This engrossing book is the first general history of the Shakers from their origins in eighteenth-century England to the present day. Drawing on written and oral testimony by Shakers over the past two centuries, Stephen J. Stein offers a full and often revisionist account of the movement: the powerful charismatic leaders, the years of maturation and growth before the Civil War, the subsequent decline in fortune, and its adjustments to twentieth-century society.
The first general history of the Shakers, from their origins in 18th-century England to the present day. Drawing on written and oral testimony by Shakers over the past two centuries, Stein offers a full and often revisionist account of the movement. 57 illustrations.
If you're new to the Shakers and want to delve into the movement's whole history, Stephen J. Stein's book stands up sturdily after more than a dozen years as the standard "must read" volume on the movement.
There are many other books on this movement, its radical concept of sharing leadership between men and women, its graceful furniture and its enduring musical heritage (The famous "Simple Gifts" alone has morphed into countless other forms, including "Lord of the Dance.")
But, to step back and glimpse the entire scope of their movement with clarity and balance, pick up Stein's excellent history.
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