History Talks

history talks

Join John Maietta for his popular history talks!

Topic - Paradise Found: The Shakers and Other Utopian Communities in 19th Century America

With the challenges of the pandemic still fresh in our minds, you’ll sympathize with the utopian movements that sprang up in the U.S. during the 1800s. This program highlights the most prominent of these efforts to create an ideal society. Most familiar are the Shakers, who sought to perfect themselves through celibacy, ordered living, and ecstatic worship. You’ll also learn about the Owenites, who founded a commune of reason in Indiana; the Associationists, who drew Horace Greeley and Nathaniel Hawthorne into their orbit; and New York’s Oneida community, famous for free love and high-class cutlery. It’s a fascinating and uniquely American story!

Learn more about John Maietta (PDF, 172 KB)

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Upcoming topics:

  • Strong Drinks and Heavenly Brews: A Short History of Beer, Wine, Coffee, and Tea (October 6)
  • Food, Faith, and Football: The True Story of Thanksgiving (November 3)
  • Joy to the World! The Stories behind Our Favorite Christmas Carols (December 1)


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