It is quite amazing to see just how far a single man’s vision can go in terms of changing not only society as we know it, but the world as a whole. This is precisely the situation that Castello Newton Holford’s Aristopia presents, showing what was an entirely new vision of utopia at the time it was written, and presenting an alternate history of North America that few people would have even imagined. Although Aristopia presents a vision of a better world, unlike most utopic novels, it doesn’t place it in the near or far future. Written in 1895, it outlines an alternate history of the United States in which a man named Ralph Morton becomes wealthy by discovering a reef made entirely out of gold, and manages to carefully use his newfound fortune to create an entirely new society. While, at first, Aristopia was a relatively small social group, it soon grew by providing citizens equal rights, affordable housing and refuge for people fleeing changes and conflicts in Europe. When the Revolutionary War began, Aristopia took an active role, particularly in its campaign to conquer Canada. In due time, it actually ends up dominating most of North America, and becoming one of the most powerful nations in the world. Written more as an alternate history book, rather than a novel, Aristopia doesn’t follow a single plot, but looks more toward presenting a general, objective outline of the alternate timeline, as if it factually came into being. An interesting and overall enjoyable book, it challenges the boundaries of our imagination, and it has remained quite a timeless success throughout the past century. History lovers will enjoy this exceptional read tremendously, and whether you are more interested in some light reading or a detailed story to spark your imagination, you will find everything you are looking for in Castello Holford’s Aristopia.