Visions of Utopia
Nashoba, Rugby, Ruskin, and the "New Communities" in Tennessee's Past
Visionaries of all ages and places have pursued Utopias, dreaming impossible dreams of starting over in new communities fashioned more closely to their ideals. In Visions of Utopia, John Egerton traces the fascinating history of the experimental communities founded by such groups in Tennessee. He focuses in particular on three extraordinary colonies of the 19th century, each of them widely known in its time: Nashoba, and interracial settlement near Memphis in 1825; Rugby, an English cooperative community on the Cumberland Plateau in 1880; and Ruskin, a socialist community in Dickson County in 1894.
John Egerton is a native Southerner – A Georgian by birth, a Kentuckian in his childhood and youth, a Floridian during the early 1960’s, and a Tennessean since 1965. He is a grandson of one of the English colonists who started the Rugby settlement in 1880. As a journalist and author, he has written articles on a variety of subjects for more than twenty magazines, and has published two books about the South: A Mind to Stay Here (1970) and The Americanization of Dixie (1974).