Dreamers of the American Dream
Dreamers of the American Dream, by Stewart H. Holbrook
Visionaries, crackpots, fanatics, dreamers, suffragettes, temperance workers, be-sloganned devotees of betterment in marriage, religion, sex, alcohol, labor relations, penal codes & the treatment of mental illness rub shoulders in a book which encompasses the American dream of Utopia, sobriety & the pursuit of happiness. The shouting & axe-swinging reformer, Carrie Nation, splintered saloon mirrors. At Sherrill, NY, John Humphrey Noyes, founder of the Putney Corporation of Perfectionists, fostered “complex marriage”—an apt description, since fidelity & exclusiveness in matrimony were frowned upon. Laura Bridgman, Louis Dwight, Dorothea Dix, Susan B. Anthony & Mrs Stanton fought their mercurial & protracted battles—usually in defense of the rights of others: the deaf, the blind, the insane & the weaker sex. Holbrook’s summation of these prophets of Excelsior should interest anyone with even a flickering interest in the history of the country & the evolution of the society we know.