Utopia Drive by Erik Reece
A Road Trip Through America's Most Radical Idea

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The result is an engaging exploration—and example—of the fruitful tunnel-visions of dreamers turned doers.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

For Erik Reece, life, at last, was good: he was newly married, gainfully employed, living in a creekside cabin in his beloved Kentucky woods. It sounded, as he describes it, "like a country song with a happy ending." And yet he was still haunted by a sense that the world--or, more specifically, his country--could be better. He couldn't ignore his conviction that, in fact, the good ol' USA was in the midst of great social, environmental, and political crises--that for the first time in our history, we were being swept into a future that had no future. Where did we--here, in the land of Jeffersonian optimism and better tomorrows--go wrong?

Rather than despair, Reece turned to those who had dared to imagine radically different futures for America. What followed was a giant road trip and research adventure through the sites of America's utopian communities, both historical and contemporary, known and unknown, successful and catastrophic. What he uncovered was not just a series of lost histories and broken visionaries but also a continuing and vital but hidden idealistic tradition in American intellectual history. Utopia Drive is an important and definitive reconstruction of that tradition. It is also, perhaps, a new framework to help us find a genuinely sustainable way forward.

 

About Erik Reece

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Erik Reece was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and teaches English and writing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. His work appears in Harper's and the Oxford American, among other places.
 
Published August 9, 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 369 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Utopia Drive
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on May 18 2016

A journalist and author drives his truck around the East visiting utopian communities—past and present—and concludes we need to think more like those folks...Compelling narratives with a personal voice, with some utopian political bite.

Read Full Review of Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Thr... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 24 2017

The result is an engaging exploration—and example—of the fruitful tunnel-visions of dreamers turned doers.

Read Full Review of Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Thr... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly
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