The Palgrave Companion to North American Utopias

2004 John W Friesen and Virginia Lyons Friesen
Palgrave MacMillan.

ISBN: 978-1403963994
The Palgrave Companion to North American Utopias is a uniquely insightful examination of utopian socieities, past and present, ranging from New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to the Oregon coast and Western Canada. In this comprehensive and colorful history, we are introduced to visionary leaders and communities from the eighteenth century to today, ranging from well-known Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith, to the Ananda Cooperative Village of the Sierra Nevada. Some designed utopias were communal, others were not; some had religious foundations, others did not; most were agriculturally based, but others successfully operated on the edge of technological advance. Chapters include:
  • conceptual discussions of utopia
  • non-communal utopias
  • religious and economic communes
  • an extensive exploration of the Hutterite Brethren
  • a glossary of utopian terms and names
This smart, clever, and unique reference for all of us curious to know more about the history of North American utopian communities.  
Utopian dreams are badly needed in modern society because our societal worldview is almost entirely devoid of divergent thinking. Without utopian dreams and what if conceptualization, society would be philosophically impoverished. Our society is ripe for a new view of utopian living. This book examines how a utopian society can be formulated and brought to fruition, and tells the stories of thousands of optimists in various generations who dreamed up utopias and were willing to make great sacrifices.
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