A dark exploration of a nation recovering from war, David H. Weisberg's The American Plan is equal parts a conspiratorial thriller and a dive into the American psyche following the unsettling loss in the Korean War. Working in dualities and reflection, the lens moves between the war wounds of a nation and the war wounds of one man as both grapple with their loss of identity ... With an obvious emphasis on historical details Weisberg makes no attempt to paint over the rampant racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia that were so overt in the 1950s and '60s, with these evils infecting even the most progressive, open-minded, and sympathetic characters. Their inclusion feels true to life and proves to be fundamental in creating a living, breathing depiction of this moment in American history... At times the struggle to maintain a balance between a grand, sweeping, postwar novel and a hard-boiled thriller becomes uneasy. While The American Plan does manage to occasionally bring these two themes together as one, it's more common for the plot to switch between white-knuckle adrenaline and slow, introspective examinations of what it is to see values become no more than illusions. This can create abrupt changes to the pacing and tone of the novel, but with these moments taken in stride the payoff is a thriller where conspiracies put not just the protagonist's life at risk but his sense of self as well...The American Plan never loses the pounding sense of uncertainty and risk that makes it a page-turner.
--- Foreword Clarion Reviews
About the Author
David Weisberg is a teacher, playwright, critic and fiction writer. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the CUNY Graduate Center and has taught at Hunter College in New York City, the University of Delaware, and Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. He is the author of "Chronicles of Disorder" (SUNY Press, 2000) a groundbreaking study of Samuel Beckett’s fiction in the context of the vehement cultural and aesthetic polemics of mid-century Europe; "Altitude Sickness," a play in two acts (Theater 22, NYC, spring 1985); co-translator, with Regina Gelb, of Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s dramatic masterpiece "The Shoemakers" (Center for the Arts Theater, Wesleyan University, Fall 2000) and "Totem and Taboo," a play in three acts (Central Works, Berkeley CA, winter 2016). His shorter works have appeared in The Albuquerque Alibi, The Tennessee Review, The Mississippi Review, Nepantla: Views from the South, Libido, Nerve.com and other journals. "The American Plan" (Habitus Books, forthcoming, April 2017), his debut novel, is the inaugural volume of three-novel series chronicling the rise and fall of Sun Belt America, from the Korean War through the financial debacle of 2008. He currently lives in Berkeley CA.