IN THE LAST century - under the three large-scale schemes to improve and regulate humanity led by Messrs Mao. Stalin and Hitler - many millions of innocent men. women and children were murdered. slavery was reintroduced, and whole cultures and peoples' were destroyed. Brim Thompson's new book describes an earlier and less disastrous experiment in human perfectibility.
Most people have heard of Robert Owen and think of him as some sort of early socialist and philanthropist; Devastating Eden shows that he was a rather different figure. He was born in 1771, left school at ten, and became a draper's assistant. Through single-minded hard work he became an