company - Philipp Blom

"Utopia for Realists is an important book, a wonderfully readable breath of fresh air, a window thrown open to a better future. As politicians and economists are asking how to increase productivity, ensure full employment, and downsize government, Bregman asks: What actually makes life worth living and how can we get here? He combines deep research with wit, challenging us to think anew about how we want to live and who we want to be. Required reading."

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Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. I found myself wanting to read it everyday during my commute to work. The ideas presented are mostly new to me so I will be reading it again to properly digest it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth a read. Great writing.