Brook Farm

There was a burst of excitement in the first half of the 19th century for experiments in communal living. There were thousands of attempts of groups who tried to live closely. A few have become famous. Some have even been turned into tourist attractions.

A writer who inspired many people in the 19th century to build socialist communities was the frenchman Charles Fourier. His book was translated into English and excited a number of people in America to bring his ideas to earth. George Ripley was a Unitarian minister and founded Brook Farm in Massachusetts. It is famous because famous people were involved. Nathaniel Hawthorne invested in it and lived there for several months. Emerson visited but did not move in. In the end it fell apart after a few years. Today it is a museum.



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