The Last White Horse: Coming of Age in 1969-1970

$15 / Perfectbound

ISBN: 9781457536793
292 pages

$25 / Hardcover

ISBN: 9781457538902
292 pages

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This humorous, satirical novel is set against the turbulent and violent events that punctuated the end of the sixties and the start of the seventies which churn around Gray, the narrator. The Last White Horse is a detailed, diverting, and discursive account of these troubled times and the diverse number of people who interact with him during his sophomore year. Gray slowly falls in love with Kate while desperately trying to hold on to the last vestiges of a familiar and comforting past, meanwhile, the world around him eagerly and willingly divests itself of those traditions and mores, replacing them with convenient and selfish forbidden fruits.


About Alexander G. Belisle

Alexander Belisle was a young professor at Becker College when the events depicted in the novel occurred. He wrote this novel in the early seventies while his recollections of these times were still fresh. He graduated from Clark University with a B.A. in English, received a M.A. in English from Assumption College, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island.



Historians use specific events and dates as markers to distinguish epochs and eras when major, transitional, societal changes occur. This novel deals with the academic year 1969-1970 which, I believe, while it is now inconspicuous, it was just such a year, and how future historians will label the period from 1969-1970 is yet to be decided, but the fundamental and corrosive changes that have occurred after this date and, in part, because of events that took place during this time, cannot be denied.

This academic year, 1969-1970 was a year when the last remnants of long held traditions and mores that had been called into question during the 60’s, collided with the new, often iconoclastic, demand-forchange movement in one final, futile series of assaults which culminated in the staggering atrocities that took place at Kent State and Jackson State. These now long forgotten events of the fall of 1969 and the spring of 1970 climaxed in events on these two campuses and brought the out-of-control activism of the 60’s to a jarring halt. This academic year was a year when the effects of a decade of disenchantment with religious, moral, racial, sexual, patriotic, gender, and political issues crystallized and fomented over the space of those few months and ended in these explosive events which drained a nation of its energy to and desire for any further, substantive material change. Most change that has occurred since that time has been cosmetic, superficial, and self-serving.


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