Literature Neil Gordon The Company You Keep

ISBN 13: 9780142004524

The Company You Keep

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9780142004524: The Company You Keep

Now a major motion picture directed by Robert Redford and starring Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Terence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Nick Nolte, and Stanley Tucci

It is 2006. Seventeen-year-old Isabel Montgomery starts to receive emails from her father, a man who had abandoned her in a hotel room ten years ago when his past finally caught up with him. Why has he contacted her now? Because he needs her help and is finally ready to reveal the truth. Over the course of the next month, further emails arrive telling her more about her family's past. Isabel discovers that her father adopted a false identity in the hope of avoiding murder charges for a robbery gone wrong in 1974. By 1996, with a marriage falling apart around him, he is one last Vietnam-era fugitives still wanted by the law. When he is finally tracked down by a young newspaper reporter in search of a story he must abandon years of safe underground life in an attempt to exonerate himself. Set against the rise and fall of the radical anti-war group the Weather Underground, The Company You Keep is a sweeping American saga about sacrifice, the righteousness of youth, and the tension between political ideals and family loyalties.

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About the Author:

Neil Gordon is the literary editor of the Boston Review and a frequent book reviewer for the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe.

From Publishers Weekly:

The revolutionary politics of the 1960s haunt the complacent domesticity of the 1990s in this engrossing, if sometimes muddled, melodrama of ideas. When limousine-leftist lawyer and single dad Jim Grant is unmasked as Jason Sinai, an ex-Weather Underground militant wanted for a deadly bank robbery, he abandons his daughter and goes on the lam. As he evades a manhunt and seeks out old comrades, the author introduces a sprawling cast of drug dealers, bomb-planting radicals turned leftist academics, Vietnam vets, FBI agents and Republicans who collectively ponder the legacy of the '60s. Gordon (Sacrifice of Isaac) skillfully combines a tense fugitive procedural, full of intriguing lore about false identities and techniques for losing a tail, with a nuanced exploration of boomer nostalgia and regret. Alas, there are a few too many long-winded, semicoherent debates about the radical excesses of the era that inadvertently evoke marijuana-fueled dormitory bull sessions. Through these exchanges (and a little sexual healing), ideological opposites come together over a facile anti-politics of "national reconciliation." Gordon's rueful radicals, having finally outgrown their adolescent outrage over parental hypocrisy, decide that personal loyalty and raising children trump all belief systems and that "none of the principles matter" any longer. Some who lived through the 1960s may take offense at this caricature, but other boomer readers may find the mix of countercultural drama and familial schmaltz a gratifying validation of their life cycle. In either case, it will get them talking.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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