The Utopians

Anna Neima

10 June 2021
9781529023084
320 pages

Synopsis

'Fascinating and richly documented . . . Few books manage to be so informative and so entertaining.' – Sunday Times

Santiniketan-Sriniketan in India, Dartington Hall in England, Atarashiki Mura in Japan, the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in France, the Bruderhof in Germany and Trabuco College in America: six experimental communities established in the aftermath of the First World War, each aiming to change the world.

Anna Neima's The Utopians is an absorbing and vivid account of these collectives and their charismatic leaders and reveals them to be full of eccentric characters, outlandish lifestyles and unchecked idealism.

Dismissed and even mocked in their time, yet, a century later, their influence still resonates in progressive education, environmentalism, medical research and mindfulness training. Without such inspirational experiments in how to live, post-war society would have been a poorer place.

'Thanks to Neima’s rigorous research, each chapter offers something new.' Spectator

'Neima ranges with impressive confidence across the world'. Literary Review