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Utopia for Realists

How We Can Build the Ideal World
Written by: Rutger Bregman
Narrated by: Peter Noble
Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: Business & Money, Commerce
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

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 all over the world. 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 has 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 15-hour workweek, can become 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.

©2017 Rutger Bregman (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Rutger Bregman is part of a new generation of thinkers who are suggesting exciting alternatives to the orthodoxies of the last 40 years. In this surprising, accessible, and often counterintuitive book, Bregman explores some brilliant but simple ideas for making a better world." (Brian Eno)
''It's a wonderful, well-written book, easily the crispest and least dry explanation of the research and history behind basic income as an idea I've seen in print." (Dylan Matthews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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It takes a global village

Academically sound, and multidisciplinary in scope, Utopia for Realists reveals the tectonic boundaries between what has always worked (more or less, especially the former) and the increasingly obvious challenges to the accepted status quo. A must-read/listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A real plan for Utopia, a real hope in this time

A real plan for Utopia, a real hope in this time of crisis. Time to turn off the TV and organize

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great read<br />

concise explaination of UBI and other related topics, highly relevant right now. a b c

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • 2019-04-01

eye opening

this book really made me think about how the world functions and how it could function without being dogmatic. I think real change will be inspired by this books messages.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • MWD
  • 2018-05-08

clearly states difficult topics. With passion.

Provides clear explanations and facts enabling us to communicate the beliefs so many of us hold dear. We appreciate capitalism for where it has brought us but we are ready to move on to the next stage a post-capitalist phase that utilizes the Innovations it has helped create to allow all humans to benefit and lead wonderful lives!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth Flanagan
  • 2019-02-12

let's do it!!

I am so excited that these ideas can make us more human and live our full potential!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kerrie M James
  • 2017-10-12

Brilliant

Intelligent, inspiring and surprising, Bregman has captured the history of ideas and current social and economic dilemmas superbly. His is a radical view and one that needs to be taken seriously if the world and it's populations are to survive.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Patrick Barney
  • 2019-05-18

Incomplete without Marxian analysis.

There's something very frustrating about this book, and it's the fact that the author can't seem to grasp that the social ills he seeks remedies for are the inevitable result of capitalism. While bemoaning poverty and inequality, he expresses admiration for Milton Friedman, among other arch-capitalist thinkers. He wants to redistribute wealth, but doesn't advocate worker ownership of business, which is the only way wealth redistribution is ever going to work. Not really a coherent analysis of how we'd ever arrive at his proposed solutions.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam Thompson
  • 2019-06-04

Brilliant Book

Bregman puts forth, what at first blush, seem like radical, unapproachable objectives. However after careful listening to the material, his proposals are merely pragmatic, steeped in verifiable data obtained through real world testing. His idea for universal income makes complete sense economically, socially, and certainly morally, but politics and prejudice raise their ugly heads and stand in the way of humane progress. I highly recommend this book, common sense in what is very much a senseless time in our history.
Regards,
Sam Thompson

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2019-05-29

Brilliant

this book is a masterpiece and in my opinion every single person should read it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2017-12-19

FINALLY!!!

...Someone else who GETS it!!! The TRUTH & REALITY of the poverty and it's affects. A mandatory listen/read for EVERY single human on the planet.

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  • Keith Smith
  • 2019-02-26

well done

I'm an open minded capitalist, and this has changed how I look at the world

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  • Gracie
  • 2019-02-04

There is HOPE

Thank you, Prof. Bragman. There are many people out there who truly wants to eradicate child poverty and are fighting for universal income. Your book will arouse more interests and followers.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful