Grounded in place, spanning the Civil War to the present day, the stories in I Was a Revolutionary capture the roil of history through the eyes of an unforgettable cast of characters: the visionaries and dreamers, the radical farmers and socialist journalists, the quack doctors and protesters who haunt the past and present landscape of the American heartland.
In these stories, each set in the author's home state of Kansas, Andrew Malan Milward traces how we live amid the inconvenient ghosts of history. "The Burning of Lawrence" vibrates with the raw terror of a town pillaged by pro-Confederate raiders. "O Death" recalls the harrowing, desperate journey of the exodusters—African-American migrants who came to Kansas to escape oppression in the South. And, in the collection's haunting title piece, a professor of Kansas history surveys his decades-long slide from radicalism to complacency, a shift that parallels the landscape around him.
Using his own home state as a prism through which to view both a nation's history and our own universal battles as individuals, Milward has created a fresh and complex new palimpsest of the American experience.