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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Niles, Kate: The Book of John | Main | Knight, Rachelle Rogers: Read, Remember, Recommend »

Hallman, J.C.: In Utopia

  

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St. Martin's Press, 288 pages
1st published: 2010
3.5 stars

Note: Review copy received from author. Amazon affiliate: Links pointing to Amazon contain my affiliate ID. Sales resulting from clicks on those links will earn me a percentage of the purchase price.

In his latest book J.C. Hallman explores the subject of utopias. He discusses both the history of utopian thought in literature--from Plato to Thomas More to B.F. Skinner--as well as real-world attempts to create utopia, or, if not utopia, at least a somewhat better world. Going into the book I expected a more straightforward discussion of a handful of communal societies, but Hallman has found examples of utopian thinking in surprising places. The book's second chapter, for example, concerns "Pleistocene rewilding"--an ostensibly crazy idea whose proponents would like to reintroduce to North America the large animals--or their modern equivalents--that roamed the continent during the late Pleistocene period. Utopia may also be found--or sought, at least--at sea: The World is a floating residence that is owned cooperatively by its residents and sails permanently around the world.

In Utopia is at its most interesting when the author is describing his hands-on research--his stay at the Twin Oaks community in Virginia, the four-day defensive handgun course he took in Nevada: "Back on my hip, the gun felt awkward, like a colostomy bag at capacity." I could have used some dumbing down of the literary sections of the book, however, as they are often thick with the author's erudition. An audience that's better read on the subject than I would probably get much more than I out of those parts of the text.
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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.