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Utopia

Introduction

Utopia (yōtōˈpēə) [key] [Gr., = no place], title of a book by Sir Thomas More, published in Latin in 1516. The work pictures an ideal state where all is ordered for the best for humanity as a whole and where the evils of society, such as poverty and misery, have been eliminated. The popularity of the book has given the generic name Utopia to all concepts of ideal states. The description of a utopia enables an author not only to set down criticisms of evils in the contemporary social scene but also to outline vast and revolutionary reforms without the necessity of describing how they will be effected. Thus, the influence of utopian writings has generally been inspirational rather than practical.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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