In 1968, I began to write a personal journal, typing the entries on ruled, punched, loose-leaf sheets of paper. The first entry was August 6, 1968; the last entry was April 18, 1970.* The entries through March 26, 1969 are completely private, intended for myself only; many entries after that date, until April 1970 consist of carbon copies of letters I wrote to friends. Some of the content in the letters continues the discussion of themes in earlier entries; but much of the content, of course, relates to my relationships with my friends and matters of mutual, personal interest. Since I carboned the letters as I typed them and then added the copies to my journal binder in correct chronological position, I assume that I must (at that time) have considered them part of the journal.
The journal consists of 58 punched, lined sheets, single-spaced typed, most on both front and back. The journal records the final stages of my shift to a 1960s style radicalism. I will publish extracts that seem to have more than purely personal interest and reveal something about the climate of opinion in radicalism in that tumultous decade. I shall reproduce my text exactly with misspellings, incorrect grammar, and other signs of stream of consciousness writing intended only for myself. I do not reproduce the crossed-out mistakes (the journal was typed on a Smith Corona portable, pre-word processor, of course, leaving a record of my corrections as I went along).
Ellipses will indicate where I have omitted words or chunks of text. I omit sections purely about my personal life and my marriage; surely these are of no interest to anyone. Beginning in April 1969, there is much discussion about my efforts to obtain a professional job. I omit these sections, also. I disguise personal names to protect the privacy of my friends and acquaintances.
When I have completed publishing the journal, I will offer some observations about the political and philosophical themes I discuss, radicalism, and myself. Looking back on the journal from my conservative view today, I have a better sense than I did in the 1960s of the sources of my ideas and my state of mind.
* The last entry is a letter dated, "April 18, 197-". I think the hyphen is a typing mistake and the year should be 1970. I must have accidently tapped the hyphen key when reaching with my finger for the zero key, which is next to the hyphen key.
For a listing of only posts in the 1960s journal, click here: 1960s Journal Index.