The rise and fall of two utopian societies in 19th-century Indiana form the basis of this 1945 history by the author of Miss Macintosh, My Darling. Father George Rapp's celibate community initially prospered, but was ruined by his need for absolute power over his parishioners. The "Father of British Socialism" Robert Owen founded his own settlement nearby, although the diverse population proved resistant to homogenization. In both attempts Marguerite Young finds a peculiarly American combination of optimism, faith, and pluck—traits that are still part of our national character.
"Young is a meticulous scholar, but she illumines every description and every character with her laser light of significance. Her facts radiate wit and irony and are incarnated in human beings."—Anaïs Nin