On the Lived Theology Reading List: Black Mountain

Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community, by Martin DubermanAn Exploration in Community

Despite only being open for 23 years, Black Mountain College ranked among the most important artistic and intellectual communities of the twentieth century, with a legacy that lives on in the avant-garde colleges of today. In Black Mountain, author Martin Duberman uses interviews, anecdotes, and research to depict the relationships that made Black Mountain College what it was.

Black Mountain College had an eclectic group of faculty and alumni, including John Cage, Robert Creeley, Merce Cunningham, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Olson, Josef and Anni Albers, Paul Goodman, and Robert Rauschenberg. However, it also had massive financial difficulties during its tenure, requiring a large amount of determination to keep the college in operation. Duberman documents Black Mountain college in all its stages, from its most brilliant moments of self-reinvention to its lowest moments of petty infighting, creating a nuanced portrait of this community so essential to the development of American arts and counterculture.

Reviews and endorsements of the publication include:

Fascinating history with a resonance that far exceeds the experience of the Black Mountaineers themselves.”—Newsweek

“Reading the book, it is hard to imagine how it might have been done more intelligently.”—Catharine R. Stimpson, The Nation

“[Black Mountain] leaps beyond the discipline of history in its significance . . . Henceforth debates about the relation between historian and sources will have to take account of this radically new model for doing history.”—Jesse Lemisch, New York Times Book Review

For more information on the publication, click here.

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