9781627201513-AmericanZeitgeist-COV.indd

American Zeitgeist

$12.99

American Zeitgeist is a collection of dramatic monologues about the life and career of William Jennings Bryan, the Great Commoner, from his rise as populist hero of the Democratic Party in the 19th century to his ignominious end at the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. Related mostly in the voice of a fictional contemporary named Jefferson Powers, a journalist, and framed by lectures on Bryan and the Progressive Era by a fictional modern-day History professor, Jefferson Lynn, the arc of this narrative serves as commentary on the American spirit and should be read as historical fiction. As the writer David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks) notes, the popularity of historical fiction lies in its double narrative thrust.  It “delivers a stereo narrative,” Mitchell writes, “from one speaker comes the treble of the novel’s own plot while the other speaker plays the bass of history’s plot.”   American Zeitgeist conforms to this model. This is a page-turner that delivers history and drama in equal measure.

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American Zeitgeist is a collection of dramatic monologues about the life and career of William Jennings Bryan, the Great Commoner, from his rise as populist hero of the Democratic Party in the 19th century to his ignominious end at the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. Related mostly in the voice of a fictional contemporary named Jefferson Powers, a journalist, and framed by lectures on Bryan and the Progressive Era by a fictional modern-day History professor, Jefferson Lynn, the arc of this narrative serves as commentary on the American spirit and should be read as historical fiction. As the writer David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks) notes, the popularity of historical fiction lies in its double narrative thrust.  It “delivers a stereo narrative,” Mitchell writes, “from one speaker comes the treble of the novel’s own plot while the other speaker plays the bass of history’s plot.”   American Zeitgeist conforms to this model. This is a page-turner that delivers history and drama in equal measure.

Rammelkamp is the author of The Mata Hari: Eye of the Day, The Secretkeepers, and two collections of short fiction—A Better Tomorrow and Castleman in the Academy—full-length poetry collections The Book of Life and Fusen Bakudan, and several chapbooks of poetry. Past columnist and staff writer to Renaissance Magazine, Rammelkamp has been the editor of The Potomac online e-literary journal since 2007 and is prose editor for BrickHouse Books. He grew up in Michigan, and now resides Baltimore.