For Erik Reece, life, at last, was good: He was newly married, gainfully employed, living in a creekside cabin in his beloved Kentucky woods. It sounded, as he describes it, "like a country song with a happy ending". And yet he was still haunted by a sense that the world - or, more specifically, his country - could be better. He couldn't ignore his conviction that in fact the good ol' USA was in the midst of great social, environmental, and political crises. Where did we - here, in the land of Jeffersonian optimism and better tomorrows - go wrong?
Rather than despair, Reece turned to those who had dared to imagine radically different futures for America. What followed was a giant road trip and research adventure through the sites of America's utopian communities, both historical and contemporary, known and unknown, successful and catastrophic. What he uncovered was not just a series of lost histories and broken visionaries but also a continuing and vital but hidden idealistic tradition in American intellectual history. Utopia Drive is an important and definitive reconstruction of that tradition. It is also, perhaps, a new framework to help us find a genuinely sustainable way forward.
©2016 Erik Reece (P)2016 Tantor