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American RedemptionAmerican Redemption

Richard Wilson

  • Literary/Contemporary

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Why I wrote this book

Sometimes a crack can appear in a personality that, if unchecked, grows wider as the years go by. So, if a person is a little bit greedy when he or she is young, it can later become full-blown avarice. The same holds true for vanity, or lust, and even murderous impulses. The protagonist of this story wanted money, lots of it, and in the end he achieved his goal. But unforeseen events can cause a moral compass to swing wildly and to bring people to a new understanding of themselves. I wrote this book to explore how this happens. But I also wrote to ask why calamitous events such as the death of a loved one sometimes leave no trace while at other times they shatter the core of a person’s being.

If you enjoy Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities, Ian McEwan, Atonement or Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment then you should enjoy American Redemption.


This is a compelling personal narrative of a young man consumed by ambition. The story contrasts humor and grief, explores how death impacts individual lives, and reveals how excessive greed brings ruin in its wake. Sex and fidelity are mixed together in a topsy-turvy brew. Who has not dreamt of fabulous wealth and wondered how to grasp riches and fame? Will Davison did not wonder. With the instincts of a pirate, he pursued money and position, brushing aside the objections of a twin brother, his wife and others. On Wall Street, in the Navy and in his sex life, he grabbed what he wanted, and always more. Poor Will. Like America he worked hard and was sometimes lucky. But something was twisted, and he didn't know it. Following the death of his wife, Will entered a dubious relationship with a criminal financier. Little did he realize that this route to wealth would one day lead to the suicide of his brother. When disaster struck he was cut adrift, overwhelmed by loss and crushed by crippling malaise. As he grappled with the truth of his life, he was shadowed by values that had long been rejected. Slowly, with the aid of a woman with a past as murky as his own, he forged a new path from the embers of his shattered life. It was not the one he had dreamed of, but it brought him closer to an acceptance of himself. The page turning drama unfolds to a climax with a startling revelation and a reaffirmation of the bonds that cement people one to another.

About the Author

Richard Wilson

An honors graduate from Princeton University, Richard Wilson first worked on Wall Street, then entered the world of U.S. Naval Intelligence from which he retired many years later at the rank of Captain. As a reservist he advised the Joint Chiefs of Staff on strategy in the Vietnam War for which he was commended, oversaw planning for basing at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and much more. Following active duty he became Vice President of a management consulting firm which he left three years later to earn M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Princeton, specializing in comparative politics and Chinese studies. He was a Lecturer at Princeton before moving to Rutgers University where he stayed for many years as University Director of International Programs and Chairman of the Political Science Department with 8,000 students before retiring as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus. During that time he authored/edited 14 books from presses such as MIT, Cambridge and The Free Press and 50 articles, chapters in scholarly monographs and reviews. Much of his research was conducted at various locales in East Asia. Most recently this involved film studies in Seoul and Beijing as well as at the Danish Film Institute in Copenhagen and the British Film Institute in London.

In addition to teaching at Rutgers, he also served as Dean of the Chinese School at Middlebury College, was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Yonsei University in Korea, a permanent guest professor at Jilin University and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, a visiting scholar at Peking University, and was Editor-in-Chief of East Asia: An International Quarterly. On the side he owned a highly successful Chinese restaurant. At the present time he is writing novels with his identical twin brother. He currently resides with his wife, Myoung Chung Wilson, in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

Book info

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224 pages


Richard Wilson


Matador an imprint of Troubador Publishing

Publication date

1st December 2012