Annotated Bibliography

Blumenthal, Helen. “New Odessa, 1882-1887: United we stand, divided we fall.” Master’s thesis, Portland State University, 1975.
This source is a graduate student’s thesis. I located it on JSTOR when asked to locate an argumentative source about New Odessa. The source eloquently addresses the historical conditions during the development and demise of New Odessa. The argument is cleverly original, because it suggests that New Odessa’s motto, “United we stand, divided we fall”, was tragically prescient. First, due to ideological conflicts that I was already acquainted with. Second, because community members were not compatible with the agrarian lifestyle, given their urban backgrounds. This source provided many sources relevant to my research. Additionally, it made a compelling argument about a demising factor categorically dismissed in my earlier research.

Fogarty, Robert. “New Odessa.” In Dictionary of American Communal and Utopian History. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1980.
A recommended source listed on our course guide, this reference work contains biographical and bibliographical information about the leaders and participants in many American Utopian Communities, including New Odessa. I learned of New Odessa’s founder, William Frey, a true visionary and proponent of positivism, and about how the constitution reflected socialist beliefs. The socialist constitution reflects utopian ideals, but positivism was allegedly contentious among community members. Apparently positivism was not universally popular and created factions. These factions, in turn, brought about the community’s demise.

Menes, Abraham “The Am Oylam Movement,” YIVO Annual of Jewish Social Science, Vol. 4, 1949, p. 28.
This source was referenced several times in an earlier source I encountered. It draws argumentative conclusions based on several observations. Each reference highlights distinctions about New Odessa’s members and leaders that relate to my research question. For example, the source argues that community members were driven by a socialist goal. And the source also refers to William Frey’s leadership in a rather negative connotation, dubbing it a “regimen”. Ultimately, this source is relevant in its insight about the community’s ideals and points of contention.

Phillips, D. C., “Positivism” In Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy, Vol. 2, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2014.
This source is an encyclopedia that defines positivism, the philosophy that New Odessa’s founder tirelessly preached. I am including the definition in my annotations, because it helped me understand William Frey’s guiding philosophy in the context of utopian idealism: Positivism’s political project was also conceived as an antidote to social “disorder,” the latter being an important preoccupation for the emerging social sciences of the late 19th century. Ultimately, this source reveals how Frey engaged in utopian thinking by preaching positivism.

Swett, Theodore. New Odessa Colony. Cincinnati: Jewish Institute of Religion at Hebrew Union College, 1958.
After selecting New Odessa as the focus of my research, I googled the community name. The Oregon History Project was among the top relevant results. Fortunately, the site contained a useful exhibit source. The source is a photocopy of a typewritten response to a questionnaire, so it is an ephemera. Theodore Swett, son of an original community member, describes the origins of New Odessa. His account is an interesting narrative that indicates some of the community’s original ideals. Perhaps more relevant to my research question is how he asserts that idealism was a contributing factor in New Odessa’s demise.

Yarmolinsky, Avrahm. A Russian’s American dream: a memoir on William Frey. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1900.
Excerpts of this source, or memoir, were featured in a previous source I encountered during my research. The author of this memoir portrays William Frey in a new light. It shows William Frey as an imposing figure, albeit his good intentions for the community. His philosophy is a crucial contribution to my research, because it reflects the core utopian ideals of New Odessa. Given how controversial his preaching would later become, it is quite relevant to my research.