Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Home >> Special Collections & University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library >> Blake Slonecker Oral History Collection
UMass Amherst seal
Blake Slonecker Oral History Collection, ca.2008
4 items (0.25 linear feet)
Collection number: MS 795

Abstract:
An historian of twentieth century social movements, Blake Slonecker received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 2009 and joined the history faculty at Waldorf College soon thereafter. In a dissertation examining the utopian impulses of the New Left (published in 2012 as A new dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the long sixties), Slonecker explored how the political and cultural activism of the 1960s helped reshape American political culture in the decade following.

In June 2008, Slonecker conducted oral historical interviews with four individuals who were part of the extended community centered on the Montague Farm and Packer Corners communes during the late 1960s: Tom Fels, Charles Light, Sam Lovejoy, and Richard Wizansky. In wide-ranging interviews, the former communards discuss topics ranging from the fraught politics of the era, political and cultural activism, gender roles and sexuality, and daily life on the communes.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Biographical Note

An historian of twentieth century social movements, Blake Slonecker received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina in 2009 and joined the history faculty at Waldorf College soon thereafter. In a dissertation examining the utopian impulses of the New Left, Slonecker explored how the political and cultural activism of the 1960s helped reshape American political culture in the decade following. The center of his narrative was the Liberation News Service, a press agency for the counterculture, as well as a series of associated communes in western Massachusetts and Vermont which Slonecker argues were structured as a "family" on a Thoreauvian ideal of "sincerity, accountability, and equality." His work on the New Left and the American counterculture has appeared regularly in historical journals, with his first book, A new dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the long sixties, appearing in 2012.

Slonecker has received recognition on several occasions for his outstanding teaching at Waldorf, and he continues to research the intersection of late twentieth-century social movements, including civil rights, student movements, gay and women's liberation, and pacifism.

Scope and contents of the collection

The Slonecker collection consists of four substantial oral historical interviews with former members of communes in western Massachusetts and Vermont: Tom Fels, Charles Light, Sam Lovejoy, and Richard Wizansky, all of which informed his book, A new dawn for the New Left. In their wide-ranging interviews, the former communards discuss topics ranging from the fraught politics of the era, political and cultural activism, gender roles and sexuality, and daily life on the communes.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Blake Slonecker Oral History Collection (MS 795). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Alternative Formats Available

All material in the collection has been scanned and are available online through our digital repository, Credo.

History of the Collection

Gift of Blake Slonecker, 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Feb. 2014.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English

Contents List
Fels, Thomas Weston, Oral history with Blake Slonecker, North Bennington (Vt.)
2008 June 21
1 audio recordings ; 01:13:30

Oral history interview with Tom Fels, writer and former resident of the Montague Farm community, discussing his background, daily life on the Farm; principles, practicality, and politics; Farmers' roles; ideology; alternative living; gender, sexuality, and homosexuality; women's roles; local politics and relations with local community; antinuclear activity; changes in the Farm and leaving the Farm.

Light, Charles, Oral history with Blake Slonecker, Turners Falls (Mass.)
2008 June 23
1 audio recordings ; 01:08:00

Oral history interview with Charles Light, former resident of the Johnson Pasture and Montague Farm communities, discussing joining Johnson Pasture, the fire, and move to Montague Farm; beginnings in film-making and Green Mountain Post Films; Brotherhood of the Spirit; Elwood Babbitt seance featuring Marshall Bloom; roles at the Farm; communal decision making; antinuclear movement; Sam Lovejoy and film "Lovejoy's Nuclear War"; Musicians United for Safe Energy concert and film.

Lovejoy, Sam, Oral history with Blake Slonecker, Montague (Mass.)
2008 June 22
1 audio recordings ; 01:53:32

Oral history interview with Sam Lovejoy, former resident of the Montague Farm community: including discussions of Amherst College in the 1960s; Marshall Bloom; joining the Farm; SDS; antinuclear activity; MUSE; entering town politics in Montague; political corruption; significance of the Montague Farm.

Wizansky, Richard, Oral history with Blake Slonecker, Guilford (Vt.)
2008 June 19
1 audio recordings ; 00:56:38

Oral history interview with Richard Wizansky, former resident of Packer Corners Commune, discussing background; BU; radicalization and beginnings of Packer Corners commune; daily life on the Farm; division of labor and gender; women's liberation; being gay on the Farm; farming and self-sufficiency; changes in the Farm; relations with Johnson Pasture and Montague Farm; May Day celebration; Monteverdi Players theater troupe.


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Amherst College
  • Antinuclear movement--Massachusetts
  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-
  • Bloom, Marshall, 1944-1969
  • Brotherhood of the Spirit Community
  • Clamshell Alliance
  • Communal living--Massachusetts
  • Communal living--Vermont
  • Dana (Mass.)--History
  • Diamond, Stephen
  • Gay rights--Massachusetts
  • Green Mountain Post Films
  • Gyorgy, Anna
  • Homosexuality
  • Jezer, Marty
  • Johnson Pasture Community (Vt.)
  • Keller, Daniel
  • Liberation News Service (Montague, Mass.)
  • Lovejoy, Sam
  • Maroneck, Susan
  • Montague Farm Community (Mass.)
  • Monteverdi Artists Collective
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946-
  • Musicians United for Safe Energy
  • Packer Corners Community (Vt.)
  • Porche, Verandah
  • Rogers, Kathy
  • Sex
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)
  • Wasserman, Harvey, 1945-

Contributors
  • Fels, Thomas Weston
  • Light, Charles
  • Lovejoy, Sam
  • Wizansky, Richard

Genre terms
  • Audiocassettes
  • Oral histories (document genres)


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search