My Cold War by Tom Piazza
A Novel

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John Delano is in trouble. A professor of Cold War Studies at a small New England college, hetraffics in what others call "History McNuggets" -- gimmicky, easily digestible glimpses of our collective past. But as he struggles with his magnum opus -- a major new book on the "surfaces" of the Cold War era -- Delano's life begins to fall apart. In a series of dazzlingly rendered and escalating encounters, he revisits the treeless vistas of 1950s suburbia, the streets of Dallas and the JFK assassination, the Summer of Love, and other landmark moments, and finally travels into the heartland to reconnect with his estranged brother. What he finds there, and what he makes of it, forms this novel's poignant climax.

Bob Dylan has said that Tom Piazza's "stories pulsate with nervous electrical tension -- reveal the emotions that we can't define." Now, in a breakout novel of power, subtlety, and range, Piazza braids together the inner and outer life of our times, in a story that will leave readers both shaken and exhilarated.


About Tom Piazza

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Tom Piazza is the author of ten books, including the novels City of Refuge, which won the Willie Morris Award, and My Cold War, as well as the book-length essay Why New Orleans Matters. He writes for HBO’s hit drama series Treme and is at work on a new novel. He lives in New Orleans.
Published September 1, 2003 by HarperCollins. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Cold War

Kirkus Reviews

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Our hyper-self-aware protagonist realizes that he may want to reconcile with his brother just so he can use their meeting as fodder for a book to give his editor in place of the one he can’t write, and this knowingness is a problem with My Cold War as a whole.

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Publishers Weekly

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This richly textured but uneven first novel by Piazza (Blues and Trouble) opens with John Delano, a Connecticut college professor of Cold War Studies, trying, unsuccessfully, to pen John Delano's Cold War, an unorthodox opus that looks at events as "pure phenomena."

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Book Reporter

John Delano, hip professor at an effete New England college, is skilled in creating the "History McNuggets" that he is about to purvey via public broadcasting in JOHN DELANO'S COLD WAR --- once he's written the actual book.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of My Cold War: A Novel


“I looked exclusively at the surfaces of the Cold War, with the idea that the surfaces would tell you things about what was going on that you would lose sight of as you went deeper and deeper into strategy, politics, elections, treaties, all the messy anatomy of history.” As the book begins, Dela...

Oct 22 2003 | Read Full Review of My Cold War: A Novel

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