All We Have to Believe in ISBN: 9781957013039 Hybrid Global Publishing published copyright and written by Jeffrey J. Lousteau.
The story opens in May 1919 in San Francisco with a parade followed by celebration in the rose garden of the Parthenon for the soldiers just returned from Europe with termination of WWI and selected family members. The book describes the WW1 horrors, the men who participated and the many levels of suffering they encountered, the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, the ‘mockery’ of the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, the Great Depression, the government’s attempt at legislating the curtailment of personal consumption of alcohol termed Prohibition, the racial hatred, and more. All has been encapsulated in a family and their acquaintances in a time when wide spread unrest existed. The protagonist is Edward Dooley, a young Irish immigrant who enlists in the army directly from high school, and participates in heavy combat, returns suffering from a degree of what today finally has been determined PTSD, maries a loving and understanding woman with whom he has three children. But, to include a more complete overview of the era, he has been placed in the position of the son of immigrant parents upon whom his family becomes heavily dependent.
Discussion: The author has set forth a history of the 1900’s by employing a main character fully representing the average American man who was involved totally in the activities of the chaotic century making the errors made by most members of the generations struggling through with tenacity of purpose to survive. Generally speaking, it is a depressing story that in attempting to ‘cover-all-bases’, often becomes entrapped in unnecessary details. However, if the reader can accept these oversites, he/she will discover a quite extensive knowledge of the era told plainly and setting forth the main protagonist as an individual of strong character indoctrinated with the strong morality and work ethic existent within the generation as well as the other firmly established beliefs that appear to have been included in the members of those generations so as often being referred to as The Great Generation.
* 5* history of an era; -2 lengthy discussions; depressing but recommended.