cover image True Believers

True Believers

Kurt Andersen. Random, $26.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6720-6

Try as he might, author, journalist, and radio host Andersen (Reset) never quite captures the female voice of law professor Karen Hollaender, who, in the process of publishing her memoirs, makes a stunning revelation about her past. Anderson does, however, successfully depict the political and social turmoil of the mid 1960s as Karen revisits the radicalizing angst that led her and her trio of male friends to devise a plan that would indelibly alter the course of history. As teenagers in their Chicago suburb, Karen, Alex Macallister, and Chuck Levy spent hours staging James Bond fantasies. Tracing their transformation into budding ’60s student radicals, Andersen credibly shows why so many smart young privileged people became passionate about social justice, embraced anarchy and insurrection, and in many cases ended up snitching for the U.S. government. The author’s observations from a baby boomer’s perspective, about differences between the post-9/11 world and the 1960s, along with an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at intelligence and its role in both the past and present adds pizzazz to a tale that falters because of an unconvincing narrator. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME Entertainment. (July)