A gathering together of the threads of experimentation in religion, group living, social responsibility, that covers the 19th century up to the Civil War, and serves to indicate their effects on American civilization and record fundamentals of American faith and American way of life. Here are accounts of the cults --Millenialism, Spiritualism, Mormonism, religious communism, Shakerism and the various religious Utopias. Then there are the crusades, pursued with fanatical fervor, many of them completely absorbed in the question of anti-slavery; crusades in the field of education, criminal reform, temperance movements, peace trends, women's rights. There were other anti-movements, too; -- Catholicism, immigration, secret societies and what they stood for. The high and low periods of each -- the origin of new ideas -- highways and byways in humanitarian movements that have left their legacy to the country. An interesting compilation, steeped with thorough knowledge of the material involved.