Ecotopia – Ernest Callenbach (1975)

Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston is a seminal utopian novel by Ernest Callenbach, published in 1975. The society described in the book is one of the first ecological utopias and was influential on the counterculture and the green movement in the 1970s and thereafter. The author himself claimed that the society he depicted in the book is not a true utopia (in the sense of a perfect society), but, while guided by societal intentions and values, was imperfect and in-process. Callenbach said of the story, in relation to Americans: ‘It is so hard to imagine anything fundamentally different from what we have now. But without these alternate visions, we get stuck on dead center. And we’d better get ready. We need to know where we’d like to go.’  Callenbach wove his story using the fiber of technologies, lifestyles, folkways, and attitudes that were common in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The “leading edges” (his main ideas for Ecotopian values and practices) were patterns in actual social experimentation taking place in the American West. To draw an example, Callenbach’s fictional Crick School was based upon Pinel School, an alternative school located outside Martinez, California, and attended for a time by his son. …”
NY Times: The Novel That Predicted Portland
Prometheus Unbound
[PDF] Ecotopia

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