Human beings universally dream of a better world. For centuries they have expressed their yearning for ways of life that are free from oppression, want and fear, through philosophy, art, film and literature. In this concise and engaging book, Mark Jendrysik examines the multifarious ways utopians have posed the question of how human beings might establish justice and realize truly human values. Drawing upon a range of sources, from Plato's Republic and Thomas More's Utopia to Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed, he argues that, though for many utopia means 'demanding the impossible', the goals that seemed out of reach for one generation are often realized in the next. Nonetheless, he shows that, while utopian thought points toward our most noble aspirations, it also illustrates the dangers of totalitarianism, of the surveillance state and of global climate change. This engaging book will be an invaluable guide for anyone seeking to understand how, for good or ill, utopian aspirations shape our lives, even in times that seem designed to close off dreams of a better world.