Chasing Utopia

July 8, 1843. Amidst the rolling hills of rural Massachusetts, a group of Transcendentalists come together to form a collective built around self-perfection and reverence for nature. And on this day poet Ralph Waldo Emerson stops by for a visit. Their name for this experimental Eden? Fruitlands. But every Eden has its fall, and by the time autumn winds blow over their 90 acres, the Fruitlanders are in trouble. How did a group of thinkers, writers, and educators come together to form one of the most famous utopian failures of the 19th century? And what can we learn from their attempt?

Special thanks to our guests, Richard Francis, author of Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia. And Catherine Shortliffe, Engagement Manager of the Fruitlands Museum and the Old Manse at The Trustees.

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