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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
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 37.71
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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)

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great read<br />

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

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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.

3 of 3 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!

2 of 2 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Keith Mitchell Smith
  • 2019-02-26

well done

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 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!

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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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • davej
  • 2019-04-21

Politics is the art of the possible not the easy.

Politics is the art of the possible not the easy. Even a poor backward country like the US should be able to afford good medical care for all its children.

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  • Getahun
  • 2019-04-16

Awesome narrative

I Say It’s about damn time we start paying attention to these potentially amazing ideas.

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  • Fanni Daniella Koszeg
  • 2019-04-14

Motivating

So maybe the author hasn't yet figured it all out and given a solution on how to disrupt the current balance of power in the western part of the world, but he will definitely convince you of becoming bolder and more forceful in speaking against neo-liberal capitalism. He does a good job at describing how neo-liberalism (of the Clinton, Tony Blair ilk) became *indisputable* on the left thanks to the right's aggressive and bold actions. It is definitely time to point out the corruption of democracy by a thousand cuts across the globe -- and here in the US, land of the free, in particular. Corporate consumerism's chokehold on democracy is no joke; it is what keeps us all down while the 1% flourishes. Along with Anand Giridharadas' WINNER TAKE ALL, Bregman posits a bold theory on how to break free from the *well-meaning* plutocrats who just WILL.NOT.PAY.TAXES.

We, on the so-called left, all need to act with conviction and stop fearing that we will seem "silly" or "unreasonable." Alexandria Ocasio Cortes, Bernie and Liz Warren are showing the way.