Aristopia: A Romance-History of the New World


Read by Ruth Golding

(4.6 stars; 8 reviews)

Aristopia (published 1895) is truly an alternative history. It is an imagination of how the continent of North America might have developed if one man with the vision, altruism and determination to build a state for the benefit of all its people had been in the happy position of having wealth enough to make his dream a reality.

It is an interesting book which deserves its place in literary history largely for being the first novel-length example of its genre. It is written, not as a novel, but as unvarnished history. Only a few passages seem really to catch alight with the idealistic passion of the country's founder, Ralph Morton. Those that do, however, are powerful.

Borrowing heavily from actual documents of the period such as Captain John Smith's Journal, and also from More's Utopia, Newton appears to use his book to show how the vast natural resources of the new continent could, with the vision and wealth of a man like Morton, have improved the lives of huge numbers of the poor, disenfranchised and disaffected of Europe, instead of making relatively few men very rich indeed. In keeping with the thinking of his own time, he seems not to have considered to any great extent how this would still have displaced the native inhabitants of Morton's new 'Commonwealth'. (Summary by Ruth Golding) (5 hr 13 min)

Chapters

Introduction 10:22 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter I 12:33 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter II 7:57 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter III 7:38 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter IV 18:00 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter V 13:25 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter VI 13:00 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter VII 9:24 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter VIII 11:28 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter IX 16:29 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter X 13:49 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XI 21:06 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XII 11:12 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XIII 12:14 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XIV 11:53 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XV 19:51 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XVI 9:18 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XVII 22:06 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XVIII 10:18 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XIX 13:50 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XX 14:11 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XXI 8:18 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XXII 5:29 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XXIII 8:39 Read by Ruth Golding
Chapter XXIV and Conclusion 11:14 Read by Ruth Golding

Reviews

overly optimistic but interesting.


(4 stars)

for an older book it's not hard to follow. it's a relatively tight story with a good pace. the idea that im one man could be so altruistic to create a state so humble and almost perfect is a little bit of a stretch. it would have been a little more interesting if it was more of a communal discussion would be a little more interesting. also very dated in terms of acceptance of all religions (christianity) It still called the natives savages and Hebrews venomous. but it was a very interesting concept, an alternative settlement in America before and during the revolution.

Thank You Ruth Golding


(5 stars)

Thank you for for resurrecting this gem through an excellent audio recording. I would love for this work rediscovered for the simple reason that it would be so much fun to see what modern writers could do by expanding upon this alternative American history.

DREAM ON


(3.5 stars)

A bit better than most of the social books because it does not preach socio-communism, even though that doctrine permeates it. Aristopia succeeded simply because the author chose to suspend human nature to all who crossed its borders. RG did her always superb job.

Very well done book


(5 stars)

This book is very beautifully read.