Strange Cults and Utopias of 19th Century America
Original title: History of American Socialisms

Noyes, John Humphrey
Publisher:  Dover Publications, New York, USA
Year Published:  1966   First Published:  1870
Pages:  678pp   ISBN:  0-486-21581-4
Dewey:  335.02
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX6587

Histories of communal experiments and communities in the United States.

Abstract:  Written by the founder of Oneida, John Humphrey Noyes, with the help of A.J. Macdonald's notes, Strange Cults & Utopias of 19th Century America (originally titled History of American Socialisms) is a collection of research on socialist experiments in the United States. Over 60 communities are included from the years 1724 to 1855. Some of these were successful and survived past the publication of this book, while others fell apart. Noyes includes all, whether surviving or dead, to incorporate Macdonald's research and to provide guiding information for future communist leaders. While some communities only merited a single page in the volume, Macdonald attempted to gather information about the origins, principles, goals, strengths and weaknesses of each group. He explores their methods of earning money and sharing the land. Participant communities informed him about their structure, including the necessary trades and occupations among members, the initiation process, and the leadership roles. The religious beliefs of each community are also explored for their impact on community life. Some communities were atheist, while others retained various faiths. The goal of the book is to warn against the factors that led to the failure of these communities, and to point out what was done well. As such, future communities can organize themselves accordingly and improve their chances of creating a better, alternative lifestyle. Macdonald aimed "to help waken dreamers, to guide lost wanderers, to convince skeptics, to reassure the hopeful."

[Abstract by Mia Manns]

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Birds-eye View
3. Theory of National Experience
4. New Harmony
5. Inquest on New Harmony
6. Yellow Springs Community
7. Nashoba
8. Seven Epitaphs
9. Owen's General Career
10. Connecting Links
11. Channing's Brook Farm
12. Hopedale
13. The Religious Communities
14. The Northampton Association
15. The Skaneateles Community
16. Social Architects
17. Fundamentals of Socialism
18. Literature of Fourierism
19. The Personnel of Fourierism
20. The Sylvania Association
21. Other Pennsylvania Experiments
22. The Volcanic District
23. The Clarkson Phalanx
24. The Sodus Bay Phalanx
25. Other New York Experiments
26. The Marlboro Association
27. Prairie Home Community
28. The Trumbull Phalanx
29. The Ohio Phalanx
30. The Clermont Phalanx
31. The Integral Phalanx
32. The Alphdelphia Phalanx
33. La Grange Phalanx
34. Other Western Experiments
35. The Wisconsin Phalanx
36. The North American Phalanx
37. Life at the North American
38. End of the North American
39. Conversion of Brook Farm
40. Brook Farm and Fourierism
41. Brook Farm and Swedenborgianism
42. The End of Brook Farm
43. The Spiritualist Communities
44. The Brocton Community
45. The Shakers
46. The Oneida Community
47. Review and Results
48. Two Schools of Socialism

Subject Headings

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