Walden Two

by B.F. Skinner | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 002411510x Global Overview for this book
Registered by droogie of Nottingham, not specified not specified on 9/13/2005
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by droogie from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Tuesday, September 13, 2005
One of the founders of behaviourism sets out his plan for a utopia. I'm not quite convinced his plan would work but it is a good contrast to Nineteen Eighty Four or Brave New World.

Journal Entry 2 by droogie from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Tuesday, September 13, 2005
To be offered as a bookring.

Readers so far are:

WormyOne (Uk only)
turquoisefloyd

Journal Entry 3 by WormyOne from Brighton & Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom on Saturday, September 24, 2005
Thanks. Though this wasn't on my wish list, it was talked about when I did my Psychology degree 20 years ago so I'm interested to read it.

Thanks Droogie.

Journal Entry 4 by WormyOne from Brighton & Hove, East Sussex United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The blurb reads:

This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a centre of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct

It is now widely recognised that great changes must be made in the American way of life. Not only can we not face the rest of the world while consuming and polluting as we do, we cannot for long face ourselves while acknowledging the violence and chaos in which we live. The choice is clear: either we do nothing and allow a miserable and probably catastrophic future to overtake us, or we use our knowledge about human behavior to create a social environment in which we shall live productive and creative lives and do so without jeopardizing the chances that those who follow us will be able to do the same. Something like a Walden Two would not be a bad start
”.

As with many utopia/dystopia books, it’s not totally successful in turning an exposition of a theory into an interesting story. The majority of the book is a conversation between the proponent of the way of life proposed and the other characters and it’s like reading the text of a lecture.

It’s sexist at times, despite the way of life proposed purporting to have eliminated inequality between the sexes.

Like Droogie, I remain unconvinced that such a utopia would work the way it does in the book. Society’s norms develop in response to the people in them even if it’s not always obvious what the reasons are for them. They’re not arbitrary. I’m not sure it would be easy (or beneficial) to cancel them all out and impose a new set. It sounds idyllic though!

In rating it, I wasn't sure whether to concentrate on its worth as a novel, the clarity with which it sets out the ideas it contains or the ideas themselves. I decided to rate it as a novel so have given it a low score. I think it's an interesting book though.


Journal Entry 5 by abitstormyout from Ely, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Saturday, October 1, 2005
Received from WormyOne this morning, thanks! Also thanks to Droogie for starting the ring :-)

Not sure when I'll get to this one, but I hope it's soon!!

Released 14 yrs ago (4/14/2007 UTC) at Caffe Nero IP1 Bookcrossing Zone in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom

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Passing on to KenseyRiver at the Ipswich Meet tomorrow!

Journal Entry 7 by KenseyRiver from Brightlingsea, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, April 15, 2007
I shall start reading this right after I finish reading Walden One!

Journal Entry 8 by KenseyRiver from Brightlingsea, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, June 1, 2007
Not exactly a rip-roaring read, but a break from the usual turgid, academic prose. In a sense the writing is the least important part of this book as it's really about the ideas. In the end, I found myself agreeing with the character, Burris. Utopia is ok for others, but not for me! Somehow living a utopian life seems a cop out. Without the struggle would life be worth anything. That said the short-working hours seem a very good idea!

Anyway, what shall I do with this book now? Do you want another go TurquoiseFloyd or shall I return it to droogie?

Journal Entry 9 by droogie from Nottingham, not specified not specified on Monday, October 1, 2007
Thanks for returning this, I might release it on my old psychology department now.

Journal Entry 10 by droogie at on Friday, February 20, 2009

Released 12 yrs ago (2/21/2009 UTC) at

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At the Nottingham meet

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