Citadel on the Mountain by Richard Wertime
A Memoir of Father and Son

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Synopsis

A warped dream, an overbearing father, and his son

A handsome, brilliant man, the author's father-irascible, strong-willed, a compulsive womanizer-stands at the center of this strangely compelling story.
In the mid-1970s, after a life in government service, which was shadowy in its depths, Ted Wertime built a fortress-like house on a mountaintop in south-central Pennsylvania. He had forged for himself a secondary career as a highly respected historian of ancient science and technology, and was convinced that it was his fate to lead a sweeping revolution that would cleanse the United States of energy abuse, political corruption, and an odd assortment of social ills. His "citadel" would serve as his revolutionary headquarters. He, his wife, and Joan, the last and most troubled of his succession of mistresses, lived in the house together in a bizarre ménage à trois. His dream was to recruit his four sons to take part in his cause.

The author, Richard Wertime, is the second-oldest son. Citadel on the Mountain is the story of his struggle to escape from a domineering and, at times, hypnotizing father who sought to control the sexual and professional lives of his offspring.
 

About Richard Wertime

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Richard Wertime was a longtime editor at Archaeology magazine and is now a professor for English at Beaver College in Pennsylvania.
 
Published January 1, 2000 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, War, History, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Although it would have been easy to turn such material into the cheapest kind of farce (or the most self-serving hatchet-job imaginable), the author succeeds in highlighting the poignant grief that his father’s decline both announced and engendered.

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Publishers Weekly

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When Theodore was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, Wertime fitfully attempted to draw close to his impossible parent, while also working through the pent-up rage and confusion that derailed his own first marriage and threatened to undo his second.

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