Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

History General

All Things in Common

A Canadian Family and Its Island Utopia

by (author) Ruth Brouwer

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2021
Category
General, Women's Studies, History
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781487507978
    Publish Date
    Jun 2021
    List Price
    $75.00
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781487525569
    Publish Date
    Jun 2021
    List Price
    $29.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781487537296
    Publish Date
    Jun 2021
    List Price
    $29.95

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Description

In the first decade of the twentieth century, a few closely related families established a utopian community in Canada’s smallest province. Known officially as B. Compton Limited but described by a journalist in 1935 as "Prince Edward Island’s unique ‘brotherly love’ community," this utopia owed its longevity to the cohesion provided by its communal organization, dense kin ties, and long-held millenarianism – and to a decidedly pragmatic approach to business.

 

All Things in Common demonstrates how "un-utopian" such a community could be while problematizing the contention that the inevitable end of all utopian experiments is a full-blown dystopia. Beginning with a compelling backstory and locating the Compton community in the historiography of North American utopias, the author goes on to explore the community’s business endeavours, its religious, familial, and transgressive aspects, and its brief period of international fame before assessing the factors that led to its dissolution in 1947. Providing a strong narrative framework, All Things in Common draws on rich family and archival records and diverse secondary sources, concluding with a consideration of the community’s legacy for its alumni and their descendants.

About the author

Ruth Compton Brouwer is a professor emerita in the Department of History at King's University College, Western University.

Ruth Brouwer's profile page

Other titles by Ruth Brouwer