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Devastating Eden

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ISBN 0-00-713738-9 246 pages. HB.
Brian Thompson, HarperCollins London 2004. Out of print. Never sold in the U.S.

Devastating Eden is the story of two men who thought they could stop history in its tracks. Although they held deeply conflicting views of human nature, each believed they could create heaven on earth and banish worldly depravity. Their story is an historical echo for our own times.

Georg Rapp was a millenarian prophet preparing himself and his flock for the secon coming of Christ. Robert Owen was his polar opposite, a committed atheist who made up for his lack of religious conviction with a passionate faith in reason. Their paths crossed in early nineteenth-century America, in the then famous - and nowadays lost and forgotten - town of Harmony Indiana. (now known as New Harmony, Indiana)

It is an extraordinary book - a tale of utopias eaten by worms. Driven by a powerful narrative and illuminated by a rich cast of supplementary characters, the story of Devastating Eden is an awful warning from the past.

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