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Dystopia: A Natural History

Gregory Claeys


Dystopia: A Natural History is the first monograph devoted to the concept of dystopia. Taking the term to encompass both a literary tradition of satirical works, mostly on totalitarianism, as well as real despotisms and societies in a state of disastrous collapse, this book redefines the central concepts and the chronology of the genre and offers a paradigm-shifting understanding of the subject. Part I assesses the theory and prehistory of ‘dystopia’. Utopia and dystopia are portrayed not as opposites, but as extremes on a spectrum of sociability, defined by a heightened form of group identity ... More

Keywords: dystopia, heresy, Huxley, monstrosity, Orwell, persecution, totalitarianism, witchcraft

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198785682
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785682.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gregory Claeys, author
Professor of History, Royal Holloway, University of London