Marty Jezer (
Sun, 26 Apr 1998 13:11:24 -0400

>RozNews wrote:
Hi Marty, Do you know abt. an event
>> happening in Vt abt. communes and Barry's book?

Hi Roz,

Yeah I read the book and am to be on a panel about it August first or
so in Brattleboro. Are you on it too? Do you want to be to talk about
Free Vermont? Jerry Levy is the person to contact. If you're
interested let me know. He's looking for people familiar with the
period to talk about the book.

For everyone...the book in question is about an open-land commune in
Vermont called Johnson Pasture. Barry Laffin, the author, was an
anthropologist who lived at the JP in the early 70s and amazingly took
notes. The book is surprisingly good. I don't have the title because
I loaned my copy to Chuck Light who is on this list and I hope will
stop lurking long enough to post it. The Johnson Pasture was one of a
number of communes that sprung up in the late sixties-early seventies
in Southestern Vermont. (I lived near by on the "Total Loss Farm"
commune). The JP was notable because of its class-aspects -- and
because a quaisi religious group, The Brotherhood of the Spirit tried
to take it over. Laffin describes all of this very well. The cliche
is that the counter culture was a white middle-class movement. True,
that was a major strain. But there were also working class and in the
case of the JP a lumpen class that was attracted to the counterculture
lifestyle. Laffin captures the class and cultural conflicts that
resulted. It's an interesting book that anyone interested in communes
ought to read.


Marty Jezer