|About the Book|
From the Civil War to the Culture Wars, THE WAR LESS CIVIL, a 2011 Finalist in the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Competition, is a panoramic American saga that begins in the fall of 1864 when Henry Rosenberg joins the Union Army despite theMoreFrom the Civil War to the Culture Wars, THE WAR LESS CIVIL, a 2011 Finalist in the prestigious Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Competition, is a panoramic American saga that begins in the fall of 1864 when Henry Rosenberg joins the Union Army despite the powerful objections of his pacifist wife, Augusta. The novel ends in 1991 after the conclusion of the first Iraq War. Intervening decades reveal the attitudes of Henry and Augustas descendants towards war and peace, love and marriage, success and failure, all of which dramatically define their lives and family relationships.The first two chapters focus on Augustas life on the home front, suffering the physical and emotional hardships of living without the husband who, she fears, will, at war’s end, forsake her and their two small sons. Can she overcome her angry rejection of him? Augusta wages an intense spiritual battle to endure as a widow-in-waiting, a young woman who believes, whether her husband survives a brutal war or not, that she herself might very well be the cause of her abandonment.Henry Rosenbergs most profound experience in the Civil War stamps his only daughter with the seal of pacifism. Or does it? As the twentieth century dawns, her marriage to John Helden unfolds changing attitudes towards love, children, politics and the Great War of 1914. As a resolute woman struggles against her intractable husband, conflicting relationships evolve among members of an ambitious family striving for worldly success.When John Helden Jr. marries Anita Thilman in 1932, social currents and family attitudes again alter political leanings. The transcending reality of a looming second world war plunges a young mother into fear and doubt, and renders an idealistic brother helpless at facing his greatest challenge.In the jubilant aftermath of World War II, John Helden Jr. observes a harshly changed America in which he must fight his own cousin to survive amidst a large but disintegrating family enterprise. John can only wonder if the carelessness, mismanagement and greed of the second and third generations will result in the demise not only of a once great industrial company but of his own career, as well.As the Vietnam War unravels into a humiliating defeat for the United States, an unprecedented conflict emerges at home. Rulings by the Supreme Court result in fierce societal divisions, while a beautiful young woman chooses a life that leads to a heart-wrenching destiny. Slowly but inevitably a new kind of uncivil war emerges in the midst of the Heldens’ third and fourth generations, one that proves almost as philosophically irreconcilable as the conflict between Lincoln’s Union and the old Southern Confederacy.And yet, throughout the fleeting decades, the indomitable spirit of Henry Rosenberg endows his descendants not only with a love for peace and loathing of war but with a lingering sense of desire: the desire to defend the noblest ideals of ones country.