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The Shaker Experience in America: A History of the United Society of Believers Paperback – February 23, 1994


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The Shaker Experience in America: A History of the United Society of Believers + The People Called Shakers + Ken Burns' America: The Shakers
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 574 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (February 23, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300059337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300059335
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By frumiousb VINE VOICE on August 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ann Lee said "Do all your work as though you had a thousand years to live, and as you would if you knew you must die tommorrow." That sentiment carries much of the flavor of the American Shaker sect and acts as a guiding principle for understanding their history.
And that history is important, particularly if you want to understand the US during the nineteenth century. These highly successful communities managed to contribute to the fabric of a nation while living out their ideals of celibacy, simplicity of life, separation from the world, and community of goods. Industrialization and the US Civil War caused the circumstances that led to their inevitable decline, as the new country became more interested in class struggle than utopian visions.
Extremely interesting reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
Having visited the Shaker Handcock site during 1997, I became interested in the Shaker experience. Found this publication to be well researched and written so that it kept ones interest and provided material that took the reader inside the whole concept and idea that they believed in. Would recomend this book to anyone with an open mind and who enjoys different subjects and views.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert R on July 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
Hang onto your bonnets...this book purports to be the true, un-romanticized history of the Shakers, which it is. It includes all the struggles, the in-fighting amongst the Shakers and between the various communities, the split between religious ideals and worldly dealing, their long and painful downfall in the hands of trust funds and lawyers, and includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. You won't find lyrical descriptions of their peaceful daily lives, beautiful craftsmanship or joyful personal worship. If you want that, go watch Ken Burns' documentary. I must say that this nitty-gritty, warts-and-all story is just as one-sided as a glamorous photo book of oval boxes, architecture and rhapsodic poetry about Shaker purity. We need to experience both sides, not one or the other.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trotter12123 on August 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is for anyone who wants to understand "the shaker experience in America". I have to admit, it is a bit dry and text book like but this book is factual and dispells many myths that people have about the shakers. A must for anyone interested in this religion , in addition to visiting a Shaker site or museum collection
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By JeanL on March 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had purchased the book as was taking part in a Road Scholar trip to Pleasant HIll in Kentucky, a restored Shaker Village. The book is extremely well documented but found I sometimes did read through great amounts of detail. But it is well worth reading to discover the more complicated history of the group which goes beyond furniture and songs.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
this is a very needed work gathering a great deal of the extant material on the Shakers, their origins, travels, history, contributions and legacy. I highly recommend this scholarly book. My chief criticism is that it is written in, perhaps, too erudite a fashion. It is certainly not geared to the "average" reader but it's intent does seem to be toward a more sophisticated audience. I did not care for the repetitive reminder of other Shaker written contributions that the author believes to be too romanticized. All in all, however, this book is very interesting
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