America’s Search for Social Utopia

…The search for social utopia has long been an American temptation, and a certain type of iconoclasm has always haunted the intellectual, political, and social institutions of the American republic. Nathaniel Hawthorne recognized this disposition among the transcendentalists he cavorted with in the 1840s. His sojourn at the experimental, utopian Brook Farm scared him enough that he broke with transcendentalism altogether. He wrote several literary rejections of American utopianism, but none more ominous than his short story Earth’s Holocaust (1844)…

SOURCE: America’s Search for Social Utopia


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