Blood on the Tracks in Pullman: Chicagoland's Failed Capitalist Utopia

In 1880 industrialist George Pullman set out to build a capitalist utopia. The town of Pullman was established just outside of Chicago as a model community—a place that was supposed to produce both happy workers and a nice return for Pullman's investors. It turned out to be a miserable failure. And conditions in the… » 11/13/14 11:22am 11/13/14 11:22am

That Time Two Americans Won a Contest to Build Utopia in Australia

Eleri Harris has a new comic on Medium about the utopian plan for Australia's capital city of Canberra. Two idealistic American architects, Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahoney Griffin, won a competition to design what they believed could be the greatest planned city in the history of the world. » 9/25/14 2:41pm 9/25/14 2:41pm

That New Utopia Show Is a Dumb Dystopia But Obviously That's the Point

Throughout history, people have tried to build many different versions of Utopia. Sometimes it's a charismatic leader ushering people toward a righteous path with a common goal. Other times, groups of like-minded people come together to democratically work toward a common goal. And sometimes it's just a bunch of… » 9/08/14 6:13pm 9/08/14 6:13pm

I Drank a $200 Bottle of Sam Adams For Science

To some, beer is something you just swill down while watching football, and flavor is a distant after-thought. But others will sip and savor a beer, picking it apart like a connoisseur of fine wines. Those that comfortably sit in that second category won't think twice about dropping some hard-earned money on a bottle… » 11/22/13 5:00pm 11/22/13 5:00pm

How Upton Sinclair Turned The Jungle Into a Failed New Jersey Utopia

In 1906, novelist Upton Sinclair founded a cooperative community in Englewood, New Jersey, not far outside New York. It would exist for just six months before being completely consumed by fire, but Sinclair would spend the rest of his life dreaming about his time there. They called it the Helicon Home Colony. And… » 8/08/13 1:35pm 8/08/13 1:35pm