With the Vietnam War erupting in the background, Noble Chaos presents an eye-opening immersion into the late 1960s from a college perspective, a journey through profoundly troubled times.
Set at the University of Kansas, one of the nation's most radical colleges back then, this astonishing book knits together emotional and historical truth. The novel reveals the conflicts, concessions, and conundrums of a nation’s darkest hours.
Ryan Sterling is a 19-year-old college junior navigating a moral switchback. He protests the Vietnam War while weighing patriotic implications. He loses his passion for education while remaining on the Dean's list. He defies authority while conforming to group pressure. He experiments with drugs while resisting dependency. He devours philosophy and psychology to find meaning in raging confusion.
But conflict is the price of his search for understanding. Conflict carves rifts between Ryan, his peers, and society. Conflict forces him to make game-changing choices.
Ryan's journey includes a cast of memorable characters. His lover shuns her self-indulgent past and makes the least expected confession. A cunning drug dealer squares off with Ryan's nemesis, provoking a fatal consequence of intolerance. A tradition-minded classmate transforms into a revolutionary, leading perilous confrontations with armed authorities.
For those who lived through this school year of extraordinary challenges, Noble Chaos inspires dormant and forgotten memories, an emotional perspective of the chaotic forces that turned America upon itself. For younger listeners, the novel presents the titanic experiences that provoked contemporary politics, prejudices, and popular culture.
This uncensored story also presents an intriguing parable for today. Women's rights are not yet fully achieved. Racial divisions are festering. Party politics are crushing. Clean air and water are evaporating. Native Americans are inciting. Military overreach is still threatening.