Utopias in American History

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With this volume, a fascinating, yet often overlooked, part of the American story is brought to the forefront. In Utopias in American History, independent scholar Jyotsna Sreenivasan makes the case that from the founding of the American colonies to the hippie communes of the 1960s to the cohousing movement, which started in the 1990s, the United States has the most sustained tradition of utopianism of any modern country.

Accessible yet authoritative and highly informative, Utopias in American History offers dozens of alphabetically organized entries covering all aspects of communal societies from colonial times to the present. Featured are descriptions of over 40 major utopian communities, both religious and secular. Entries are organized in terms of their histories, belief systems, leadership, economics, daily life, and the reactions they drew from mainstream society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This volume is a welcome addition to the literature on multiple utopias. In addition to the fact that the accounts are well researched and easy to read, thus the added feature of offering readers some enjoyable leisure-time reading, there are also other features that enhance its value. . . . Since so few works cover this subject so thoroughly, this volume should fill a need in many libraries."



"It's an outstanding survey that any high school to college-level library in American history needs."


Midwest Book Review

"Sreenivasan (independent scholar) discusses 52 communal communities or movements, dating from the late 1700s to present, that were (or still are) large, longstanding, and influential in the American society. A four- to six-page entry on each community addresses the history, beliefs and practices, and daily life of the community; how the community's members made their living; leadership and decision making; recruitment of new members; care and education of children; relationship with and influence on the outside world; and (where applicable) reasons for ending the communal aspect of the movement. Some shorter entries cover selected ideologies, historic events, and major personalities that influenced the formation of these utopias. Communities included range from Amana Colonies, Brook Farm, New Harmony, and the Shakers, to the more recent Davidian-Branch Davidian movements, Hare Krishna, Peace Mission Movement, and Rainbow Family of Living Light. Entries, and the lengthy introduction as well, provide carefully chosen references and Web sites. An extensive chronology, detailed index, and effective photographs complete the volume."



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598840520
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Pages: 417
  • Sales rank: 1,297,959
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

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