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The American Dream

It is November 1964: there has been a bitterly contested Presidential election; the war in the Midwest has become bogged down in the rain and the cold of the coming winter; the peace conference is deadlocked at the old United Nations building in Manhattan; and the ongoing reverberations of the events of early July seem to overhang everything like some dreadful Biblical blight.

The American people are in shock, divided rather than united by the result of the Presidential race, yearning for strong leadership and a new start.  But the slate cannot be wiped clean, Wisconsin and northern Illinois, the great ruined city of Chicago are in the hands of rebels whose God demands an ‘end of days’, and all the surrounding states are wracked by a random, bloody, ongoing terrorist insurgency.

Two years after the ‘war to end all wars’ the American people are confronting the reality of the altered world.  As the US’s ‘peace dividend’ weakened armed forces begins again to flex its slowly recovering offensive muscle a second war rages in the Korean peninsula and American and British forces circle each other warily from the North Atlantic to the Straits of Hormuz, and the wounded Soviet bear broods behind its borders.

If the nightmare of a new global thermonuclear war has receded somewhat; nothing has actually been settled.  There is no peace or prospect of it anytime soon at home or abroad and meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the Warren Commission on the Conduct and Causes of the Cuban Missiles War is sitting in open session in City Hall…

Whatever has become of the American Dream?

Available from 11 Aug 2017

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