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Amos Bronson Alcott
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    His schools were never very successful, forcing his family to live in poverty until his daughter's literary career took off.
    He founded a utopian commune, Fruitlands, that failed after seven months (1842).
    His essays for the Transcendentalist journal 'The Dial' were mocked as dense and meaningless. (Example: 'The visible world is the extremist wave of that spiritual flood, whose flux is life, whose reflux death, efflux thought, and conflux light.')
    He joined Henry David Thoreau in supporting John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry.
    He was a vegan.
    Many of his educational ideas, including 'learning by encouragement' and art and music education, became standard in later classrooms.
    He founded one of the first adult education centers in America (1879).
    One of his schools failed when he admitted a black child and refused to expel him in response to protests from the parents of other students.
    He helped fugitive slaves escape on the Underground Railroad.
    He got off at least one good vegetarian zinger: When Emerson was lecturing about how barbaric cannibalism was, he observed, 'But if we are to eat meat at all, why should we not eat the best?'

Credit: C. Fishel

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