Elkridge, MD (8/26/2020)––When Peter Pollak’s siblings and children couldn’t understand how he’d evolved from a student radical in the 1960s to a political conservative in the 21st century, he decided it was time to write a memoir. The result: “Left to Right,” was published today on Pollak’s personal imprint, Expendable Man Publishing.
Left to Right describes how Gloversville native Peter Pollak became active in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. After getting a B.A. from Oberlin College, he was accepted into VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and was sent to Atlanta, Georgia where he taught English and math to male welfare recipients and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pollak began graduate school after VISTA, and while he eventually earned a Ph.D. in history and education, he took time off from schooling to help launch The Albany Liberator, a community newspaper in Albany, NY for The Brothers, an indigenous Black Civil Rights group as their sole white member.
Pollak joined Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1966 and organized anti-Vietnam protests, but when SDS split into Marxist and self-described revolutionary factions, he dropped out and soon ended his attempt to make sense of Marxist ideology. “None of it matched up with the real world,” he now states.
Left to Right describes Pollak’s evolution to conservatism and ends with a chapter that describes his current political philosophy. “What I discovered,” he says, “is that I’ve been consistent in my beliefs over my adult years. I have always believed in equal opportunity, free enterprise, and limited government. Where I changed is that I discovered an appreciation for Judaism that was not front and center during my 20s and 30s.”
Capping off Left to Right, Pollak inserted in an appendix ten essays and book reviews on contemporary issues including racism, affirmative action, socialism and Israel.
Left to Right is currently only available in a print edition. A digital version is scheduled to be released before the end of 2020.
Peter G. Pollak has been a journalist, educator and entrepreneur. He is the author of seven novels and writes a book review column for LateLastNightBooks.com. Pollak’s political columns appear on PollaksPolitics.com. He also maintains a website at PeterGPollak.com.