Kerith's Reviews > Paradise Now: The Story of American Utopianism

Paradise Now by Chris Jennings
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bookshelves: interlibrary-loan, history

Engaging, though not easy, read on a fascinating subject. Jennings focuses on five different utopian communities that reached their height during the 19th century, and also endeavors to explain what was going on at the time to make this sort of communism so popular. He sets out the roots of each group (namely the Shakers, Robert Owens' New Harmony, the Fourierist Phalanxes, Icaria, and the Oneida Community), showing how they differ and yet, at times, coalesce. The range of ideas is mind-boggling (some are quite odd, others eyebrow raising), yet each group shares the forward thinking hope that life on earth can and should be made perfect.
Of them all, only the Shakers remain, and barely.
If you are interested in American history, American thought, and how both religion and secularism can end up in the same place - this is worth the read.

I received my copy through the Goodreads giveaways for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

November 25, 2015 – Shelved
November 25, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
March 28, 2016 – Shelved as: interlibrary-loan
March 28, 2016 – Shelved as: history
October 6, 2017 – Started Reading
November 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

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