Arts and Culture

A new book from author and University of Kentucky professor Erik Reece explores the idea of the “perfect community.”

Reece is the author of “Lost Mountain” and “An American Gospel,” in which he examined family and faith. He’s written about coal mining extensively for Harper’s Magazine and other national outlets.

In his new book, “Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America’s Most Radical Idea,” Reece takes the reader through 10 Utopian communities, past and present, to explore idealism of place.

I spoke with Reece about his book and his journey. Listen to our conversation in the audio player above.

On why he was drawn to write about Utopian communities:

“I think what really pulled me first is this notion that a Utopia is a work of the imagination, you have to dream it up. So it takes a particular kind of visionary to do that, right? To reject the status quo and reject the current way of doing things. And then you have to go out and you have to enact it.

“And so it was just this amazing idealism that drove these thinkers to create these communities and they were dynamic enough personalities that they drew people into them and I just … I love that idea of, sort of, moving passed the inevitable to think about ways to, you know, make the world a better place.”

Reece will appear at Carmichael’s Bookstore (2720 Frankfort Ave.) on Thursday at 7 p.m. More information is available here.

Bill Burton is the Morning Edition host for WFPL News.