Author: Christopher T. Rand
Genre: Historical Memoir
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At the outset, the members of author Christopher T. Rand’s family lived in a world of great wealth. They were among the richest people in the United States. But they then faced a dilemma: compelled to choose between staying on in their ancestral world or keeping up with the times in the nation around them and integrating themselves into the American mainstream. With each generation, the pressure on these individuals to choose between escape or immersion into the society became more and more intense. In Silver Diaspora, Rand examines his family’s roots in the northeastern United States and chronicles his journey through these times, against the backdrop of the family history. Embarking on a search of a better new world, Rand’s parents leave the East Coast and land in California. From here, this memoir follows Rand through college at Berkeley, travels abroad, work in the petroleum industry and his experiences as a writer. Describing the people, places and experiences that impacted Rand’s life, Silver Diaspora provides one man’s insight into the world in the latter two-thirds of the last century.
Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Rand portrays the growth and evolution of the privileged, highly affluent world in which he grew up. Among the richest people in America, the members of his family formed a broad panorama of figures in equal measure sarcastic, long-suffering, glamorous, blindly superstitious and randomly frustrated -- comedians of the erratic. However, as their generations succeeded one another, they wrestled with the dilemma of staying on in their ancestral world or integrating themselves into the American mainstream. Through a historical and social narrative that covers the growth of the nation from colonial times to the present, Rand’s work, from the perspective of their lives, up through his parents and closest relatives, gives personality and life to a broad range of striking figures and major political and social developments in the history of our nation.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
The biggest challenge was finding people to take it seriously.
Do you plan subsequent books?
I not only plan other books but am actively engaged in writing them.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at 13.
What is your greatest strength as an author?
I leave the question of strength to others to judge.
Christopher T. Rand has worked as a writer, consultant, and translator. He is the author of Making Democracy Safe for Oil and has worked on litigation with the Federal Trade Commission and the state of California. Rand lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has two children.