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In the 1850s the social and political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville spoke of 'a virus of a new and unknown kind' to explain the inexplicable failure of the French Revolution. This book uses Tocqueville's idea of the virus to explore the fatal relationship between the concepts of utopia and dystopia in western social and political thought. It traces this relationship from Ancient Greece to post-modern America and attempts to untangle their apparently fatal connection through a new virology that might promote a less paranoid future for our global society.