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Our Man from the Ukraine by Allan LeLoup

Our Man from the Ukraine

by Allan LeLoup

338 pages
Harry is a Ukrainian immigrant. He is desperate. He posted something at work about the Ukraine and now he's accused of being a communist. He fights back against the FBI. He learns that to remain righteous he must resist all dogmatism.

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Category: Fiction:Political
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About the Book
Harry Zakal is a Ukrainian immigrant. The novel takes place in the early 1950's during the McCarthy era and Korean War are afoot. Harry's brother died fighting the Nazi's and he posts facts and figures in his workplace about the contribution of the Ukrainians in helping to win World War Two. This is reported by persons unknown to Harry and he is soon in the grip of the FBI and RCMP and coerced into spying on his community and co-workers to avoid deportation back to Poughkeepsie, NY.

Harry tries to avoid the clutches of the authorities but finds no comfort either from the law of from his own Teamsters Union. He does what they ask reluctantly but his efforts yield some golden nuggets of information that interests his spymasters. Harry goes abroad to an agricultural exhibition for farm equipment in London, England and encounters a young Mikhail Gorbachev who helps ferret over to Europe an old Ukrainian who wants to go home to die.

Harry's son, Ray goes to military college against his parent's advice and ends up commanding a battalion on Hill 355 in Korea. After the truce, Ray goes to Oxford University and defends his doctoral dissertation which is about how a small group of evil individuals can attain power and undermine the fragile democratic impulse. Ray's analysis starts with Pier L'Hermit who activated the Crusades and the ensuing horror and he offers some hope for the democratic impulse provided that liberal and conservative democrats alike understand the dangers of words uttered by extremists like Pier L'Hermit.

Harry has a bad heart and has a series of near death dreams in which he is beckoned to a new shore but on several occasions he is not allowed to dock his boat and instead he is told by God to finish his work. Near the end of his life Harry has a bypass operation and afterwards he returns to his homeland, the Ukraine, for the first time in almost fifty years. While there he revisits the fields of his youth and offers insightful commentary about the status of things compared to when he left as an immigrant fleeing from the Holodomor and anti-semitism.

Ultimately, it is the power to say "no" to power and "no" to false prophets like Stalin, Lenin, Hitler that drives Harry to his final destination. He has seen the dogmatic in action in the old country and he has experienced the result of dogmatic pursuits in his adoptive country. Harry rejects the world and the things in it believing that it all has to be left behind and to get to the new shore you have to say "No".

 

 

About the Author
Allan LeLoup studied at the University of Toronto and at several other universities. Privacy rights, the security state, the incursive state, freedom of expression and minority rights are of particular interest to him.

 

 

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