paradise now the story of american utopianism

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Paradise Now

Author : Chris Jennings
ISBN : 9780812993714
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 73 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.

American Utopia

Author : Peter Swirski
ISBN : 9780429628139
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 52. 76 MB
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From Black Tuesday to the White House, from Plato to Robert Nozick, from Eugene Debs to Richard Nixon, from Peter Cornelis Plockhoy to the hippie communes of the Sixties, from universal basic income to utopian basic income, from proverbial wisdom to multilevel selection, from Big Data to paleomorality, from Prisoner’s Dilemma to social-engineering Israeli kindergartens, from time travel to gene engineering, from the pretzel logic of meritocracy to deaggressing humanity, American Utopia maps the pitfalls and windfalls of social reform in the name of the human use of human beings. Interrogating the assumptions behind four outré utopias by Thomas M. Disch, Bernard Malamud, Kurt Vonnegut, and Margaret Atwood, the book interrogates the assumptions that have historically been central to the utopian project. Whence the seeds of social discontent? Whence our taste for egoism and altruism? For waging war and waging peace? Can we bioengineer human nature to specifications? Should we? Who makes better guardians: humans or machines? And who will guard the guardians?

Race And Utopian Desire In American Literature And Society

Author : Patricia Ventura
ISBN : 9783030194703
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 74. 19 MB
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Bringing together a variety of scholarly voices, this book argues for the necessity of understanding the important role literature plays in crystallizing the ideologies of the oppressed, while exploring the necessarily racialized character of utopian thought in American culture and society. Utopia in everyday usage designates an idealized fantasy place, but within the interdisciplinary field of utopian studies, the term often describes the worldviews of non-dominant groups when they challenge the ruling order. In a time when white supremacy is reasserting itself in the US and around the world, there is a growing need to understand the vital relationship between race and utopia as a resource for resistance. Utopian literature opens up that relationship by envisioning and negotiating the prospect of a better future while acknowledging the brutal past. The collection fills a critical gap in both literary studies, which has largely ignored the issue of race and utopia, and utopian studies, which has said too little about race.

The Lost Tradition Of Economic Equality In America 1600 1870

Author : Daniel R. Mandell
ISBN : 9781421437125
Genre : History
File Size : 36. 98 MB
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The United States has some of the highest levels of both wealth and income inequality in the world. Although modern-day Americans are increasingly concerned about this growing inequality, many nonetheless believe that the country was founded on a person's right to acquire and control property. But in The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America, 1600–1870, Daniel R. Mandell argues that, in fact, the United States was originally deeply influenced by the belief that maintaining a "rough" or relative equality of wealth is essential to the cultivation of a successful republican government. Mandell explores the origins and evolution of this ideal. He shows how, during the Revolutionary War, concerns about economic equality helped drive wage and price controls, while after its end Americans sought ways to maintain their beloved "rough" equality against the danger of individuals amassing excessive wealth. He also examines how, after 1800, this tradition was increasingly marginalized by the growth of the liberal ideal of individual property ownership without limits. This politically evenhanded book takes a sweeping, detailed view of economic, social, and cultural developments up to the time of Reconstruction, when Congress refused to redistribute plantation lands to the former slaves who had worked it, insisting instead that they required only civil and political rights. Informing current discussions about the growing gap between rich and poor in the United States, The Lost Tradition of Economic Equality in America is surprising and enlightening.

A Companion To American Gothic

Author : Charles L. Crow
ISBN : 9781118608425
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 65. 26 MB
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A Companion to American Gothic features a collection of original essays that explore America’s gothic literary tradition. The largest collection of essays in the field of American Gothic Contributions from a wide variety of scholars from around the world The most complete coverage of theory, major authors, popular culture and non-print media available

British And American Utopian Literature 1516 1985

Author : Lyman Tower Sargent
ISBN : STANFORD:36105026026448
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 28. 82 MB
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America History And Life

Author :
ISBN : STANFORD:36105131533684
Genre : Canada
File Size : 31. 67 MB
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Article abstracts and citations of reviews and dissertations covering the United States and Canada.

Paradise Now

Author : Chad Andrew Martin
ISBN : STANFORD:36105023742104
Genre :
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A Paradise Built In Hell

Author : Rebecca Solnit
ISBN : 9781101459010
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83. 5 MB
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The author of Men Explain Things to Me explores the moments of altruism and generosity that arise in the aftermath of disaster Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster? whether manmade or natural?people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities? In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.

The Utopia Of Film

Author : Christopher Pavsek
ISBN : 9780231530811
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 37. 6 MB
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The German filmmaker Alexander Kluge has long promoted cinema's relationship with the goals of human emancipation. Jean-Luc Godard and Filipino director Kidlat Tahimik also believe in cinema's ability to bring about what Theodor W. Adorno once called a "redeemed world." Situating the films of Godard, Tahimik, and Kluge within debates over social revolution, utopian ideals, and the unrealized potential of utopian thought and action, Christopher Pavsek showcases the strengths, weaknesses, and undeniable impact of their utopian visions on film's political evolution. He discusses Godard's Alphaville (1965) against Germany Year 90 Nine-Zero (1991) and JLG/JLG: Self-portrait in December (1994), and he conducts the first scholarly reading of Film Socialisme (2010). He considers Tahimik's virtually unknown masterpiece, I Am Furious Yellow (1981–1991), along with Perfumed Nightmare (1977) and Turumba (1983); and he constructs a dialogue between Kluge's Brutality in Stone (1961) and Yesterday Girl (1965) and his later The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time (1985) and Fruits of Trust (2009).

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