In a literary tour de force, Charles L. Mee Jr. interweaves images and impressions from his life with political reflections inspired by a meeting with former Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman. The meeting—to discuss the possibility of collaborating with Haldeman on a book about his White House experience—becomes the vehicle for Mee’s probing of his own political perceptions.
Here, exposed to the scrutiny of an unsparing journalistic eye, are the deep feelings of loss and failure that the Nixon debacle engendered in those Americans who came of age during Kennedy’s “Camelot” and marched to the anti-Vietnam anthems of the Johnson era.
Mee writes with moving authenticity of his Midwest-Catholic boyhood and family roots reaching back to the Plymouth settlement; he vividly recounts the physical and psychological pain of a near-fatal battle with polio at age fourteen and his intellectual awakening during convalescence
But the most pivotal reminiscences are of his student years at Harvard and his experiences aas an editor/writer/activist in the 1960s. There is wonderment and bewilderment in Mee’s telling of this time. Along with others of his generation, he asks: “What happened? Who were the real betrayers of the dream?”
Charles L. Mee, Jr. is the author of numerous books, including Meeting at Potsdam and The Ohio Gang: The World of Warren G. Harding. A celebrated playwright, he is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award in drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and two OBIE awards. He lives in New York City.