Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There by Rutger Bregman
(Bloomsbury (UK), Little Brown (US), 2017)

Utopia for Realists: And How We Can Get There

by Rutger Bregman

A Sunday Times bestseller.

We live in a time of unprecedented upheaval, with 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. Rutger Bregman, a bestselling Dutch historian, explains that it needn’t be this way.

Bregman shows that we can construct a society with visionary ideas that are, in fact, wholly implementable. Every milestone of civilization - from the end of slavery to the beginning of democracy - was once considered a utopian fantasy. New utopian ideas such as universal basic income and a 15-hour work week can become reality in our lifetime. This guide to a revolutionary yet achievable utopia is supported by multiple studies, lively anecdotes and numerous success stories.

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, beyond the traditional left-right divides, as he introduces ideas whose time has come.


If you're bored with hackneyed debates, decades-old right-wing and left-wing cliches, you may enjoy the bold thinking, fresh ideas, lively prose, and evidence-based arguments in Utopia for Realists
- Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct
In this surprising, accessible and often counterintuitive book Bregman explores some brilliant but simple ideas for making a better world”
- Brian Eno
Brilliant, comprehensive, truly enlightening, and eminently readable. Obligatory reading for everyone worried about the wrongs of present-day society and wishing to contribute to their cure”
- Zygmunt Bauman, Professor Emeritus of Leeds University
A wonderfully readable breath of fresh air, a window thrown open to a better future ... Bregman combines deep research with wit, challenging us to think anew about how we want to live and who we want to be. Required reading”
- Philipp Blomm, author of The Vertigo Years
Superbly written, upbeat, insightful”
- Philippe van Parijs, Harvard University professor and co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network
If energy, enthusiasm and aphorism could make the world better, then Rutger Bregman's book would do it ... The writing is powerful and fluent ... A boisterously good read”
- Independent
If you'd like to see a fairer world but don't know how to get there, this book is for you. Bregman brilliantly shows how ideas commonly dismissed as utopian are eminently possible, indeed have almost happened”
- Ben Rawlence, author of City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp
The impact of this book in the Netherlands has been huge. Not only did Rutger Bregman launch a highly successful and long-running debate in the media, he also inspired a movement across the country that is putting his ideas into practice. Now it's time for the rest of the world”
- Joris Luyendijk, author of Swimming with Sharks
A wonderful call to utopian thinking around incomes and the workweek, and a welcome antidote to the pessimism surrounding robots taking our jobs”
- Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and author of The Upside of Down
A short, sharp big ideas book set to make waves”
- Sunday Express