Image - Chris Jennings, by Terri Loewenthal

Paradise Now

Chris Jennings, Author, Paradise Now

Many wonder what the future will look like. A few visionaries try to recreate it. Jennings explores the golden age of American utopianism through the lens of five bold and eccentric dreamers who, in the wake of the Enlightenment and the onset of industrialism, confronted the messiness and injustice of a rapidly changing world.

Jennings reveals the worlds of the Shaker prophet Mother Ann Lee, the Welsh industrialist Robert Owen, the French visionary Charles Fourier, the French communist radical Étienne Cabet, and John Humphrey Noyes, the Vermonter who created New York’s Oneida Community. Each utopian movement fell apart, but their galvanizing ideas still influence our culture and inspire imitators.