All Things Common was first published in 1966. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In Dr. Peters' study of the Hutterian Brethren (commonly called Hutterites), a group of devoutly religious farmers who have established many communal colonies in the midlands of the United States and Canada, he first traces the historical development of the group and then describes in detail their way of life by focusing on the Manitoba colonies.
After their church was founded in Central Europe at the time of the Reformation, the Hutterians moved slowly east until they settled in Russia, where they lived for over one hundred years. Then, in the 1870's, they immigrated to America and settled in the Dakota Territory. During World War I they fled to Canada under pressure of wartime hysteria. Since they moved to Canada, the Hutterians have encountered more problems but have successfully spread their colonies across the prairie provinces and back into the United States.
At present, the Hutterians are the oldest and most successful community group in the history of western civilization. They believe that their practice of Christian communism is in true harmony with the spirit and teachings of early Christianity. Other aspects of their behavior such as the refusal to do military service and their disapproval of radio, television, dancing, movies, and cosmetics have made them a source of interest and concern to their neighbors.
The book is a thorough introduction to the Hutterians for the general reader and will be of special interest to historians, theologians, sociologists, and economists.