Forest City, Iowa – Dr. Blake Slonecker, Assistant Professor of History and Political Science at Waldorf College, will debut his first book this month. “A New Dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the Long Sixties” examines the interstices between sexual liberation, counterculture, antinuclear activism, and Marxism.
The book argues that the prominent utopian impulse of the late New Left reshaped American political culture during the 1970s.
“I discovered the focus for this book by reading Ray Mungo's memoir, ‘Famous Long Ago,’” Slonecker said. “That book narrates the early years of Liberation News Service and the creation of Montague Farm. But the book stopped as soon as the Farm had been created. The narrative begged for a sequel and, in many ways, my book is intended to complete the story that Mungo began.”
“I hope that readers will leave with a firmer understanding of how the activism of the 1960s evolved in response to the changing political culture of the 1970s,” Slonecker said. “I also hope the book communicates a basic human message: the way that we live our lives must reflect the values that we profess. That is what the major actors in my book attempted to accomplish.”
Slonecker spent six years researching and writing the book, including three years he spent writing his dissertation. In addition to his book, Slonecker has been published multiple times in academic journals including the Journal of Social History and the North Carolina Historical Review.
During his time at Waldorf, Slonecker has been honored with the Holmen Professional Excellence Award and was named Waldorf College’s Professor of the Year in 2010. He is currently working on completing two articles for journal publications and will likely begin writing his second book soon.
“I find myself increasingly drawn to the history of American pacifism and masculinity,” said Slonecker. “My next book will likely focus on how those issues evolved in the twentieth century.”
“A New Dawn for the New Left: Liberation News Service, Montague Farm, and the Long Sixties” will be available for purchase on Dec. 24 on Amazon.com and can be checked out of Waldorf College’s Luise V. Hanson Library.
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