The Shakers and the World's People by Flo Morse is a 378-page hardcover published in 1980 by Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, and is an ex-library book. The dust jacket is encased in a protective plastic sleeve. There is a crease on the front edge. Inside, ownership stamps from Presbyterian Church Library are found on the top edge and flyleaf and back cover. Library card pocket still affixed to back flyleaf. Otherwise the book is in fine condition with a tight spine and crisp clean unmarked pages.
For more than two hundred years, the American Shakers have lived in simplicity and unity if Christian communal families. Believers in one of the few religions founded by a woman, Ann Lee, they liberated women, gave up marriage, lived as brethren and sisters, shared their common property. Famous for their revolutionary social and economic advancements, Shakertowns such as Pleasant Hill, Canterbury, Mount Lebanon, Sabbathday Lake, Hancock, South Union, and Union Village had no poverty, no crime, no jails. Shakers were objects of curiosity and suspicion for their old-fashioned costumes, separation of sexes, and the dancing in their worship which gave them their name. They attracted foreign visitors such as Lafayette and Charles Dickens, and American authors such as Hawthorne, Emerson, Melville, and Howells. Shaker became a household word for their superior products from garden seeds and herbs to chairs, boxes, baskets, and brooms, an imprimatur of quality. Even though the ranks of its membership dwindle, Shakerism endures to fulfill Mother Ann's prophesy: "This gospel will go to the end of the world, and it will not be propagated so much by preaching as by the good works of the people."
In this unique volume, excerpts from writings of the Shakers and of the world's people about the Shakers, together with contemporary illustrations, present a vivid portrayal of Shaker life and its place in three centuries of American history, outliving all other religious and social "utopias" founded in early America.ISBN: 0-396-07809-5