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Summary

We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, when technology and so-called progress have made us richer but more uncertain than ever before. We have questions about the future, society, work, happiness, family and money, and yet no political party of the right or left is providing us with answers. So, too, does the time seem to be coming to an end when we looked to economists to help us define the qualities necessary to create a successful society.

We need a new movement. One defined by a young historian who can tell us the truth about how we got here. They'd be a political outsider, the voice of their generation, one who doesn't harness rage or agitate grievances but who provides us with the answers for which we've been looking. That person is Rutger Bregman, and his vision is Utopia for Realists.

©2017 Rutger Bregman (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

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Food for thought...


I picked up this book off the back of watching Adam Curtis' BBC film Hyper normalisation (which I highly recommend) as it investigated his contention that:

"We live in a strange time. Extraordinary events keep happening, which undermine the stability of our world. Suicide bombs, waves of refugees, Donald Trump, Vladamir Putin and even brexit Yet those in control seem unable to deal with it. And no one has any ideas as to how we can change or a future to aim for."

This book explores possible solutions to the problems that we face in current times and going forwards with the introduction of the robots and automation (leading to massive loss of jobs) , increasing disparity between the rich and poor.

It delves into the origins of many of our current dogmatic thinking around these problems and offers up three main ideas to progress: universal income, shorter working week (in order to pursue meaningful work) and open boarders.

An interesting read for anyone looking for new ideas and hope in how to pursue a "utopian" future, to change the world in a way conducive to humanitarian flourishing.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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The world needs more optimism

Great ideas, linking the new Left with the radical thinking of neoliberalism. Narration is immense

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Best book I have ever read bar none.

Will try to make this happen within a short while. The concept is awe inspiringly brilliant and could be the solution for many of the world's problems. Buy it, read it and make it happen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Very left wing

Would you listen to Utopia for Realists again? Why?

Fantastic book, really took me out of my political echo chamber and challenged my core beliefs, incredibly written, well read and very compelling!

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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interesting but more radical then the title sugges

Worth a listen, good to broaden the horizons even if I don't always agree. There were a few new and interesting ideas but definitely some popular ideas like machines taking jobs which can be found elsewhere in better detail. Quite an opinionated book so I imagine if I agreed with all of the opinions I'd have liked it more!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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very insightful

I will definitely read this again.. Made me think of the world less in black and white

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Mind blowing, compelling, inspirational

Incredible book, for anyone interested in the future of politics, society, economics and globalisation.

Rutger Bregman puts forward a compelling case for a basic income, 24 hour work week, open borders and others. He promotes the science based realising approach when it comes to policy making, something which is particularly lacking in today's world. And best of all, he reminds us that it is quite simply ideas, often ambitious and even ridiculous, that change the world.

If you buy any book day, make it this one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A mandatory requirement

This book has the audacity to put forward pragmatic solutions that will fix many of the issues we have created in our pursuit of wealth. Of course these ideas will be ridiculed but this is more about our expectations and our beliefs rather than any limitations in the text. We should resist the mainstream dreariness and challenge ourselves to create something new

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring, Eye Opening Book

I loved this book, well argued. I think the title would have been more realistic as utopia for optimists however!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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essential reading

At last some solid solutions to an existential crisis. Well presented and researched with verifiable studies.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Eva
  • 23-10-17

Very interesting ideas

This book discusses some very interesting ideas to change society (basic income, 15 hour workweek, and free movement of humans across borders) with research to support them.

Some chapters are a bit repetitive and he doesn't offer precise solutions for here and now but it definitely gives you food for thought and is worth a read!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-07-17

Inspiring

Inspiring message, well written and read. I never knew that there was so much empirical evidence for the effectiveness of direct cash transfers and basic income. The Richard Nixon episode was especially captivating.