Combining finely tuned suspense with provocative insights into the nature of good and evil, The Liberty Campaign is a novel of stunning psychological depth and power.
Gene Trowbridge, a sixty-five-year-old successful advertising executive, fills the days before his retirement assessing his past and considering the future. A deliberate and thoughtful man, Gene lives a solid, peaceful existence with his wife in a genteel Long Island suburb, watching on television the failure of his son Jack's professional baseball career and increasingly aware of his own displacement in a field dominated by the very young. But a chance meeting with Albert Ferdinand, a reclusive neighbor who wins his regard and friendship, upsets the tenuous balance of Gene's world. From the scandal that comes to surround Ferdinand, Gene is brought face to face with the unimaginable depths of cruelty that lie well beyond his complacent suburban community. Spurred on by a persistent journalist and overwhelmed by self-doubt stemming from his instinctive liking and acceptance of a man of potentially indescribable evil, Gene is drawn into a suspenseful search for the truth about Ferdinand's past. In The Liberty Campaign, critically acclaimed author Jonathan Dee has created one of the wisest and most memorable voices in recent fiction. When Gene is ultimately presented with a stark ethical choice and forced to reevaluate his judgment and his principles, Dee captures, with extraordinary precision and power, the vulnerable time in the life of an aging man when he falters, not sure that his own life experience has provided him with the ability to act. The Liberty Campaign is a riveting, multilayered portrait of an ordinary man whose moral universe is tested by a situation that defies the parameters of his decidedly American upbringing and sensibility.
Jonathan Dee is the author of six novels. He is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a frequent contributor to Harper's, and a former senior editor of The Paris Review. He teaches in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University and the New School.