In this exquisitely wrought memoir of a committed life, historian and civil rights activist Paul Gaston reveals his deep roots in the unique utopian community founded in 1894 by his grandfather on the shores of Mobile Bay, Alabama. Fairhope grew into a unique political, economic, and educational experiment and a center of radical economic and educational ideals. As time passed, however, Fairhope’s radical nature went into decline. By the early 1950s the author began to look outward for ways to take part in the coming struggle—the civil rights movement. Gaston’s career at the University of Virginia, where he taught from 1957–97, forms the core of Coming of Age in Utopia.