We have seen things go south for Toffer French. In the beginning of the story, Toffer was one of the most powerful people in Des Moines. He had influence politically as well as in the secular world. He had his own company…and a family.
We also learned that he was a very evil man. He had gotten where he was through hook and crook, taking over a company by force that he would have inherited. He married a woman he’d assaulted in order to keep her from testifying against him in court. He had either killed or run others out of town in attempts to keep them from doing the same.
By the end of the first book, He was already under investigation. Now, he has been stripped of his power, his company, and his wife (who left him before the end of book one). His son is still on a collision course with self-destruction, following the same path Toffer had followed as a lad. Evil, it seems, does pass from generation to generation.
But now, in book two, I have begun introducing new players. First, there is a new sheriff in town, Wyland having retired due to health, and a new mayor (although I never mentioned the mayor in the first book). I have begun bringing in actual historical figures. The mayor of Des Moines, The actual legislators at both state and federal level, the actual players in the government (DOJ, IRS, Iowa Tax Commission, etc) as well as new (though implied and mentioned briefly in book one) villains.
For Toffer, the ride will end in a few books to come. For Toby, it will end in book 10. Two other characters will be only temporary (McCarthy and McCarran, the new villains…as well as the Congressmen I have introduced…and the government officials.). J. Edgar Hoover will continue until a book in the 70’s series since he did not die until mid to late 70’s. After the tenth book, there will be less focus on government, though certain movements will begin to take shape and be at the center of the series.
I do, however, introduce Natalia’s fatal flaw in this book. As well as her greatest ambition. It will also take center stage at some point in the saga, but right now it is simply at the core of her actions.
Many of the events that are going on in the background of the story were real events (only the story of the French/Morrow family feud is fictional) and remained hidden to mainstream Americans even while they were taking place. The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were the three most prosperous decades in America. The gross National income was at an all time high, taxes were affordable, and most could survive on a single earner income and still have enough to spend on entertainment. The middle class still existed and included the majority of Americans at that time. Sure there were poor, as there will always be until we learn to rely less on financial standing and money and begin to rely on character (a willingness to share with others our own good fortune, thereby raising others up as we go along) and empathy (the ability to feel for others and share in their pain, joy, sorrow, and even success) for others.
Behind the scenes, though, there was a war going on. Everyone was suspect when it came to being a communist, even when they were not. It was not so much different than today’s political environment, though communism has been replaced by other non-issues. Hate, which we are surprised by, has always been just below the surface, waiting to emerge. The separatist faction has always existed and has always used some non-issue as a means to divide and conquer the masses.
Between 1945 and 1965, it was communism and nuclear war between the US and the USSR. In the 1970’s, it was the rise of “terrorist” organizations and the fear continued throughout the 1980′ and 90’s. Civil rights in the 1960’s was what split the country and caused a new rise to the hate that lay hidden just below the surface.
For a country that should be so far beyond this hate, we have been unable to erase it from our midst. We call ourselves a Christian country, and yet we preach hate messages aimed towards everything from communists to homosexuals, Muslims to Jews, African Americans to Hispanics. We even hate those who came before us, the Native Americans. Our hate has shown, time and again, that we have become anti-Christian in view (For Christ, if you believe in him, preached love–not hate–for all including one’s enemies) while claiming to follow an entity we really do not follow.
yes, this has been evident throughout the country’s history, especially during the 1950’s and 60’s. Our struggle for civil rights has proven that from its very inception. We are still nowhere near where MLK and others hoped for. We are nowhere near being the “united” country other countries see us as. We are just as divided as ever with no end in sight. Why? because we see in terms of politics, religion, sexual preference, and skin color. We cannot see ourselves as simply Americans. That, in a nutshell, is what this saga is all about: our inability to see ourselves as Americans and nothing else.