“Utopian” has been a term of abuse in politics for a long time now, synonymous with “irrational” and “impossible.” Instead, we are told, we should focus on realistic plans to improve things. But The Nation is publishing a special issue in defense of utopia. Jeet Heer explains how the dreams of a good society keep hope alive and expose the inadequacy of present structures.
Also: the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights is known today as the heartland of Chicano culture. Historian George Sanchez explains how its multicultural, interracial past made it a bastion of progressive democracy. His new book is Boyle Heights. 7-8-2021