Buying the Farm
Peace and War on a Sixties Commune
By Tom Fels
Foreword by Daniel Aaron
240 pp., 6 x 9
2 , 25 b&w illus.
ISBN (paper): 978-1-55849-971-3
Price (paper) $:24.95
ISBN (cloth): 978-1-55849-970-6
Price (cloth) $:80.00
Coming from the University of Massachusetts Press in late November 2012, a history of Montague Farm from its origins in 1968 to its transformation to a Buddhist peace center in 2002.
Tom Fels’ charming and profound reflection on Montague Farm, in the 1960s, offers hard-learned reflections, some specific, some eternal, from a time when communes were the chosen path of many. Elegantly written. – Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties.
The Montague Farm brought together an extraordinary group of young people who created a community that promoted environmental activism, fused with a visionary cultural radicalism, and who struggled with the tensions between an ethos of mutuality and a commitment to individual freedom. — Barbara Epstein, Professor, History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz. Author of Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s,
In his thought-provoking, sobering history of Montague Farm, Fels has skillfully painted a fascinating picture of how each activist brought their own idealism and idiosyncrasies from the city to experiment with anti-materialism in the country. Did our generation of the sixties come to realize that communal living and the rights of the individual could not co-exist for long? The land itself remained the living witness to their struggles and the dreams of their youth. Fels has captured that paradox perfectly. – Bill Morgan, author of I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg.
The story of Montague Farm is filled with important lessons for those establishing new ways of living and organizing in the twenty-first century. Raking through the ashes of this 1960s commune, Fels does us an immense service by revealing the glowing coals, bitter embers, and enduring lessons of the final years of the last century, and the beginning of this one. – Anthony Seeger, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UCLA
Tom Fels writes with eloquence, compassion, and ultimately wisdom, about the mythical and magical place known as Montague Farm. – Gary Goldberg, creator of “Family Ties” and author of Sit, Ubu, Sit.