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The Liberty Campaign Unknown Binding – June 1, 1993

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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The Underground Railroad
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"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dee ( The Lover of History ) has achieved something startling and utterly original with his subtle new novel. He has created a character with whom countless readers can readily identify and has placed him in a situation they could barely imagine, yet cannot help but believe; and he has resolved his story without melodrama but with convincing inevitablity. Gene Trowbridge is an elderly advertising man on the brink of retirement--a thoughtful, equable soul whose life seems pleasantly banal. Into his unchallenging existence in a placid Long Island suburb comes a man, a new neighbor, he instinctively likes and respects, only to discover that Albert Ferdinand is an illegal refugee from Brazil where once, as an army officer, he brutally tortured dozens of suspected leftists. Compelled to come to terms with the possibilities of real evil, innocent-American Trowbridge begins to alienate his wife and neighbors by his bizarre relationship with Ferdinand until one day he must make the kind of decision he is utterly unequipped for. That so quietly written a book could create such a degree of tension is a tribute to Dee's extraordinary skill; in fact, the closing chapters, counterpointing Gene's reminiscences of his life in advertising, his farewell speech at a retirement dinner and the approach of nemesis are a compelling tour de force. Add some penetrating observations on the role and current status of advertising in our lives, and some poignant and deeply pondered passages on aging, and the result is a book that is at once compulsively readable and obstinately memorable.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Dee ( The Lover of History , LJ 11/1/90) probes our sense of morality, examining the tenets by which the average American lives; when those tenets are put to the test, he finds mostly confusion and indecision. Gene Trobridge, a successful advertising executive nearing retirement, lives an idyllic suburban existence insulated from the world's trouble spots. When Albert Ferdinand, Gene's neighbor and friend, is exposed as a Brazilian war criminal and threatened with deportation, trial, and probable execution, Gene ponders the questions of shame, remorse, and forgiveness. Meanwhile, the Immigration and Naturalization Service builds its case. Confronted with the need of making a moral judgment, Gene falters, unable to translate tenets into action. Dee's perception and assessment of human frailties are acute and thought-provoking; his style is beautiful in its understatement. Thoughtful readers will appreciate this second novel.
- Thomas L. Kilpatrick, Southern Ill. Univ. Lib. at Carbondale
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385425953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385425957
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,107,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Liberty Campaign" a very introspection-heavy novel, focusing on the thoughts of a soon-to-be-65 marketing executive. It is a deeply nuanced novel, and though it has more thought than action I found it easy and enjoyable to read. The main character is forced to reconsider his life when faced with his looming retirement, his son's waning career as a professional baseball player, and the discovery that his long time neighbor may or may not be a former Brazilian war criminal in hiding. Though the last item in that list might seem a little shocking it actually gets about the same page count as the other two topics, which, balanced against the whole of the protagonists life is highly appropriate. The very fact that in the suburbs people can sit around and inactively contemplate a neighbor's alleged war crimes is one of the revelations the narrator sits around and inactively contemplates.

The book asks and doesn't quite answer a lot of questions about our ability to know evil and judge others, about the what it is that make someone's life successful, and about the nature of repenting and forgiveness. Frankly, it's hard to list out questions like this without them seeming trite, but that's why you need a well-written novel to dance around the issues in a new and profound way if you want to really understand them.
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By A Customer on November 3, 1997
Format: Paperback
Dee's book has a moral weight that you rarely see in American fiction, but the writing is not at all heavy-handed. An excellent accomplishment.
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Format: Paperback
I was also disappointed with this book. The premise intrigued me, but I never really "got into" the three separate stories...maybe if I was in the advertising industry? Worst part was...I hated the ending! I gave it three stars because I did enjoy the "heavy read" and how it made me think.
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Format: Paperback
an excellent book. sad, funny, always interesting. just enough elements of cinema to draw a reader in, seduce them into thinking they're getting nothing more than a well-written drama--which it is, only with depths that movies don't bother to ever aspire to find. the subtle, sad undertones floating throughout the story make this book a humane but dark book. i wish all adpeople would read it and recoil at how shallow most of our lives are.
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