Free Love in Utopia

Free Love in Utopia : John Humphrey Noyes and the Origin of the Oneida Community

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For the first time, the extraordinary "free love" Oneida community story is told in its entirety from its beginnings and through never-before-published primary more

Product details

  • Hardback | 440 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 775.66g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252026705
  • 9780252026706

Review quote

"Focusing on the formative years of the durable 'free love' Oneida, New York, commune, founded by John Humphrey Noyes (1811-86), Foster, a leading authority on Oneida, edited this heretofore unpublished compilation of primary documents, personal diaries, and letters that Noyes' nephew ... had prepared for publication... These primary sources show how J.H. Noyes and his core band of followers sought to live in sinless perfection, and how Noyes developed and controlled Oneida's famed system of 'complex marriage,' where members selected sexual partners based on attraction rather then traditional marriage." -- Choice ADVANCE PRAISE: "Free Love in Utopia reproduces a tremendously important compilation of previously unavailable primary materials about the early Oneida Community, supplemented by Foster's extensive introduction. Our understanding of the workings and daily life of this remarkable community will thereby be much enhanced. And the book is an excellent read, engrossing throughout." -- Timothy Miller, author of The Quest for Utopia in Twentieth-Century America "This is the most important Oneida Community primary source material to become available in many years, and it has found the perfect editor in Lawrence Foster. Graced by impeccable scholarship, this volume is a boon to all students of communal societies." -- Michael Barkun, author of Crucible of the Millennium: The Burned-over District of New York State in the 1840s "We are most fortunate that Lawrence Foster, a leading historian of nineteenth-century utopian communities, has succeeded in making public and interpreting these extraordinary primary documents on the early years of the Oneida Community. Beautifully edited and contextualized, here is Oneida descendant George Wallingford Noyes's fascinating typescript compilation of the group's most sensitive early records, especially on complex marriage. Foster's patient persistence in bringing to light this remarkable document--based on a large collection of primary Oneida records that were deliberately burned after George Wallingford Noyes's death--makes a unique and exciting contribution to understanding this fascinating chapter in American religious reform and sexual experimentation." -- Regina Morantz-Sanchez, author of Sympathy and Science: Women Physicians in American Medicine "An exciting and sophisticated investigation into the complex transitions necessary to forge a successful 'free love' communal society." -- Susan Jean Palmer, author of Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions "George Wallingford Noyes's record, finally available in print, adds significant and fascinating sources to our understanding of the Oneida Community." -- Klaus J. Hansen, author of Mormonism and the American Experienceshow more

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