Yankee Communes

Yankee Communes : Another American Way

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Discusses the philosophy, purpose, and organization of four communal societies-- the Shakers, the Rappites, the Perfectionists of the Oneida Community, and the Society of Brothers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 179 pages
  • 152.4 x 238.76 x 27.94mm | 952.54g
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New
  • Ill.
  • 0152997105
  • 9780152997106

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Review Text

In line with the recent resurgence of interest in American "utopias," Flo Morse re-evaluates some of the better known communal experiments in terms of their positive contributions to our social history. Their more controversial customs, from the spiritualism and celibacy of the Shakers to the "complex marriage" practiced by the Oneida Community, are placed in the context of the divers groups' goals - to eliminate materialism, achieve a harmonious social order, and find salvation through work. There is ample evidence here to support the author's view that the communes were well ahead of their time in their concern for racial equality, women's rights and birth control; unfortunately the material on the communes' everyday activities is overbalanced by excessive emphasis on chronology and changes of leadership. The last chapter, on the Society of Brothers, a contemporary example of religious communism, provides a bridge to the countercultural "alternatives" so much a part of the American scene today. In all, a responsible treatment of a timely historical analogy. (Kirkus Reviews)
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