The author started life with every advantage. Behind the façade of wealth, however, there was a psychologically abusive mother whose unconscious agendas might have done lasting damage had he not resisted. In these pages, he describes that childhood.
When he reached his majority, he set out to find new ways of thinking and new places to live. The life that resulted, a somewhat disheveled improvisation, included, after intensive psychotherapy, the Army, farming, and ten years as the director of an environmental lobbying organization in New Mexico. The latter experience included encounters with the mafia. He had loves, business failures, and survived cancer. He has written five books of poetry, one of which, The Plain of Smokes, was critically acclaimed. In the background, his birth family, once among the most distinguished in California, disintegrated.
Personal experience combined with engagement with the events of his times -- WWII, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, the Hippies, and the political crises of the nineties and beyond -- gradually produced a coherent world-view. In 2006, disillusioned by the reelection of George W. Bush, he moved to France, from which vantage, he reflects on what he has made of himself and what has happened to America. The narrative ends with the Trump presidency.