Social Destiny of Man: or, Association and Reorganization of Industry
Philadelphia: C.F. Stollmeyer, 1840. First Edition. Octavo (20cm). Original publisher's cloth-covered boards with leather spine label; xvi, 480pp; double engraved frontispiece. Prelims (including frontispiece) moderately foxed; cloth spotted and unevenly faded on spine; shadow of a removed bookplate on front pastedown. Text tight, clean and unmarked; about a Very Good copy overall, and uncommon in the original cloth. Brisbane's (1809-1890) major work, and the first complete exposition in America of the ideas of the French utopian socialist Charles Fourier. As the direct inspiration for the conversion of George Ripley's Brook Farm to a Fourierist phalanx in 1842, and the subsequent establishment of hundreds of American phalansteries which followed through the 1840s and 50s, Brisbane's book can be said to be one of the most influential works of social planning in American history. In it are contained not only the philosophical bases of Fourierist thought, but also quite specific organizational and logistical imperatives for the establishment of a phalanx, including architectural details and rules for the education of children and the organization of workers. The frontispiece plates offer a plan and elevation of a representative phalanx structure.