Our Man From The Ukraine
Harry emigrates from Lvov and starts anew in Poughkeepsie, USA. His brother dies after helping to defeat Hitler. He posts a notice and is accused of communism. The book examines the nature of extreme government responses to internal and external pressures and how evil people or groups can undermine the fragile democratic impulse with movement based politics. Pier L’Hermit, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, the incursive state, the media, the estates, the clergy are all held to account for crimes committed in the pursuit of isms.
Harry has a bad heart and has a series of near-death dreams in which he is beckoned to a new shore but on several occasions, he is not allowed to dock his boat, and instead, he is told by God to finish his work. Near the end of his life, Harry has a bypass operation, and afterward, he returns to his homeland, the Ukraine, for the first time in almost fifty years. While there he revisits the fields of his youth and offers insightful commentary about the status of things compared to when he left as an immigrant fleeing from the Holodomor and anti-semitism.
Ultimately, it is the power to say “no” to power and “no” to false prophets like Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler that drives Harry to his final destination. He has seen the dogmatic in action in the old country and he has experienced the result of dogmatic pursuits in his adoptive country. Harry rejects the world and the things in it believing that it all has to be left behind and to get to the new shore you have to say “No”.