The United States is the only modern nation in which communes have continuously existed for the past two hundred years. This definitive history of communes in America examines the major factors that have supported the existence and growth of communes throughout American history. The most impressive survey of the communal experience since the works of Noyes and Nordhoff, it is informed by a deep respect for the human subjects and organizational forms of American communes. The findings in the analytical chapters are of considerably theoretical import beyond the historical narrative.Oved details the founding, growth, development, and sometimes failure of alternative societies from 1735 to 1939: Icaria, Ephrata, Oneida, Shaker, religious, secular, and socialist communes. Extensive reference material cited will assure this work a special place in the archives of the literature on communes.