So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

City of Belief is a novel based on a true story written by a person who was there. The "Author's Note" at the beginning of the book starts with this statement:
"In the early morning hours of November 9, 1965 a young man walked up to the United Nations in New York City, sat on the cement island on First Avenue before the darkened building, doused himself with gasoline and lit a match. The young man was Roger La Porte and he was my friend."
Roger and the author were volunteers at the NYC Catholic Worker, a movement started by Dorothy Day and committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, and the Works of Mercy. In 1965 a group of the Catholic Worker volunteers including Roger were involved in anti-war protests and a draft card burning in New York's Union Square.
This novel is a faithful chronology of the events leading up to and immediately following Roger's self-immolation. They have haunted the author for 40 years, and she has finally written about them to share with the world.
It is a story of faith and belief and an accurate depiction of the tumultous times. No one may ever understand what caused Roger to set himself on fire to protest a war he saw as unjust, but this book will give you a glimpse into his life and thoughts.