The Concept of Utopia

Ruth Levitas

Syracuse University Press 1990
A book review by Danny Yee © 1992
The Concept of Utopia is a discussion of different theories of utopia. The emphasis is on the works of Marxist philosophers and in particular on attempts to incorporate utopian ideas into Marxism, so some knowledge of the latter is probably necessary for a useful reading. The authors discussed in depth include Karl Mannheim, Georges Sorel, Ernst Bloch, William Morris and Herbert Marcuse.

Levitas' final suggestion is for a (psychological) definition of utopia in terms of desire, rather than a literary one in terms of form or a political one in terms of content or function. The Concept of Utopia is not easy reading, but it covers a lot of interesting material, and has inspired me to read some of the authors it discusses.

August 1992

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%T The Concept of Utopia
%A Levitas, Ruth
%I Syracuse University Press
%D 1990
%O hardcover
%G ISBN 0815625138
%P 224pp