A riveting thriller, a haunting picture of America.Could two people be more enviable than Richard and Helen Bittenberg? They love each other, have two healthy, intelligent children, and are financially comfortable. Richard is at the top of his profession. Their home is in a desirable Washington, D.C., neighborhood. The culturally rich, cosmopolitan atmosphere of the capital of the most powerful nation in the world forms part of their privileged existence. But to Richard it seems that perverse, irresponsible forces are destroying the country he loves. He feels compelled to resist. But how? Deeply troubled by his powerlessness, he seizes a daunting opportunity that he could never have foreseen. His life changes drastically. He is drawn into tension-filled, sometimes harrowing circumstances. They tax his moral conscience, courage, and endurance to the utmost. Helen worries about his increasingly fraught and stressed condition and tries to make him change his ways, but she does t kw their real cause. Then, when she least expects it, she finds herself in the middle of a nightmare of her own. She has to muster all her willpower and wile. Helen and Richard must independently handle daunting ordeals, one involving secret, nerve-racking political machinations, one involving an agonizing police investigation. The milieus of the vel are Washington, D.C., Paris and environs, and Charleston, South Carolina. This is a political and psychological thriller that sneaks up on the reader and then only tightens its grip. It also has the fully developed characters and the trenchant, nuanced narrative of a serious work of fiction. Telling the story of the existential crises that Richard and Helen must face, the vel becomes a disquieting and thought-provoking commentary on the state of America and the Western world. Does the vel s poignant picture of contemporary society suggest merely fictional possibilities? A Desperate Man deeply engages the reader, raising profound moral and cultural questions.
Claes G. Ryn has lived for most of his adult life in Washington, D.C. where he is Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America. He and his wife reside outside the District line in Potomac, Maryland. His teaching and research have focused on politics as it relates to philosophy, history, culture, and ethics. Ryn has taught also at Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, and Louisiana State University. He has lectured widely in the United States, Europe, and China. A frequent visitor to China, he gave the Distinguished Foreign Scholar Lectures at Beijing University in 2000 and was named Honorary Professor at Beijing Normal University in 2012. He is the author of many scholarly books. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, he has published much writing in newspapers and magazines. He appears with some frequency on radio and television.