Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider's View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year

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9780964044500: Is It Utopia Yet?: An Insider's View of Twin Oaks Community in Its Twenty-Sixth Year

In 1973, Kat Kinkade's highly acclaimed A Walden Two Experiment told the country how a unique attempt at shared living had struggled and triumphed in its first five years.

Now, with Is It Utopia Yet?, Kat brings us another lively, firsthand account of Twin Oaks' continued development as one of America's most prominent and successful cooperative communities.

The book includes detail about some of the conflicts that Twin Oaks has lived through and the people who were caught up in them. Kat speaks frankly and thoughtfully about the changes Twin Oaks has gone through and her own changing role in the Community.

As a bonus, the 320 page book also contains over sixty cartoons about community living from the pen of Twin Oaks member Jonathan Roth.

What is it really like to live in a "Utopian" community? What happens to the high ideals of equality and social justice under the pressures of daily living with a continually-changing population of nearly a hundred people?

Creating a new society presents many challenges- making a living, inventing a government, sharing the labor, raising children collectively, and reaching agreement about such things as diet, standard of living, and commitment to caring for the environment.

Facing these tasks as a group means taking a hard look at the original principles. Does full economic equality really work? How far can a group compromise its ideals for the sake of holding its members? How much social conformity is necessary for peaceful cooperative living? Just how simple should the simple life be? Kat tells how these fundamental issues have been worked on through 25 years of communal living at Twin Oaks.

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About the Author:

At age 34 Kat read B. F. Skinner's 'Walden Two' and got the idea that a utopian community could actually be possible. She got together with other people who shared her enthusiasm and they founded Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia in 1967. After five years Kat left and helped found East Wind Community in southern Missouri and spent five years there. After leaving East Wind, she worked in Boston for four years, returning to Twin Oaks after that. As of 1999 she is stilling living in the community she first helped found and has written two books chronicling these stories, A Walden Two Experiment published in 1972, and Is It Utopia Yet published in 1994.

Review:

Is It Utopia Yet? presents a fascinating and honest look at both the joys and problems of community life. Kat has always been one of our favorite writers on the community scene, as she speaks so honestly from her own experience. Current community members, as well as aspiring ones, can learn much from this in-depth story of an important expreiment in human equality. -- Corinne McLaughlin, Author: Builders of the Dawn

The community of Twin Oaks, founded in 1967, proved one of the longest-lasting, most successful cooperative communes to arise from the era. Kinkade is a founder of Twin Oaks: hers charts the first 25 years of the community's evolution, telling what it was really like to live in a 'Utopian' community. -- Midwest Book Review

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Kat Kinkade
Editorial: Twin Oaks Pub (1994)
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