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From the orderly, practical buildings and furnishings at Hancock Shaker Village to the carefully planted heirloom gardens at Old Salem, America's nineteenth-century utopian communities reflect the country's longstanding fascination with idyllic societies isolated from the rest of humanity. With their latest guidebook, Gerald and Patricia Gutek invite history and travel enthusiasts of all ages to join them in visiting twenty preserved or re-created oases of utopian life. These communities, which stand as testaments to the lofty, ideals and sometimes bizarre beliefs of their inhabitants, offer glimpses into the lives, architecture, and remarkable commitment of men and women who frequently sacrificed material wealth and individual freedom in their quest to create a heaven on earth.
Each entry includes a description of the community's origin, ideology, history, and significance; a biographical sketch of its often charismatic founder; a self-guided tour detailing the architecture, industries, crafts, art, and artifacts associated with the settlement; current telephone numbers, times of operation, and admission fees; and information about restaurants, shops, facilities, lodgings, tours, and special events.
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