FOOTSTEPS AT DAWN
About the Book
In the early pre-dawn on a day in May of 1963 as sunlight glimmered in the offing of Lake Michigan, Chicago awakened to the promise of a fine spring day. Jimmy Flores and Paddy O’Halloran, friends and scholarship track athletes, saw the first glimmers of a world beyond their college graduation, scheduled for later that morning on the Loyola campus several miles behind their rapid footsteps along the Lake Shore Trail. In the next ten years, a period beginning with Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor unleashing fire hoses and police dogs on demonstrators protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, and ending with the resignation of Richard Nixon, Chicago and America went through enormous turmoil and profound changes. My novel, ‘Footsteps at Dawn’ interweaves the careers and fortunes of my two heroes during that period with those of Chicago, and by extension, our country. From the floor of the commodities exchange, to an interviewer’s desk in a state employment office, to a classroom in an elementary school for immigrant children, to an alderman’s seat in the City Council Chamber, to Michigan Avenue amidst violent clashes between police and thousands of anti-war demonstrators during the Democratic Presidential Convention of ’68, they venture through their rapidly changing world with intelligence and humanity, experiencing both tragedy and joy as they seek a new dawn.