This fictional community is the brain-child of the famous (and imfamous) behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner. Skinner believed that all behavior can be controlled by modification and 'positive reinforcement.' Well, here it is. A Skinnerian utopia.
The book itself has no real plot to speak of. The central characters,a group of 2 university professors, 2 twenty-somethings fresh from army service, and their two girlfriends that have been invited to take a tour of the Walden Two community. The book (narrated by one of the professors) is the fictional account of the tour which gets extraordinarily specific. The communes education, commerce, child-rearing, and governing practices are well-examined and this book, whether you agree with good ol' B.F. or not, will have you constantly thinking from new angles. If you're anything like me (frightening thought!) you might find yourself actually talking back to the book. What a rare experience!
The four stars are for both the writing- Skinner does much better than most psychologists crossing over to fiction- and for the wealth of ideas which are sharp, challenging and scary. Although in the end, I disagree with just about every idea Skinner remonstrates, this is a book that I'm sure I will reread and ponder over quite often.
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