paradise now the story of american utopianism

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Paradise Now

Author : Chris Jennings
ISBN : 9780812993714
Genre : History
File Size : 34. 36 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 : 81. 41 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?

Skepticism And American Faith

Author : Christopher Grasso
ISBN : 9780190494377
Genre : History
File Size : 53. 58 MB
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Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, the dialogue of religious skepticism and faith shaped struggles over the place of religion in politics. It produced different visions of knowledge and education in an "enlightened" society. It fueled social reform in an era of economic transformation, territorial expansion, and social change. Ultimately, as Christopher Grasso argues in this definitive work, it molded the making and eventual unmaking of American nationalism. Religious skepticism has been rendered nearly invisible in American religious history, which often stresses the evangelicalism of the era or the "secularization" said to be happening behind people's backs, or assumes that skepticism was for intellectuals and ordinary people who stayed away from church were merely indifferent. Certainly the efforts of vocal "infidels" or "freethinkers" were dwarfed by the legions conducting religious revivals, creating missions and moral reform societies, distributing Bibles and Christian tracts, and building churches across the land. Even if few Americans publicly challenged Christian truth claims, many more quietly doubted, and religious skepticism touched--and in some cases transformed--many individual lives. Commentators considered religious doubt to be a persistent problem, because they believed that skeptical challenges to the grounds of faith--the Bible, the church, and personal experience--threatened the foundations of American society. Skepticism and American Faith examines the ways that Americans--ministers, merchants, and mystics; physicians, schoolteachers, and feminists; self-help writers, slaveholders, shoemakers, and soldiers--wrestled with faith and doubt as they lived their daily lives and tried to make sense of their world.

American Trinity

Author : Larry Len Peterson
ISBN : 9781591522058
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77. 51 MB
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American Trinity is for everyone who loves the American West and wants to learn more about the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is a sprawling story with a scholarly approach in method but accessible in manner. In this innovative examination, Dr. Larry Len Peterson explores the origins, development, and consequences of hatred and racism from the time modern humans left Africa 100,000 years ago to the forced placement of Indian children on off-reservation schools far from home in the late 1800s. Along the way, dozens of notable individuals and cultures are profiled. Many historical events turned on the lives of legendary Americans like the "Father of the West," Thomas Jefferson, and the "Son of the West," George Armstrong Custer - two strange companions who shared an unshakable sense of their own skills - as their interpretation of truths motivated them in the winning of the West. Dr. Peterson reveals how anti-Indian sentiments were always only obliquely about them. They were victims but not the cause. The Indian was a symbol, not a real person. The politics of hate and racism directed toward them was also experienced in prior centuries by Jews, enslaved Africans, and other Christians. Hatred and racism, when taken into the public domain, are singularly difficult to justify, which is why Europeans and Americans have always sought vindication from the highest sources of authority in their cultures. In the Middle Ages it was religion supplemented later by the philosophy of the Enlightenment. In nineteenth-century Europe and America, religion and philosophy were joined by science and medicine to support Manifest Destiny, scientific racism, and social Darwinism, all of which had profound consequences on Native Americans and the Spirit of the West. Presenting research in anthropology, archaeology, biology, history, law, medicine, religion, philosophy, and psychology, Dr. Peterson provides the latest observations that delineate why the Native American's life was destroyed. American Trinity is a stunning portrait, a view at once unique, panoramic, and intimate. It is a fascinating book that will make you think about the differences between belief and knowledge; about the self-skepticism of science and medicine; and about what aspects of the world we take on faith.

The Utopian Moment In Contemporary American Poetry

Author : Norman Finkelstein
ISBN : 0838752470
Genre : Poetry
File Size : 57. 95 MB
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This second edition includes all of the material from the first -- in-depth analyses of the work of such poets as George Oppen, John Ashbery, Robert Duncan, and William Bronk -- as well as a new Preface, and a lengthy chapter on the younger language poets.

American Studies

Author :
ISBN : STANFORD:36105110561706
Genre : United States
File Size : 85. 56 MB
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British And American Utopian Literature 1516 1985

Author : Lyman Tower Sargent
ISBN : STANFORD:36105026026448
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 51. 85 MB
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America History And Life

Author :
ISBN : STANFORD:36105131533684
Genre : Canada
File Size : 87. 4 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 :
File Size : 75. 87 MB
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The Utopia Of Film

Author : Christopher Pavsek
ISBN : 9780231530811
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 50. 10 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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