Alabama Days by James Eckardt
A few weeks after the 1965 Selma March, four teenage Catholic seminarians from Long Island arrive in Birmingham, Alabama, to work for Father Edmund Fraser in a door-to-door voter registration campaign. Nights, they return to the same black neighborhoods to play guitars and lead crowds in singing freedom songs. While their celibacy is tested by seductive black girls, they party nightly with the priest’s free beer and cigarettes.
The next summer they return, delighted to be joined by three young women, including the statuesque nieces of Father Fraser. But as the Vietnam War splits the country apart and the Civil Rights Movement turns rancid, they descend into their own cycle of hatred and violence.
Alabama Days is America in microcosm at a tipping point of religious idealism and sexual innocence.
"James Eckardt's comfortable prose has always given me the feeling I'm standing in the scenes beside him, more a mate than a reader. In Alabama Days he offers a tantalizing taste of history with that same personal touch." Colin Cotterill, author of the Dr Siri Murder Mystery series.
"Jim Eckardt is a compulsive story-teller and the stories he tells best are his own. Like so many of his time, Jim was also an inveterate do-gooder and this novel reveals in loving detail his introduction to and participation in one of America’s most explosive and significant recent historical periods, the 1960s." Jerry Hopkins author of No One Here Gets Out Alive, the definitive Jim Morrison story.
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