Have you ever dreamed of living on a commune?
The 1970’s were the only time in American history when more people moved out of cities than into them. This book looks at the 1970’s back-to-the-land movement through the lens of one specific commune in Vermont. With enjoyable detail, Daloz gives insight into commune life: childbirth and rearing, self-taught construction and farming, the issues that come with group ownership of property, and how to deal with conflict between members. She also discusses some of the unexpected issues that arose: the fact that traditional gender distinctions in the chores often persisted, the arrival of teenage runaways, and the difficulty of finding creative ways to make money after getting off the grid. The fact that Daloz’s parents were part of the commune gives a personal feel to the history (and provides some great photos).
Daloz also looks at the ultimate legacy of the movement, including today’s organic food industry, farm-to-table restaurants, and mainstream interest in alternative energy and environmental concerns.