paradise now the story of american utopianism

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Paradise Now

Author : Chris Jennings
ISBN : 9780812983890
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 28 MB
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For readers of Jill Lepore, Joseph J. Ellis, and Tony Horwitz comes a lively, thought-provoking intellectual history of the golden age of American utopianism--and the bold, revolutionary, and eccentric visions for the future put forward by five of history's most influential utopian movements. In the wake of the Enlightenment and the onset of industrialism, a generation of dreamers took it upon themselves to confront the messiness and injustice of a rapidly changing world. To our eyes, the utopian communities that took root in America in the nineteenth century may seem ambitious to the point of delusion, but they attracted members willing to dedicate their lives to creating a new social order and to asking the bold question What should the future look like? In Paradise Now, Chris Jennings tells the story of five interrelated utopian movements, revealing their relevance both to their time and to our own. Here is Mother Ann Lee, the prophet of the Shakers, who grew up in newly industrialized Manchester, England--and would come to build a quiet but fierce religious tradition on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Even as the society she founded spread across the United States, the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen came to the Indiana frontier to build an egalitarian, rationalist utopia he called the New Moral World. A decade later, followers of the French visionary Charles Fourier blanketed America with colonies devoted to inaugurating a new millennium of pleasure and fraternity. Meanwhile, the French radical �tienne Cabet sailed to Texas with hopes of establishing a communist paradise dedicated to ideals that would be echoed in the next century. And in New York's Oneida Community, a brilliant Vermonter named John Humphrey Noyes set about creating a new society in which the human spirit could finally be perfected in the image of God. Over time, these movements fell apart, and the national mood that had inspired them was drowned out by the dream of westward expansion and the waking nightmare of the Civil War. Their most galvanizing ideas, however, lived on, and their audacity has influenced countless political movements since. Their stories remain an inspiration for everyone who seeks to build a better world, for all who ask, What should the future look like? Praise for Paradise Now "Uncommonly smart and beautifully written . . . a triumph of scholarship and narration: five stand-alone community studies and a coherent, often spellbinding history of the United States during its tumultuous first half-century . . . Although never less than evenhanded, and sometimes deliciously wry, Jennings writes with obvious affection for his subjects. To read Paradise Now is to be dazzled, humbled and occasionally flabbergasted by the amount of energy and talent sacrificed at utopia's altar."--The New York Times Book Review "Writing an impartial, respectful account of these philanthropies and follies is no small task, but Mr. Jennings largely pulls it off with insight and aplomb. Indulgently sympathetic to the utopian impulse in general, he tells a good story. His explanations of the various reformist credos are patient, thought-provoking and . . . entertaining."--The Wall Street Journal "As a tour guide, Jennings is thoughtful, engaging and witty in the right doses. . . . He makes the subject his own with fresh eyes and a crisp narrative, rich with detail. . . . In the end, Jennings writes, the communards' disregard for the world as it exists sealed their fate. But in revisiting their stories, he makes a compelling case that our present-day 'deficit of imagination' could be similarly fated."--San Francisco Chronicle From the Hardcover edition.

Paradise Now

Author : Chris Jennings
ISBN : 9780812993707
Genre : History
File Size : 26. 60 MB
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Introduction : MAN-MADE MILLENNIUM -- The Shakers : AMERICAN ZION -- New Harmony : THE GREAT INFIDEL EXPERIMENT -- The Fourierist Phalanxes : THE LEMONADE SEA -- Icaria : PEOPLE OF THE BOOK -- Oneida : KINGDOM COME -- Conclusion : THE FUTURE AINT WHAT IT USED TO BE

Paradise Now

Author : Chris Jennings
ISBN : 9780812993714
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 1 MB
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For readers of Jill Lepore, Joseph J. Ellis, and Tony Horwitz comes a lively, thought-provoking intellectual history of the golden age of American utopianism—and the bold, revolutionary, and eccentric visions for the future put forward by five of history’s most influential utopian movements. In the wake of the Enlightenment and the onset of industrialism, a generation of dreamers took it upon themselves to confront the messiness and injustice of a rapidly changing world. To our eyes, the utopian communities that took root in America in the nineteenth century may seem ambitious to the point of delusion, but they attracted members willing to dedicate their lives to creating a new social order and to asking the bold question What should the future look like? In Paradise Now, Chris Jennings tells the story of five interrelated utopian movements, revealing their relevance both to their time and to our own. Here is Mother Ann Lee, the prophet of the Shakers, who grew up in newly industrialized Manchester, England—and would come to build a quiet but fierce religious tradition on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Even as the society she founded spread across the United States, the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen came to the Indiana frontier to build an egalitarian, rationalist utopia he called the New Moral World. A decade later, followers of the French visionary Charles Fourier blanketed America with colonies devoted to inaugurating a new millennium of pleasure and fraternity. Meanwhile, the French radical Étienne Cabet sailed to Texas with hopes of establishing a communist paradise dedicated to ideals that would be echoed in the next century. And in New York’s Oneida Community, a brilliant Vermonter named John Humphrey Noyes set about creating a new society in which the human spirit could finally be perfected in the image of God. Over time, these movements fell apart, and the national mood that had inspired them was drowned out by the dream of westward expansion and the waking nightmare of the Civil War. Their most galvanizing ideas, however, lived on, and their audacity has influenced countless political movements since. Their stories remain an inspiration for everyone who seeks to build a better world, for all who ask, What should the future look like? Praise for Paradise Now “Uncommonly smart and beautifully written . . . a triumph of scholarship and narration: five stand-alone community studies and a coherent, often spellbinding history of the United States during its tumultuous first half-century . . . Although never less than evenhanded, and sometimes deliciously wry, Jennings writes with obvious affection for his subjects. To read Paradise Now is to be dazzled, humbled and occasionally flabbergasted by the amount of energy and talent sacrificed at utopia’s altar.”—The New York Times Book Review “Writing an impartial, respectful account of these philanthropies and follies is no small task, but Mr. Jennings largely pulls it off with insight and aplomb. Indulgently sympathetic to the utopian impulse in general, he tells a good story. His explanations of the various reformist credos are patient, thought-provoking and . . . entertaining.”—The Wall Street Journal “As a tour guide, Jennings is thoughtful, engaging and witty in the right doses. . . . He makes the subject his own with fresh eyes and a crisp narrative, rich with detail. . . . In the end, Jennings writes, the communards’ disregard for the world as it exists sealed their fate. But in revisiting their stories, he makes a compelling case that our present-day ‘deficit of imagination’ could be similarly fated.”—San Francisco Chronicle From the Hardcover edition.

Heavens On Earth

Author : Mark Holloway
ISBN : 9780486215938
Genre : History
File Size : 83. 93 MB
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Utopian communities in American from 1680 to 1880, including the Shakers, New Harmony, Brook Farm, the Fourieristic phalanxes, and the Oneida communities, with accounts of the constitutions, revelations, beliefs, tenets, customs dictated by religious beliefs or social principle, and more.

America S Communal Utopias

Author : Donald E. Pitzer
ISBN : 9780807898970
Genre : History
File Size : 37. 81 MB
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From the Shakers to the Branch Davidians, America's communal utopians have captured the popular imagination. Seventeen original essays here demonstrate the relevance of such groups to the mainstream of American social, religious, and economic life. The contributors examine the beliefs and practices of the most prominent utopian communities founded before 1965, including the long-overlooked Catholic monastic communities and Jewish agricultural colonies. Also featured are the Ephrata Baptists, Moravians, Shakers, Harmonists, Hutterites, Inspirationists of Amana, Mormons, Owenites, Fourierists, Icarians, Janssonists, Theosophists, Cyrus Teed's Koreshans, and Father Divine's Peace Mission. Based on a new conceptual framework known as developmental communalism, the book examines these utopian movements throughout the course of their development--before, during, and after their communal period. Each chapter includes a brief chronology, giving basic information about the group discussed. An appendix presents the most complete list of American utopian communities ever published. The contributors are Jonathan G. Andelson, Karl J. R. Arndt, Pearl W. Bartelt, Priscilla J. Brewer, Donald F. Durnbaugh, Lawrence Foster, Carl J. Guarneri, Robert V. Hine, Gertrude E. Huntington, James E. Landing, Dean L. May, Lawrence J. McCrank, J. Gordon Melton, Donald E. Pitzer, Robert P. Sutton, Jon Wagner, and Robert S. Weisbrot.

Transcendental Utopias

Author : Richard Francis
ISBN : 0801473802
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 86 MB
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New England Transcendentalism was a vibrant and many-sided movement whose members are probably best remembered for their utopian experiments, their attempts to reconcile the contingent world of history with what they perceived as the stable and patterned world of nature. Richard Francis has written the first book to explore in detail the ideological basis of the three famous experiments during the 1840s: Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Henry David Thoreau's "community of one" on the shores of Walden Pond.Francis suggests that at the heart of Transcendentalism was a belief that all phenomena are connected in a repetitive sequence. The task was to explain how human society could be reordered to benefit from this seriality. Some members of the movement believed in evolutionary progress, whereas others hoped to be the agents of a sudden millennial transformation. They differed, as well, in their views as to whether the fundamental social unit was the individual, the family, the phalanstery, or the community. The story of the three communities was, inevitably, also the story of particular individuals, and Francis highlights the lives and ideas of such leaders as George Ripley, W. H. Channing, Bronson Alcott, Charles Lane, and Theodore Parker. The consistent underlying beliefs of the New England Transcendentalists have exerted a powerful influence on American intellectual and cultural history ever since.

Fanny Wright

Author : Celia Morris
ISBN : 0252062493
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71. 68 MB
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Frances Wright dared to take Thomas Jefferson seriously when he wrote, ' All men are created equal, ' and to assume that 'men' meant 'women' as well. Born in Scotland in 1795, she came to the United States in 1818, and spent half her adult life here, she died in Ohio in 1852, ending a lifetime devoted to promoting equality among the races and the sexes. The Marquis de Lafayette called her his adored Fanny and paid court so openly that he scandalized even his own family. The first woman to act publicly to oppose slavery. The pampered daughter of a highly stratified class society, she cast her lot with the working people, risking her health, her fortune, and her good name to realize the promise of the Declaration of Independence. With a boldness rare in women of her day, she attacked in print and in lecture halls throughout the country an economic system that allowed not only black slavery in the South but what she called wage slavery in the North. With the exception perhaps of Walt Whitman, she wrote more powerfully of sexual experience than any other American the nineteenth century.

Utopia Drive

Author : Erik Reece
ISBN : 9780374710750
Genre : History
File Size : 43. 82 MB
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For Erik Reece, life, at last, was good: he was newly married, gainfully employed, living in a creekside cabin in his beloved Kentucky woods. It sounded, as he describes it, "like a country song with a happy ending." And yet he was still haunted by a sense that the world--or, more specifically, his country--could be better. He couldn't ignore his conviction that, in fact, the good ol' USA was in the midst of great social, environmental, and political crises--that for the first time in our history, we were being swept into a future that had no future. Where did we--here, in the land of Jeffersonian optimism and better tomorrows--go wrong? Rather than despair, Reece turned to those who had dared to imagine radically different futures for America. What followed was a giant road trip and research adventure through the sites of America's utopian communities, both historical and contemporary, known and unknown, successful and catastrophic. What he uncovered was not just a series of lost histories and broken visionaries but also a continuing and vital but hidden idealistic tradition in American intellectual history. Utopia Drive is an important and definitive reconstruction of that tradition. It is also, perhaps, a new framework to help us find a genuinely sustainable way forward. " ... an engaging exploration -- and example -- of the fruitful tunnel-visions of dreamers turned doers." - Publishers Weekly

Victory Of Law

Author : Deak Nabers
ISBN : 0801883504
Genre : History
File Size : 24. 37 MB
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In Victory of Law, Deak Nabers examines developing ideas about the nature of law as reflected in literary and political writing before, during, and after the American Civil War. Nabers traces the evolution of antislavery thought from its pre-war opposition to the constitutional order of the young nation to its ultimate elevation of the U.S. Constitution as an expression of the ideal of justice—an ideal embodied in the Fourteenth Amendment. Nabers shows how the intellectual history of the Fourteenth Amendment was rooted in literary sources—including Herman Melville’s Battle-Pieces, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and William Wells Brown’s Clotel—as well as in legal texts such as Somerset v. Stewart, Dred Scott v. Sandford, and Charles Sumner’s "Freedom National" address. Not only were prominent writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Frederick Douglass instrumental in remapping the relations between law and freedom, but figures like Sumner and John Bingham helped develop a systematic antislavery reading of the Constitution which established literary texts as sources for legal authority. This interdisciplinary study sheds light on the transformative significance of emerging legalist and constitutionalist forms of antislavery thinking on the literature of the 1850s and 1860s and the growing centrality of aesthetic considerations to antebellum American legal theory and practice—the historical terms in which a distinctively American cultural identity was conceived.

New World Utopias

Author : Paul Kagan
ISBN : UOM:39015020375526
Genre : History
File Size : 50. 99 MB
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