Epic Historical Fiction
How do we recapture the Industrial Revolution’s intoxicating spirit of unfettered freedom, unlimited possibilities, unbounded confidence, and buoyant optimism? What makes this time, so different from our own, possible? Liberty is America’s birthright, but before we can reclaim what we lost, we have to know what we had.
Restoring America’s freedom will be a thousand-mile journey. This epic novel takes a first step. It is volume one of a trilogy chronicling America’s rise, descent, and eventual rebirth, told through the sweeping, historical family saga of the Durands. It poses important questions about freedom, capitalism, and government that Foreword Clarion Review says, “Are surprisingly relevant today.” The answers have never been more crucial. If you’re looking for something special, a book you’ll enjoy every page, reread, and never forget, you’ve found it.
Rags To Riches
Leaving his bleak, orphaned-from-birth past and hardscrabble jobs back in Cleveland, Daniel Durand joins the Union army. From his first battle at Shiloh he demonstrates courage and tough independence. During a disastrous Union loss, he must make a choice–follow an order or do the right thing–that will long remain secret, but will follow him for the rest of his life. After his last terrible battle at Vicksburg, he returns to Cleveland. Like America itself, he has to overcome tragedy and build upon the ruins of the war. He is determined to capitalize on the budding Industrial Revolution.
Smart and ambitious, Daniel gets a job at a bank and rises quickly, but runs into an obstacle: the bank’s president is a pompous fool. He rejects Daniel’s recommendation to lend to brilliant oil entrepreneur John D. Rockefeller, and forbids Daniel from seeing his beautiful, strong-willed daughter, Eleanor. Daniel outsmarts the president and marries Eleanor, but he’s too big a fish for Cleveland’s small pond. He moves his family to New York and starts a Wall Street investment house with George Woodbury, a canny stock trader. Unfortunately, Durand & Woodbury launches during a financial panic and severe depression that threaten its survival.
Revenge, Redemption, and Reconciliation
Emerging from the economic carnage, the firm has a front row seat on the Industrial Revolution. Millions of immigrants stream to our shores in search of freedom and opportunity. They rebuild a nation torn in half by the Civil War, making it the world’s powerhouse. It is a time of discovery, invention, and enterprise, the greatest explosion of ingenuity and wealth in history. Daniel finances the titans of the age, but acquires a long list of powerful enemies, including Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and Daniel’s oldest son, Will. The Winfields, a secretive, ruthless dynasty, vow to destroy him. They promote Will’s political career and use him to uncover Daniel’s long-buried secret, a secret that could send Daniel to the gallows.
Daniel plots his revenge–an attempt to scandalize Will and ruin his chances in an election–but the tables are turned humiliatingly against him. Eleanor is furious. Ignoring her misgivings, a mysterious warning, public opinion, and the support of the financial and political elite, he testifies against a law that replaces gold with paper promises and imperils the nation’s hard-earned wealth. He risks his many enemies’ retribution and further family turmoil, but his decision ultimately leads to redemption and reconciliation.