A novel by Terry Jastrow

[Publication Date: August 1, 2017]

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PAST IS PROLOGUE is a novel that chronicles the adventures of nine ethnically, sexually and politically diverse baby boomers as they struggled to come of age in 1969; arguably the most turbulent and transitional year in American history. Baby boomers had been a force to be reckoned with if for no other reason than their sheer numbers: 76 million, one-fourth the American population. By the early 1960’s, they had experienced some growing pains but the American dream was still alive and well: movie-star handsome John F. Kennedy and his glamourous with, Jackie, were in the White House, John Glen orbited the moon, and the culturally diverse filmWest Side Story won the Oscar. But then, the shit-hit-the-fan: JFK was assassinated in Dallas, MLK murdered in Memphis and RFK gunned down in Los Angeles. It became painfully clear that baby boomers were inheriting a broken world. Things had to change. Young people were determined to rupture the status quo and create a new life for themselves in stark contrast to, and in opposition of their parents.
Principal characters:

  • Elaine Edelman, born and raised on Manhattan’s Upper East side, celebrates the election Israel’s first female Prime Minister, Golda Meir, and attends Woodstock before heading to college where she plays the flute in the band, and transitions into being a lesbian.
  • Tucker Spence, born and raised in San Francisco with a silver spoon in his mouth, lands a job at ABC Sports in NYC and becomes the youngest network director in history.
  • Audrey Craig from Burlingame, California attends the prestigious Parsons School of Design in NYC to become a teenage-girl fashion designer, meets Tucker in a bar and becomes his live-in girlfriend, much to the discontent of her parents.
  • Adrian Woods, an African American raised in Philadelphia, writes for The Harvard Crimson student newspaper, attends a new class taught by Professor Joseph Licklider (credited with conceiving the Internet) and leads a student uprising against the university’s president.
  • Reggie Woods, Adrian’s twin brother, takes a sabbatical from high school to travel America and discover its many attributes and some of its woeful shortcomings, attends a college in the south where he organizes “Black Americans for Democracy” an organization that takes a stand against entrenched racial discrimination.
  • Kinshasa Colburn, a mulatto born in Paris to a black high-fashion model and a white American businessman, meets Reggie and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with him during his activism.
  • Don Donner grew up in rural America, proudly enlists in the Army, serves in Vietnam where he sustains an injury that hobbles him for life, and returns home to become an ardent anti-war activist.
  • Sunshine, a bona fide hippie raised by redneck parents who refuses to use her given name and burns all her earthly possessions in a bonfire on the front lawn of her home.

In PAST IS PROLOGUE, these characters are introduced separately and then, one by one, meet and interact against the backdrop of mankind landing on the moon, the Stonewall Inn riots that gave birth to the LGBTQ movement, the Woodstock music festival, the birth of the Internet, and unescorted women being kick-out of the lobby of The Plaza Hotel in NYC. In the end, they all attended for the National Championship football game played in celebration of the 100th Year of College Football during which a student uprising led by the principle characters brings about historic and lasting change.

Email Terry to get on the waiting list!