paradise now the story of american utopianism

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Paradise Now

Author : Chris Jennings
ISBN : 9780812993707
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 15 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 : 25. 52 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 : 69. 81 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 : 57. 42 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.

Oneida

Author : Maren Lockwood Carden
ISBN : 0815605234
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 25. 49 MB
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This volume describes how the initiation of young girls into the sexual practices of the commune became a major source of conflict. The study appraises information about the history, practices, organization, and principles of Oneida.

Transcendental Utopias

Author : Richard Francis
ISBN : 0801473802
Genre : History
File Size : 33. 40 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.

Oneida

Author : Ellen Wayland-Smith
ISBN : 9781250043108
Genre : History
File Size : 90. 59 MB
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A fascinating and unusual chapter in American history about a religious community that held radical notions of equality, sex, and religion---only to transform itself, at the beginning of the twentieth century, into a successful silverware company and a model of buttoned-down corporate propriety. In the early nineteenth century, many Americans were looking for an alternative to the Puritanism that had been the foundation of the new country. Amid the fervor of the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening, John Humphrey Noyes, a spirited but socially awkward young man, attracted a group of devoted followers with his fiery sermons about creating Jesus’ millennial kingdom here on Earth. Noyes established a revolutionary community in rural New York centered around achieving a life free of sin through God’s grace, while also espousing equality of the sexes and “complex marriage,” a system of free love where sexual relations with multiple partners was encouraged. Noyes’s belief in the perfectibility of human nature eventually inspired him to institute a program of eugenics, known as stirpiculture, that resulted in a new generation of Oneidans who, when the Community disbanded in 1880, sought to exorcise the ghost of their fathers’ disreputable sexual theories. Converted into a joint-stock company, Oneida Community, Limited, would go on to become one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of silverware, and their brand a coveted mark of middle-class respectability in pre- and post-WWII America. Told by a descendant of one of the Community’s original families, Ellen Wayland-Smith's Oneida is a captivating story that straddles two centuries to reveal how a radical, free-love sect, turning its back on its own ideals, transformed into a purveyor of the white-picket-fence American dream.

Fanny Wright

Author : Celia Morris
ISBN : 0252062493
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61. 8 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.

Seven American Utopias

Author : Dolores Hayden
ISBN : 0262580373
Genre : Architecture
File Size : 60. 23 MB
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From the time of its discovery, the new world was regarded by American settlers as a new Eden and a new Jerusalem. Although individual pioneers' visions of paradise were inevitably corrupted by reality, some determined ideatists carved out enclaves in order to develop collective models of what they believed to be more perfect societies. All such communitarian groups consciously attempted to express their social ideals in their buildings and landscapes; invariably, ideological predispositions can be inferred from a close study of the environments they created. The interplay between ideology and architecture, the social design and the physical design of American utopian communities, is the basis of this remarkable book by Dolores Hayden.At the heart of the book are studies of seven communitarian groups, collectively stretching over nearly two centuries and the full breadth of the American continent-the Shakers of Hancock, Massachusetts; the Mormons of Nauvoo, lllinois; the Fourierists of Phalanx, New Jersey; the Perfectionists of Oneida, New York; the Inspirationists of Amana, Iowa; the Union Colonists of Greeley, Colorado; and the Cooperative Colonists of Llano del Rio, California. Hayden examines each of these groups to see how they coped with three dilemmas that all socialist' societies face: conflicts betweeft authoritarian and participatory processes, between communal and private territory, and between unique and replicable community plans.The book contains over 260 historic and contemporary photographs and drawings which illustrate the communitarian processes of design and building. The drawings range in scale from regional plans showing land ownership, access to transportation, and availability of natural resources, through site plans of communal domains and building plans of dwellings and assembly halls, down to detailed diagrams of furniture configurations. To aid readers in making comparisons, a series of site and building plans drawn at constant scales has been provided for all seven case studies.

Herland

Author : Charlotte Perkins Gilman
ISBN : 9780486115061
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 58. 49 MB
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Delightfully humorous account of a feminist utopia in which three male explorers stumble upon an all-female society. An early-20th-century writer's once-unconventional views on male-female behavior, motherhood, individuality, other topics.

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