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Backwoods Utopias: The Sectarian Origins and the Owenite Phase of Communitarian Socialism in America, 16631829, 2nd Edition

Bestor, Arthur

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ISBN 10: 1610971442 / ISBN 13: 9781610971447
Published by Wipf & Stock Pub
Condition: Good Soft cover
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1610971442 TITLE: BACKWOODS UTOPIAS: THE SECTARIAN ORIGINSAUTHOR: BESTOR, ARTHURISBN 10: 1610971442ISBN 13: 9781610971447BINDING: PaperbackPUBLICATION DATE: 2012PAGES: 342DESCRIPTION: Used book in good or better condition. Books weighing more than 4 pounds require extra postage. Bookseller Inventory # R1610971447

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Title: Backwoods Utopias: The Sectarian Origins and...

Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub


Book Condition:Good

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The new society that the world awaited might yet be born in the humble guise of a backwoods village. This was the belief shared by the many groups that moved into the American frontier to create experimental communities-communities that they hoped would model for revolutionary changes in religion, politics, economics, and education in American society. For, as James Madison wrote, the American Republic was "useful in providing things before held impossible" The communitarian ideal had its roots in the radical Protestant sects of the Reformation. Arthur Bestor shows the connection between the "holy commonwealths" of the colonial period and the nonsectarian experiments of the nineteenth century. He examines in particular detail Robert Owen's ideals and problems in creating New Harmony. In two essays added for the second edition, Dr. Bestor discusses the effects of the frontier and the migration of European ideas and people on these communities. He holds that the communitarians could believe in the possibility of nonviolent revolution through imitation of a small society only as long as they saw American institutions as flexible. A newly-added introduction by historian Donald Pitzer celebrates the groundbreaking contributions of Backwoods Utopias to the field of communal utopian studies. It reveals how Bestor's Chautauqua-based youth prepared him to be open-minded and analytical. It tells engaging stories of Bestor's pioneering on-site research in his own words from an unpublished address. It illustrates how current scholars still follow this mentor's methods and build theories on his foundation.

About the Author:

Arthur Bestor, one of the nation's leading authorities on constitutional law and a University of Washington history professor from 1962 to 1976, died Dec. 13, 1994, of lung cancer at his Seattle home. He was 86. He was especially known for his research into "communitarian" or Utopian societies, such as the Oneida Community, that flourished in the nineteenth century. Born in Chautauqua, NY, he received his bachelor's and doctorate degrees from Yale. A lifetime member of Yale's Elizabethan Society, he twice received Fulbright Fellowships and a Guggenheim. He taught at Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Queens College of Oxford University, and the University of Washington.

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