"There was a war, and hysteria allows and permits and commands almost anything. So you have to find enemies; you have to find the spies and the fifth columnists."
Following my Navy service and graduate school, I taught and wrote about American history at Humboldt State University.
My nonfiction focuses on Jacksonian America and, in a big leap, the relocation and internment of Italian and German Americans during World War II.
Under Siege!, an oral a documentary history of Italian relocation, earned an American Book Award under its original title, The Unknown Internment.
In retirement, I turned to fiction. I try to say something each morning—'Telling Lies for Fun!' Some of my stories have historical themes—'Illusions' and 'Infamy!' for example. Others are semi-autobiographical, explore art history, obsessive collecting, or immigration—even pole dancing! Crime, of course, is central.
Whether you’re a history buff or someone who just enjoys a good yarn, there's a book here for you.
Foxbooks — A Sampling
'Outstanding Book'— Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in the United States,1991.
'Outstanding Literary Achievement' — American Book Award (Before Columbus Foundation), 1992.
One of those rare books that will gratify readers of diverse backgrounds and interests. —Northcoast Journal
A significant book for all Americans concerned with this country's attitudes toward and treatment of immigrants, and with individual rights. —Voices in Italian Americana
"I found this sentence so meaningful: 'It is possible for a proud nation such as the United States, dedicated in principle to individual freedom, to come close to losing its soul during a time of crisis under poor leadership.' And then: 'Not so much (to lose it), perhaps, in the heady days of summer sunshine patriotism, but time for thoughtful reflection about the past will be essential during the cold, dark winters of national crises to come, as surely they will, if history is any guide' ...
... I appreciated those words last night (January 7, 2020), and I found the whole book so well done ... The interviews were so worthwhile. Amazing what people have to put up with. — Ann P.
A recent event in the United States inspired the crafting of this story. That event received extensive media coverage, and you may recognize it. The full truth of what occurred remains hidden to the public, buried in acts of CYA self-preservation by the participants and investigators.
What unfolds in these pages is a re-imagining of that event, an attempt to pry loose a little truth through fiction, with healthy doses of skepticism and common sense …
Initially, this fiction revolves around a landscaper and his faithless but rich girlfriend. He sees few prospects of bettering himself and exhibits little motivation to do so; that is, until he experiences a voyeuristic moment that he believes might provide him the opportunity to transform himself from ‘loser’ into ‘taker.’
* * *
A police detective, a Mob Don and his consigliere, plus an aggressive district attorney and his deputy, each acting with a unique purpose, enter stage right and stage left to complicate the landscaper’s dream.
* * *
As with countless novels that expose human behavior to the light of day, this story is—except for a few fingernail-scratching moments—a buoyant commentary on the nature of the American species homo sapiens libro vicensimo primo saeculum.
* * *
"Quite an interesting tale you told. You are very good at depicting character in humans…" – Eleanor G-M
"Set in World War II, but with an eye to the present and future, HOMELAND INSECURITY offers a unique, thematic commentary on the experiences of men and women of Italian and German ancestry who were relocated, interned or excluded. Award-winning author Stephen Fox mines government documents—especially those of the FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service—to assess the impact on detainees and their families of profiling, FBI bungling, military commissions, secret arrests, suspension of due process and habeas corpus, deportation, extraordinary rendition, secondary citizenship and other forms of harassment.
A gem of a book, from engaging anecdote to personal narrative to sweeping history, and best of all, the connections between yesterday and today. — John Christgau, author of 'Enemies': World War II Alien Internment
Thank you for writing about a previous time and these terrible people, but also the good people. — Bill B.
It was a time of profiling, FBI bungling, military commissions, secret arrests, suspension of due process and habeas corpus, deportation, extraordinary rendition, second class citizenship and other forms of harassment -- all in the name of homeland security during a war being fought overseas. — Ron Standerfer for Reader Views
A Most Improbable Union
The Daughters of the American Revolution and the Coal Dealer
Two families settle in North Dakota. From that beginning, the surprise—improbable—joining of those families produced a rich generational history. But the story began on the North Atlantic Ocean ...
"Anna Maria Bauer extended her arms toward the little boy. In one gloved hand she clutched a bowl from which a spoon threatened to tumble as the S.S. Belgenland corkscrewed through the swells, its steel-plated sides groaning in protest. It was a chorus echoed by many of the steerage passengers, as though the two, flesh and steel, were one. Occasionally, the trough of the swell was steep enough to lift the propellers clear of the surface, vibrating the entire vessel as though God himself had reached down and given it a warning shake."