A Moment in the Sun
This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
It’s 1897. Gold has been discovered in the Yukon. New York is under the sway of Hearst and Pulitzer. And in a few months, an American battleship will explode in a Cuban harbor, plunging the U.S. into war. Spanning five years and half a dozen countries, this is the unforgettable story of that extraordinary moment: the turn of the twentieth century, as seen by one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
Shot through with a lyrical intensity and stunning detail that recall Doctorow and Deadwood both, A Moment in the Sun takes the whole era in its sightsfrom the white-racist coup in Wilmington, North Carolina to the bloody dawn of U.S. interventionism in the Philippines. Beginning with Hod Brackenridge searching for his fortune in the North, and hurtling forward on the voices of a breathtaking range of men and womenRoyal Scott, an African American infantryman whose life outside the military has been destroyed; Diosdado Concepcíon, a Filipino insurgent fighting against his country’s new colonizers; and more than a dozen others, Mark Twain and President McKinley’s assassin among themthis is a story as big as its subject: history rediscovered through the lives of the people who made it happen.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
A Moment in the Sun
John Sayles's work is gritty, gritty, realistic and rich. A Moment in the Sun is populated by hardrock miners, newsies, bigots, soldiers and shysters. It is a novel of compelling power and complexity, set against the backdrop of America's first overseas imperial adventure. As multi-layered as are his films, Sayles tells the stories of African-American infantrymen struggling for respect and dignity while fighting against other peoples of color; of Filipino revolutionaries expecting independence but receiving only war and occupation and the tales of many others, too numerous to mention here, yet all are well-woven into a single whole as solid as a dreadnought. With perfect pitch, he captures the spirit of the era, the optimism, naïveté, racism and jingoism. His characters seem real enough to touch and they do certainly touch the reader, for both good and ill. More than anything else, I was reminded of the great works of John Dos Passos, a USA for the twenty-first century.
As a history teacher for nearly four decades I am perhaps overly critical of novels in the historical genre, but this is surely one of the best, with scarcely an anachronism or error. The ending of the novel might be termed romantic, yet it also contains an ominous shadow that is wholly in keeping with the author's usually themes. Sayles is a master and A Moment in the Sun is a masterwork.