Left in the Midwest: St. Louis Progressive Activism in the 1960s and 1970s (Hardcover)

Left in the Midwest: St. Louis Progressive Activism in the 1960s and 1970s By Amanda L. Izzo (Editor), Benjamin Looker (Editor) Cover Image
By Amanda L. Izzo (Editor), Benjamin Looker (Editor)
Available for Pre-Order Now


Despite St. Louis’s mid-twentieth-century reputation as a conservative and sleepy Midwestern metropolis, the city and the surrounding region have long played host to dynamic forms of social-movement organizing. This was especially the case during the 1960s and 1970s, when a new generation of St. Louis activists lent their energies to the ongoing struggles for Black freedom, lesbian and gay liberation, women’s rights and in support of the peace movement and environmental activism.  This volume, the first of its kind, offers fifteen scholarly contributions—both original works and previously published—that together bring into focus the exceptional range of progressive activist initiatives that took shape in a single Midwestern city during these tumultuous decades.

In contrast to scholarship that seeks to interpret the era’s social-movement initiatives in a primarily national context, the works presented in this thoughtful collection emphasize the importance of locality, neighborhood, community institutions, and rooted social networks. In so doing, Left in the Midwest shows us how place powerfully shaped agendas, worldviews, and available opportunities for the disparate groups who dedicated themselves to progressive visions for their city. By revising our sense of the region’s past, this volume also expands our sense of the possibilities for current activist movements that strive to effect change in St. Louis and beyond.

About the Author

Amanda L. Izzo is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at St. Louis University. She is the author of Liberal Christianity and Women's Global Activism: The YWCA of the USA and the Maryknoll Sisters.

Benjamin Looker is Associate Professor of American Studies at St. Louis University. He is the author of A Nation of Neighborhoods: Imagining Cities, Communities, and Democracy in Postwar America.

Praise For…

“While historical in nature, this book is very timely. At a time when cities are crumbling and facing similar social justice and economic issues, this book will help a new generation of activists and leaders to figure out the best strategies to effect change.”—Jas Sullivan, Louisiana State University, co-author of Dimensions of Blackness: Racial Identity and Political Beliefs 

Product Details
ISBN: 9780826222688
ISBN-10: 0826222684
Publisher: University of Missouri
Publication Date: December 30th, 2022
Pages: 554
Language: English