The Dispossessed

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Orion, 2006 - Anarchism - 336 pages
Shevek, a brilliant scientist, wants to tear down the wall of hatred that has isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. So he journeys to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, in an attempt to ignite the fires of change.

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It's a few thousand years from now, a time of widened horizons but all too familiar contours. The nine known worlds have joined in a sort of interstellar U.N.; the government of Urras has peacefully ... Read full review

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One man's initiative combined with his abstract intellectual brilliance disturbs the political stasis in two planets and may be a seed of change even beyond. The book sensitively explores the social organisation and personal experience of the anarcho-communist world in which Shevek lives. He gradually realises that the price of freedom is eternal "initiative" - opposing the 'vigilance' of those who protect the status quo. His power to influence events comes from the value of his work in theoretical science. All worlds share a quasi-religious belief that theory is the first step to technology and thus to power.
The strength of the book is the complex and convincing shades of grey in which both characters and social systems are portrayed. There are no easy solutions and even the motivation of villains is complex.
A enthralling and satisfying philosophy text presented through fiction.

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About the author (2006)

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the finest writers of our time. Her books have attracted millions of devoted readers and won many awards, including the National Book Award, the Hugo and Nebula Awards and a Newbery Honor. Among her novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed and the six books of Earthsea have attained undisputed classic status; and her recent series, the Annals of the Western Shore, has won her the PEN Center USA Children's literature award and the Nebula Award for best novel. In 2014 Ursula Le Guin was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She lives in Portland, Oregon.


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