Looking for Utopia, Alone

A passionate search for America’s utopian communes inadvertently reveals what’s wrong with building enclaves of progress cut off from the real world.

Members of the Rajneeshpuram community celebrate the arrival of their guru, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, to Oregon, September 1985. The cult ended amid a series of shocking criminal activities, including the largest bioterrorist attack on American soil. (Matthew Naythons / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Who wouldn’t want to live a life free of capitalist venality and inequality? In her new book, Heaven Is a Place on Earth, essayist Adrian Shirk explores her quest for utopic living. Structured into loose sections that race through memoiristic passages and long historical interludes about utopian communities, Heaven also includes short pages of notes […]

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