Abstract

Born in a "howling blizzard" in February 1946, Raymond Mungo became one of the most evocative writers of the 1960s counterculture. Through more than fifteen books and hundreds of articles, Mungo has brought a wry sense of humor and radical sensibility to explorations of the minds and experiences of the generation that came of age against a backdrop of the struggles for civil rights and economic justice, of student revolts, Black Power, resistance to war, and experimentation in communal living.



Consisting of the original typescripts and manuscripts of ten of Raymond Mungo's books, along with corrected and uncorrected galleys and a small number of letters from publishers. Among the other materials in the collection are thirteen photographs of Mungo taken by Clif Garboden and Peter Simon during and immediately after his undergraduate years at Boston University; a DVD containing motion pictures of life at Packer Corners in 1969 and 1977; and an irate letter from a writer regarding the status of poems he had submitted to Liberation News Service.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Raymond Mungo Papers
1966-2008
6 boxes (3 linear ft.)

Call no.: MS 659

Background on Raymond Mungo

Raymond Mungo, 1967

Raymond Mungo, 1967

Born in a "howling blizzard" in February 1946, Raymond Mungo became one of the most evocative writers of the 1960s counterculture. Through more than fifteen books and hundreds of articles, Mungo has brought a wry sense of humor and radical sensibility to explorations of the minds and experiences of the generation that came of age against a backdrop of the struggles for civil rights and economic justice, of student revolts, Black Power, resistance to war, and experimentation in communal living.

Raised in a working class family in Lawrence, Mass., and a product of Roman Catholic schools, Mungo emerged as a fully-fledged radical as an undergraduate at Boston University. From the time of his arrival in 1963, he was drawn headlong into the cultural and political ferment, seemingly a step ahead of his peers. A "violent Marxist" as a freshman, and a "friend of the working class," as he later wrote, he was introduced to drugs as a sophomore, and as a junior, he became a leader in the antiwar movement, working with East Coast Resistance to drive the ROTC from campus and traveling nationally to urge resistance to war.

It was as a writer, as much as an activist, that Mungo gained wide renown. As editor in chief of the Boston University News during his senior year, he became a constant irritant to the university administration, feeding the newspaper on a steady radical diet, and newspapers and writing soon took an even more prominent role in his life. Although initially intending to continue his studies at Harvard, thanks to a substantial fellowship, Mungo's connections with another young journalist and agitator, Marshall Bloom, led him down another path.

During the summer of 1967, Bloom was slated to become Executive Director of the U.S. Student Press Association, but after denouncing its parent organization, the National Student Association, for accepting funds from the CIA, he was voted down. In response, and "because we had nothing else to do," Bloom, Verandah Porche, and Mungo formed the Resistance Press Service, soon renamed the Liberation News Service (LNS), as a radical alternative to the Associated Press. Seeking to create links among anti-establishment presses and provide reliable news for the Movement, the LNS issued semi-weekly packets of hard news and opinion pieces, poetry, photographs, and artwork, covering liberation struggles at home and abroad and a variety of other events that were typically overlooked or distorted by the "straight" media. They were an instant success. From their offices in Washington, D.C., the LNS soon had over 800 subscribers, including many in the underground and college press.

When the LNS relocated to New York during the early summer of 1968, however, the simmering (though sometimes overstated) tensions between "politics" and "culture" in the organization came to a head, and by the end of the summer, Mungo wrote, "our glorious scheme of joining together the campus editors, the Communists, the Trots, the hippies, the astrology freaks, the pacifists, the SDS kids, the black militants, the Mexican-American liberation fighters, and all their respective journals was reduced to ashes" By August, the "Virtuous Caucus" led by Bloom and Mungo had split from the "vulgar Marxists" in New York and headed to communal lives in rural New England.

Worn out by the rancor and divisions, Mungo, Porche, and eight others traveled north to found a commune on 90 acres at Packer Corners, near Guilford, Vermont. In mid-August 1968, Bloom followed his associates northward, taking funds raised from a screening of the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour to buy a farm in nearby Montague, Massachusetts, lugging the LNS printing press with him, and for over a year, the LNS factions in Montague and New York both produced news packets. The farms at Montague and Packer Corners -- Total Loss Farm -- were tightly connected from the outset, socially and politically, and both became centers for a remarkable number of writers and poets, artists and activists.

Within a year of arriving at Packer Corners, Mungo wrote two important memoirs about his experiences. Famous Long Ago: My Life and Hard Times with Liberation News Service (1970) was "a revealing parable of the split in the psyche of the new left between the fun-loving, fiercely individualistic life-stylers and the ideology-bound collectivists, and all that" according a review in the Village Voice. Appearing only a few months later, and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Total Loss Farm, which offered a year in the life look at the commune. Both were acclaimed and highly popular, and both have remained in print for decades.

Following the success of his first two books, Mungo left Total Loss Farm and by early 1970, he settled in California to continue writing, spending several years in San Francisco and Carmel before moving to Los Angeles. In a single year in Carmel, 1972, he completed the only screenplay of his career, Between Two Moons, a Technicolor Travelogue as well as his only novel, Tropical Detective Story: The Flower Children Meet the Voodoo Chiefs. His later books, mostly non-fiction, have covered a wide terrain, though all remain true to the essential countercultural values acquired in the 1960s. Among his books are San Francisco Confidential: tales of scandal and excess from the town that's seen everything (1995) and Palm Springs Babylon (1993), a satirical look at the corrupt lives of the film set; Cosmic Profit: How to Make Money Without Doing Time (1980) and No Credit Required (2004), a primer on "how to buy a house when you don't qualify for a mortgage"; Confessions from Left Field: A Baseball Pilgrimage (1983); and three books on becoming a writer. Mungo has also written two memoirs, Return to sender : or, When the fish in the water was thirsty (1975) and Beyond the Revolution: My Life and Times Since Famous Long Ago. In his own words, his literary output has sometimes been more successful, sometimes less, but he has "managed nonetheless a 30 year career in which he never held a 'real' job."

In 1997, Mungo completed a master's degree in counseling and became a social worker in Los Angeles, tending principally to AIDS patients and the severely mentally ill. He and his husband, Robert Yamaguchi, still live.

Contents of Collection

Consisting of the original typescripts and manuscripts of ten of Raymond Mungo's books, along with corrected and uncorrected galleys and a small number of letters from publishers. Among the other materials in the collection are thirteen photographs of Mungo taken by Clif Garboden and Peter Simon during and immediately after his undergraduate years at Boston University; a DVD containing motion pictures of life at Packer Corners in 1969 and 1977; and an irate letter from a writer regarding the status of poems he had submitted to Liberation News Service.

Collection inventory
Series 1. Manuscripts
1970-1993


Famous Long Ago: My Life and Hard Times With Liberation News Service
1970
7 folders
Box 1
Famous Long Ago (manuscript), p.1-50
1970


Box 1: 1
Famous Long Ago (manuscript), p.51-100
1970


Box 1: 2
Famous Long Ago (manuscript), p.101-150
1970


Box 1: 3
Famous Long Ago (manuscript), p.151-200
1970


Box 1: 4
Famous Long Ago (manuscript), p.100-215
1970


Box 1: 5
Famous Long Ago (galley proofs)
1970


Box 1: 6
Famous Long Ago (page proofs)
1970


Box 1: 7
Total Loss Farm: A Year in the Life
1970
6 folders
Box 1
Total Loss Farm (manuscript), p.1-50
1970


Box 1: 8
Total Loss Farm (manuscript), p.51-100
1970


Box 1: 9
Total Loss Farm (manuscript), p.101-150
1970


Box 1: 10
Total Loss Farm (manuscript), p.151-173
1970


Box 1: 11
Total Loss Farm (galley proofs)
1970 July 14-20


Box 1: 12
Total Loss Farm (galley proofs)
1970 Aug. 11


Box 1: 13
Between Two Moons: A Technicolor Travelogue
1972
13 folders
Box 2
Between Two Moons (manuscript draft), part 1
1972


Box 2: 1
Between Two Moons (manuscript draft), part 2
1972


Box 2: 2
Between Two Moons (typescript draft)
1972


Box 2: 3
Between Two Moons (setting copy), p.1-50
1972


Box 2: 4
Between Two Moons (setting copy), p.51-100
1972


Box 2: 5
Between Two Moons (setting copy), p.101-144
1972


Box 2: 6
Between Two Moons (master proofs), scenes 1-16
1972


Box 2: 7
Between Two Moons (master proofs), scenes 17-end
1972


Box 2: 8
Between Two Moons (author's proofs), scenes 1-7
1972


Box 2: 9
Between Two Moons (author's proofs), scenes 8-end
1972


Box 2: 10
Between Two Moons (production set), scenes 1-7
1972


Box 2: 11
Between Two Moons (production set), scenes 8-13
1972


Box 2: 12
Between Two Moons (production set), scenes 14-end
1972


Box 2: 13
Green Mountain Post, no. 4
1972 Summer


Box 3: 1
Tropical Detective Story: The Flower Children Meet the Voodoo Chiefs
1972
8 folders
Box 3: 2
Tropical Detective Story (proposal and outline)
1972


Box 3: 2
Tropical Detective Story (manuscript), p. 1-50
1972


Box 3: 3
Tropical Detective Story (manuscript), p. 51-100
1972


Box 3: 4
Tropical Detective Story (manuscript), p. 101-150
1972


Box 3: 5
Tropical Detective Story (manuscript), p. 151-200
1972


Box 3: 6
Tropical Detective Story (manuscript), p. 200-241
1972


Box 3: 7
Tropical Detective Story (galley proofs), start-Book 1
1972


Box 3: 8
Tropical Detective Story (galley proofs), Book 2-end
1972


Box 3: 9
When the Fish in the Water Was Thirsty
1975
4 folders
Box 3
When the Fish in the Water Was Thirsty (manuscript), Chapters 1-6
1975


Box 3: 10
When the Fish in the Water Was Thirsty (manuscript), Chapters 7-11
1975


Box 3: 11
When the Fish in the Water Was Thirsty (manuscript), Chapters 12-end
1975


Box 3: 12
When the Fish in the Water Was Thirsty (correspondence)
1975 June 15


Box 3: 13
Cosmic Profit: How to Make Money Without Doing Time
1980
9 folders
Box 3-4
Cosmic Profit (manuscript), p.1-50
1980


Box 3: 14
Cosmic Profit (manuscript), p.51-100
1980


Box 3: 15
Cosmic Profit (manuscript), p.101-150
1980


Box 3: 16
Cosmic Profit (manuscript), p.151-180
1980


Box 3: 17
Cosmic Profit (manuscript copy), p.1-50
1980


Box 4: 1
Cosmic Profit (manuscript copy), p.51-100
1980


Box 4: 2
Cosmic Profit (manuscript copy), p.101-150
1980


Box 4: 3
Cosmic Profit (manuscript copy), p.151-180
1980


Box 4: 4
Cosmic Profit (correspondence)
1981 July 21


Box 4: 5
A Fan's Dream: Confessions From Left Field
1982
8 folders
Box 4
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.1-50
1982


Box 4: 6
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.51-100
1982


Box 4: 7
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.101-150
1982


Box 4: 8
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.151-172
1982


Box 4: 9
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.1-50
1982


Box 4: 10
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.51-100
1982


Box 4: 11
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.101-150
1982


Box 4: 12
A Fan's Dream (manuscript), p.151-172
1982


Box 4: 13
Confessions from Left Field: A Baseball Pilgrimage
1982
8 folders
Box 4-5
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript), p.1-50
1982


Box 4: 14
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript), p.51-100
1982


Box 4: 15
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript), p.101-150
1982


Box 4: 16
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript), p.151-185
1982


Box 4: 17
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript, edited), p.1-50
1982


Box 5: 1
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript, edited), p.51-100
1982


Box 5: 2
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript, edited), p.101-150
1982


Box 5: 3
Confessions from Left Field (manuscript, edited), p.151-172
1982


Box 5: 4
How Many Roads: My Life and Times Since Famous Long Ago
1990
12 folders
Box 5
How Many Roads (manuscript), p.1-50
1990


Box 5: 5
How Many Roads (manuscript), p.51-100
1990


Box 5: 6
How Many Roads (manuscript), p.101-150
1990


Box 5: 7
How Many Roads (manuscript), p.151-200
1990


Box 5: 8
How Many Roads (manuscript), p.201-250
1990


Box 5: 9
How Many Roads (manuscript), p.251-300
1990


Box 5: 10
How Many Roads (galley proofs), p.1-50
1990


Box 5: 11
How Many Roads (galley proofs), p.51-100
1990


Box 5: 12
How Many Roads (galley proofs), p.101-148
1990


Box 5: 13
How Many Roads (author's galley), p.1-50
1990


Box 5: 14
How Many Roads (author's galley), p.51-100
1990


Box 5: 15
How Many Roads (author's galley), p.101-148
1990


Box 5: 16
Beyond the Revolution: My Life and Times Since Famous Long Ago
1990
9 folders
Box 5-6
Beyond the Revolution (galley proofs), p.1-50
1990


Box 5: 17
Beyond the Revolution (galley proofs), p.51-100
1990


Box 6: 1
Beyond the Revolution (galley proofs), p.101-121
1990


Box 6: 2
Beyond the Revolution (galley proofs), p.1-50
1990


Box 6: 3
Beyond the Revolution (galley proofs), p.51-100
1990


Box 6: 4
Beyond the Revolution (galley proofs), p.101-121
1990


Box 6: 5
Beyond the Revolution (revised galley proofs), p.1-50
1990


Box 6: 6
Beyond the Revolution (revised galley proofs), p.51-100
1990


Box 6: 7
Beyond the Revolution (revised galley proofs), p.101-121
1990


Box 6: 8
No Credit Required: How to Buy a House Without a Job
1992
4 folders
Box 6
No Credit Required (manuscript), p.1-50
1992


Box 6: 9
No Credit Required (manuscript), p.51-100
1992


Box 6: 10
No Credit Required (manuscript), p.101-150
1992


Box 6: 22
No Credit Required (manuscript), p.151-218
1992


Box 6: 12
Palm Springs Babylon: Sizzling Stories from the Desert Playground of the Stars
1993
3 folders
Box 6
Palm Springs Babylon (manuscript), p.1-50
1993


Box 6: 13
Palm Springs Babylon (manuscript), p.51-100
1993


Box 6: 14
Palm Springs Babylon (manuscript), p.101-145
1993


Box 6: 15
Series 2. Correspondence and graphic materials
1966-2008


Ben-Ami, M. E. letter to Raymond Mungo
ca.1969


Box 6: 16

Regarding his poetry submitted for publication to Liberation News Service.

McLean, Evelyn and Don, A Year in Packer Corners and Other Short Films from Long Ago
2008


Box 6: 17

Films from 1969-1977. "First time on DVD in celebration of the 40th reunion of Packer Corners Farm, Guilford Vermont, 2008."

Photographs: Boston University
1966-1967
8 items
Simon, Peter (photographer), Boston University News staff. L to r., Joe Pilati, David Chandler, Steve Sluiter, Ed Siegel, Ray Mungo
ca.1966-1967


Box 6: 18
Boston University News staff.  L to r., Joe Pilati, David Chandler, Steve Sluiter, Ed Siegel, Ray Mungo.  Photo by Peter Simon
Garboden, Clif (photographer), Boston University News staff. Clockwise from left: Steve Davis, Joe Pilati, Clif Garboden, Ray Mungo, Peter Simon. Photo taken (with Peter Simon's camera) by a runaway kid staying at the LNS house in Washington, D.C. The staff were mugging for the camera as "angry young men," echoing how some pundit had recently described Mungo.
ca.1968 January


Box 6: 18
Boston University News staff. Clockwise from left: Steve Davis, Joe Pilati, Clif Garboden, Ray Mungo, Peter Simon.  Photo taken (with Peter Simon's camera) by a runaway kid staying at the LNS house in Washington, D.C. The staff were mugging for the camera as "angry young men," echoing how some pundit had recently described Mungo.
Ray Mungo at his typewriter (probably at his apartment or the LNS office in D.C.). Photo of Howard Zinn on wall
1967


Box 6: 18
Ray Mungo at his typewriter (probably at his apartment or the LNS office in D.C.).  Photo of Howard Zinn on wall
Garboden, Clif (photographer), Ray Mungo, Liberation News Service Office, Thomas Circle (14th and M), Washington, D.C.
1968 Jan.


Digital
Ray Mungo, Liberation News Service Office, Thomas Circle (14th and M), Washington, D.C.
Garboden, Clif (photographer), Ray Mungo and Peter Simon, Liberation News Service Office, Thomas Circle (14th and M), Washington, D.C.
1968 Jan.


Digital
Ray Mungo and Peter Simon, Liberation News Service Office, Thomas Circle (14th and M), Washington, D.C.
Garboden, Clif (photographer), Author Richard Schweid at Boston University News office
1967


Box 6: 18
Author Richard Schweid at Boston University News office.  Photo by Clif Garboden
Garboden, Clif (photographer), Verandah Porche (back row, 3rd from left) with Richard Schweid (far left) and Richard Wizansky (far right in row): Bay State Poets for Peace (taken on the porch of the Liberation News Service house in Washington, D.C., on the morning of the 1968 march on the Pentagon). Photo by Clif Garboden
1968


Box 6: 18
Verandah Porche (back row, 3rd from left) with Richard Schweid (far left) and Richard Wizansky (far right in row): Bay State Poets for Peace (taken on the porch of the Liberation News Service house in Washington, D.C., on the morning of the 1968 march on the Pentagon).  Photo by Clif Garboden
Ray Mungo at peace rally, Boston University
1967


Box 6: 18
Ray Mungo at peace rally, Boston University
Garboden, Clif (photographer), Ray Mungo speaking at Boston University peace rally
1967


Box 6: 18
Ray Mungo speaking at Boston University peace rally.  Photo by Clif Garboden
Ray Mungo speaks at antiwar rally, Boston University
1967


Box 6: 18
Ray Mungo speaks at antiwar rally, Boston University
Photographs: Liberation News Service and Packer Corners
1967-1969
4 items
Simon, Peter (photographer), Ray Mungo on LNS road trip, somewhere in Nebraska
1967


Box 6: 19
Ray Mungo on LNS road trip, somewhere in Nebraska.  Photo by Peter Simon
Verandah Porche and Ray Mungo in Berkeley, CA, on LNS road trip
1968


Box 6: 19
Verandah Porche and Ray Mungo in Berkeley, CA, on LNS road trip
Ray Mungo, Verandah Porche in background, outside the LNS farmhouse, Montague, MA
ca.1968-1969


Box 6: 19
Ray Mungo, Verandah Porche in background, outside the LNS farmhouse, Montague, MA
Bareass Ray Mungo diving into the beaver pond at Total Loss Farm, Guilford, VT
1969


Box 6: 19
Bareass Ray Mungo diving into the beaver pond at Total Loss Farm, Guilford, VT
Administrative information
Custodial History

Originally placed on deposit at the Howard Gottlieb Research Center at Boston University, the Mungo Papers were transferred to SCUA in March 2010, with additional materials added by Mungo.

Clif Garboden provided digital copies of two photographs of Mungo at the LNS offices in Washington, D.C., January 1968. He retains copyright for these and all other photographs taken by him.

Processing Information

Processed by Dex Haven, May-June 2010.

For related materials, see other collections in the Famous Long Ago Archive, including:

  • Susan Dalsimer Papers (MS 578)
  • Liberation News Service Records (MS 546)
Separated Material
  • Between Two Moons: a Technicolor Travelogue. Boston: Beacon Press, 1972.

    Call no.: PS3563.U47 B48 1972
  • Confessions from Left Field: A Baseball Pilgrimage. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1983.

    Call no.:
  • Cosmic Profit: How to Make Money Without Doing Time. Boston: Little Brown, 1980.

    Call no.: HD2346.U5 M86 1980
  • Famous Long Ago: My Life and Hard Times in Liberation News Service Boston: Beacon Press, 1970. 2 copies: SCUA copy 2: Signed "for Sydney Omarr, with thanks! Raymond Mungo L.A. '82" with typed letter from Mungo to Omarr dated 29 April 1982 laid in.

    Call no.: CT275.M755 A3 1970
  • Home Comfort: Stories and Scenes of Life on Total Loss Farm, by Hugh Beame et al. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1973.

    Call no.: E169.12 .H64 1973
  • LitBiz 101: How to Get Happily, Successfully Published. New York: Dell, 1988.

    Call no.:
  • Moving On, Holding Still, photography by Peter Simon, text by Raymond Mungo. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1972.

    Call no.:
  • Mungobus: Three Complete Works in One Volume. New York: Avon Books, 1979.

    Call no.:
  • Return to Sender: Or, When the Fish in the Water Was Thristy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975. Two copies: one inscribed on front flyleaf, "For Charlie Nutter - / With Love, / Ray Mungo."

    Call no.: DS10 .M78 1975
  • Total Loss Farm: A Year in the Life New York: Dutton, 1970. 2 copies.

    Call no.: E169.12 .M84 1970
  • Tropical Detective Story: The Flower Children Meet the Voodoo Chiefs New York: Dutton, 1972. SCUA copy signed by author; E.P. Dutton review copy slip laid in.

    Call no.: PS3563.U47 T7
Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Raymond Mungo Papers (MS 659). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Communal living--Massachusetts.
  • Communal living--Vermont.
  • Montague Farm (Mass.).
  • Nineteen Sixties.
  • Packer Corners (Vt.).
Names
  • Garboden, Clif.
  • Liberation News Service.
  • Mungo, Raymond, 1946- .
  • Porche, Verandah.
  • Simon, Peter, 1947- .
Genre terms
  • Manuscripts (document genre).
  • Memoirs.
  • Novels.
  • Photographs.