Nov 26 2012
New Novel, Gates of Eden, By Charles Degelman, Fictionalizes Student Protest Movements of the 60s and 70s
The 1960s and 70s were a tumultuous time in the history of the United States. But they were also an exciting time, particularly for young people fighting for civil rights at home, and against US wars abroad. It is in this setting that a new novel, Gates of Eden, by theater artist and political activist Charles Degelman is set.
Winning the silver medal for historical fiction at the Independent Publisher Book Awards this year, Degelman’s Gates of Eden is the story of seven young rebellious Americans involved in the anti-Vietnam war and civil rights movements.
Weaving together the stories of young white and black youth, some affluent, some poor, from cities like Middleton, Massachusetts, to Bronco, Texas, the book invokes the idealism and courage, the wins, and the losses of the social movements that changed America. The characters find themselves involved in organizations with familiar names, such as Students for a Democratic Society or SDS, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee or SNCC, and in encounters with familiar icons of the time, such as musician Bob Dylan.
Also threaded throughout Gates of Eden are sections that the author titles, Masters of War, after Dylan’s famous tune, re-creating intimate scenes of various US presidents contemplating weighty policies that impact war and racial justice.
Actor and author Peter Coyote says of the book, “Gates of Eden is the real deal. No apologist for the Sixties, Charlie Degelman was there, moving at the same breakneck pace as his characters. I know. I was there with him.”
GUEST: Charles Degelman, political activist, theater artist, and author of the new novel, Gates of Eden.
Gates of Eden is available online and at your favorite independent bookstores. Author Charles Degelman also recommends www.redroom.com.