Synopses & Reviews
Without Sin chronicles the rise and fall of nineteenth-century America's most succesful experiment in Utopian living: New York's Oneida Community (1848-1880). Founded by the charismatic Christian Perfectioniost John Humphrey Noyes, this remarkable society flourished for more than thirty years as a unique world where property was shared, men and women were equals, sex was free and open, work was to be joyous, and pleasure was felt to be "the very business that God set Adam and Eve about."
"First-class American historysustained, beautifully informed, ironic in just the right places"
"An exceptionally fine work of popular history . . . Klaw tells the story of this remarkable social experiment in readable, engaging prose"
The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Fascinating . . . a sympathetic, detailed, and wonderfully well-told account."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A vivid portrait of a truly American moment and community"
The Wall Street Journal
"We beign to suspect that the real life and identity of America lies in its uniqueand at time maddeningly independentsearch for God and personal salvation and not in its wars and generals and presidents. Spencer Klaw's brilliant and poetic book illuminates magnificently one uch experiement. . . . An exhilirating and disturbing portrait on the fault-line of the American conscience."
Working with the unpublished letters and diaries of Oneida's own members, Klaw has produced a fascinating study of religion, morals, and utopian idealism--"a sympathetic but shrewd account of one of America's most successful--and most sexually obsessed--religious cults" (Geoffrey C. Ward, co-author of The Civil War). 8 pages of photos.
About the Author
Spencer Klaw has written for Esquire, Harper's, American Heritage, and The New York Times Magazine, among other magazines and journals. He is the author of The New Brahmins: Scientific Life in America and The Great American Medicine Show. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Barbara.
Table of Contents
Without Sin Acknowledgements
List of Illustrations
Notes on Sources