“Commune” In East Aurora


Yet Hubbard was more than a charlatan, sneered at by serious artists and intellectuals. He spoke for thousands of businessmen whose values were widely shared in turn-of-the-century America. The half-educated young clerk in Syracuse and the aspiring printer in Louisville took him seriously. Along with the feeble jokes and tasteless text and typography, he had given them laughs, a little brush (however light) with the Good Things of Life, and many Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great (however inaccurately documented). He affronted some people by everything he did, but he elevated others from the dime novel to the Philistine , which was a jump. He initially appealed to the half-baked, but a generous contemporary believed that Hubbard’s followers didn’t stay half-baked: “They come out of it. He makes lovers of books out of people who never knew books before.” Even if this was true in only a few cases, then Hubbard played some part in the making of American culture. To make t he “realm of thought” as attractive as the “domain of dollars” was to deliver a message as important as the famous one carried to Garcia.