Utopian Dreams

The original Utopia, Sir Thomas More’s, was a refuge from poverty. Modern readers find its regulations authoritarian. But the starving, homeless peasants More had in mind when he wrote it would have gladly accepted them in exchange for shelter and a full stomach. Tobias Jones, by contrast, is a refugee from affluence. Consumerism saddens and sickens him. His possessions do not bring him happiness, and our crazy addiction to travel, rushing round the globe in search of the perfect place, is, he believes, a recipe for discontent. Reared, like other thirtysomethings, in a secular society that values individual freedom above all else, he feels he has missed out on religious experience, and does not know what it would be like to live in a community. The quest to fill these gaps is his book’s subject...[read more]

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