Although this journal of a Philadelphia commune doesn't exactly make one want to hop Amtrak for the city of W.C. Field's...

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LIVING TOGETHER: A Year in the Life of a City Commune

Although this journal of a Philadelphia commune doesn't exactly make one want to hop Amtrak for the city of W.C. Field's nightmares, it does present an interesting account of a group of eight basically unacquainted adults and one child who managed to live together in peace, harmony, and some love. Unlike the more idyllic tales of communes set in the Vermont agrarian utopia, this is a fairly workaday explanation of how things like duties, finances (one-half each member's earnings) and personality problems (weekly meetings, psychoanalytic rather than encounter-style) were dealt with -- a seemingly honest reportage for in many ways the author comes off as the least likable in the group. The lifestyle was fairly conventional -- although several members were ""drop-outs"" (working in alternative schools or health collectives) others had relatively high-paying ""Establishment"" jobs -- and it was agreed at the outset that no sexual activities were to occur within the commune aside from the couples (three, two of whom were married) already together. Most important, there was a distinctly intellectual, rational approach to shared life: a background of similar radical beliefs, a commitment to verbal ""working through"" of difficulties that is at times almost grindingly boring to read about. But take heart, potential communards, for this one worked; currently most of the members are alive and happy in San Francisco.

Pub Date: May 2, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974