Sabotaged: Dreams of Utopia in Texas


Product Details

Bison Books
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.2 X 9.2 inches | 1.4 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

James Pratt (1927-2018) practiced architecture under various firm names, including James Pratt Architecture and Urban Design. Son of a genealogist librarian and a frontier banker, Pratt was fascinated by the nearly forgotten nineteenth-century La Réunion immigrants who introduced their culture to Dallas, Texas. As founder of the La Réunion research project at the Dallas Historical Society, Pratt traveled extensively to ferret out the story of this failed experiment. He is coauthor of The Prairie's Yield: Forces Shaping Dallas Architecture from 1840 to 1962 and Environmental Encounter: Experiences in Decision-Making for the Built and Natural Environment.


"Sabotaged is the true story of an attempt to create a socialist utopia by a most unlikely group of elite Europeans at a most unlikely place in America called Texas. Their failure was caused by bad dreaming, poor planning, and harsh weather as well as clashing--sabotaging--personalities and egos. James Pratt's account of it all is detailed--and riveting."--Jim Lehrer, former executive editor and anchor for PBS NewsHour and author of Top Down: A Novel of the Kennedy Assassination--Jim Lehrer (9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"James Pratt's history of La Réunion is one of the most significant contributions to the historiography of the Dallas area in decades. . . . Pratt's portrait adds depth and drama to the story, which began with idealistic hopes, involved hardships of almost biblical proportions, and ended in division and recriminations. It's a must for anyone interested in Dallas history, nineteenth-century utopian communities, or just a fascinating good read."--Michael V. Hazel, historian and author of Dallas: A History of "Big D"--Michael V. Hazel (9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"At last! James Pratt's long-anticipated account of the utopian community La Réunion fills a missing but essential and romantic chapter of Dallas's early history. It's a remarkable story with astounding new details. . . . Pratt's work is important not only for Dallas's pre-Civil War history but as a welcome addition to the literature of the nineteenth-century utopian community phenomenon."--Darwin Payne, professor emeritus of communications at Southern Methodist University and author of Indomitable Sarah: The Life of Judge Sarah T. Hughes--Darwin Payne (9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM)