The Sixties-Era Communes
DOI link for The Sixties-Era Communes
The Sixties-Era Communes book
Communal living is a venerable part of the American past, a patchwork fabric of remote collective villages, progressive social experiments, and millennial religious encampments, among many other threads, that has been continuously present in one venue or another since the seventeenth century. In the mid-1960s communitarian idealism erupted in what was to be by far its largest manifestation ever, when hundreds of thousands, perhaps even a million, of mostly young Americans sought to rebuild from the ground up what they perceived as a rotten, decadent society. Oddly, most of the recent literature on Sixties culture ignores the communes, although they were a critical manifestation of the spirit of the time. That lack of attention helps explain why the communes seem to be rather imperfectly remembered as a phenomenon in American cultural history, and this essay will seek to help straighten some twisted historical assumptions as it describes and depicts the piece of the Sixties that was communal living.