Home Fires is the powerful saga of the Gordon family—real people, names unchanged. Spanning nearly five decades, from the end of World War II to the early 1990s, their story has the scope, depth, wealth of incident, and emotional intensity of a great novel, and an abundance of humor, scandal, warmth, and trauma—the recognizable components of family life. In the hands of Donald Katz, it is also a masterful chronicle of the turbulent postwar era, brilliantly illuminating the interplay between private life and profound cultural changes.
Katz begins his account in 1945, when Sam Gordon, an electrician, comes home from the war to his young wife, Eve, eager to move his family into the growing middle class and the good life that beckons all around them. As the fifties yield to the sixties, the younger Gordons begin to fly out and away into the culture like shrapnel from an artillery shell, each tracing a unique trajectory. Katz charts the unraveling of Sam's and Eve's American Dream, to the slow, hopeful reknitting of the family. Deftly juxtaposing day-to-day family life with landmark public events, Katz creates a rich and revealing portrait of the second half of the twentieth century in America.