"One writes out of one thing-one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give." So wrote the novelist James Baldwin.
True to Baldwin's observation the remarkable short stories of Theodore (Ted) Stryker are drawn entirely from his experiences during the last half of the volatile 20th Century. Included in this unusual assortment are his childhood memories of World War II and its aftermath, and his own troubled participation in three of the nation's later military conflicts. In the last two of these he served not as a combatant but in a civilian support role.
His essays and commentaries address the critical issues of his time, most of which remain very much with us today. We sense immediately that he is passionate about what he writes; yet he never ceases to surprise us. Using persuasive argumentation he is often conservative when we expect him to be liberal and liberal when we expect him to be conservative. We may not always agree with him but he certainly tempts us to reexamine our long-standing beliefs.
Theodore (Ted) Stryker did not set out to write for publication. But as he approached the end of his life he felt a need to leave something behind, hopefully something of value. In this delightful and spirited compilation he has succeeded.