November 22, 1963 was a Friday. Our high school had a dance scheduled for that night. We were looking forward to the Thanksgiving Holiday the following week. At shortly after 1:30 pm, Eastern Time, however, our individual lives and the course of our Nation’s history were thrown onto entirely different pathways as the life of President John F. Kennedy was snuffed out, and his place taken by Lyndon Baines Johnson, a man as different from his predecessor as it was possible to be.
In November of 1963, Jack Engelhard was living and working in Greenwich Village, the doorman at The Bitter End café, one of the select hotspots that were shortly to give birth to the Counterculture that was to demolish American society as we knew it, and replace it with sounds and mores that today remain in the ascendancy.
Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, Barbra Streisand, Bill Cosby… these and so many others… were soon to become our cultural icons. Our language was soon to be everywhere, including the obscenities Lenny Bruce determinedly brought out of hiding. The Village was a seething cauldron of social and political change… a cauldron soon to boil over and carry us all in its wake.
Internationally acclaimed novelist Jack Engelhard, famous for his bestseller Indecent Proposal, has penned what has to be the definitive story of this incredible transformation in The Days of the Bitter End. It recaptures the 1960s as no other historical novel. Seen through the eyes of such unforgettable characters as Ben Jaffa, the young Holocaust refugee now living in the Village, Cliff Harris, a comedian who those of us around in those days will instantly recall as a fictionalized rendition of Kennedy impersonator Vaughn Meader, and Louise, the beautiful, troubled singer who brings back so well the women who made those days so warm and unforgettable, Engelhard puts the reader right in the center of the action…of the story…of the times.
You will come away from this page-turner immersed not only in the Village scene, but especially in the background and events of the last day of the “Kennedy Years,” a time when all of us privileged to be young were immersed in a New Spirit, a spirit we could all join in regardless of our politics. Engelhard brings to bear his journalistic talents as well as matchless storytelling ability to make those days of never to be seen again excitement come alive once more.
Relive some of the most unique moments in our history. Share with the young of those times our sense of excitement… of hope… of joy. And yes, make the tragic transition from those times to Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam War… a folly that gutted an entire generation and forever changed the way Americans react to their Government.
Don’t let this half century anniversary pass without your copy of The Days of the Bitter End. Released in both paperback and e-book editions, The Days of the Bitter End is available for purchase from Amazon and many other fine book retailers worldwide.
Jack Engelhard writes a weekly column for The Washington Times, Communities section. He is available for interviews. His website: www.jackengelhard.com
About DayRay Literary Press:
DayRay Literary Press is a standalone literary imprint of CCB Publishing, which is a Canadian publishing house based in Terrace, British Columbia. CCB Publishing, working with authors from many different countries around the world, has been publishing books in print and e-book formats since 2005 and has over 250 titles in print across a wide variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction.
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