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We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America

Such a great book about back to the landers who wound up in Vermont and what was their deal anyhow. Told by one of the children of the original back-to-landers, this well-researched and well-told story follows a group of people as they leave their comfortable lives for a decidedly less comfortable life (but much more free, or was it?) in rural Vermont where they made all their own food, built or rehabbed all their own houses and tried to build a new world. Daloz makes the compelling argument that freedom for some was not freedom for all (men would work til dinnertime while women would work til bedtime, as one basic example) and even though many of their experiments ultimately failed (the original communes are mostly not still working today) a lot of the values of the original folks are still imbued in Vermont and the rest of the country in very important ways. Institutions in Vermont such as food co-ops, organic food choices, and the community college system came out of the hard work of some of the original Summer of Love expats. This is a story beautifully told, a great read for anyone interested in hippies, the sixties, Vermont’s DIY culture or general permaculture ideals.