Encyclopedia of American Communes, 1663–1963

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SKU: 9780786476206 Categories: , ,

About the Book

Swanendael, the first communal experiment in America, was established in 1663 by Mennonites from Holland. The scant records available on the community show that 41 people, led by Pieter Cornelisz Plockhoy, settled in an area near Lewes, Delaware, in the late summer. These “souls,” as they were called, shared all things in common, refused to keep slaves, practiced religious toleration for all but Catholics and “stiff-necked Quakers,” and had the first free school in the New World. The opening of the New World made America the ideal location for many experimental communities. Its unspoiled and inexpensive land encouraged social experimentation and as a result most of the world’s communes have been established in the United States. This encyclopedia details the more than 500 communes established in America, from Swanendael (1663) through Tolstoy Farm, founded in 1963. Entries include the name of the commune, the years it operated, the community’s leaders, a brief history, a discussion of extant buildings or artifacts, and sources for further study.

About the Author(s)

Foster Stockwell is a publishing consultant for Chinese publishers and authors. He lives in Des Moines, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Foster Stockwell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 267
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, 2 charts, 1 map, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7620-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0608-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

About the Encyclopedia     1

Introduction     3

The Encyclopedia     13

Appendix 1: Communes by Year of Formation      233

Appendix 2: Government Projects      240

Bibliography      245

Index      255

Book Reviews & Awards

“entries are lively, with many interesting details…comprehensive…useful”—Booklist; “useful…recommended”—ARBA; “makes a real contribution to communal scholarship…a fine job…a welcome addition”—Utopian Studies; “fills a void…‘communes’ form an important aspect of American history and this encyclopedia both documents and celebrates them…good photographs…relevant not only to American and religious studies, but to the study of sociology, social theory, politics, education and much else”—Reference Reviews; “strong index…fills a void”—Rettig on Reference.